Hyborian Age

The Hyborian Age is a fictional period within the artificial mythology created by Robert E. Howard, in which the sword and sorcery tales of Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja are set.

The word "Hyborian" is a transliterated contraction by Howard of the Ancient Greek "hyperborean", referring to a "barbaric dweller beyond the boreas (north wind)." Howard stated that the geographical setting of the Hyborian Age is that of our earth, but in a fictional version of a period in the past, c. Upper Paleolithic (40,000 to 10,000 BC).

The reasons behind the invention of the Hyborian Age were perhaps commercial: Howard had an intense love for history and historical dramas; however, at the same time, he recognized the difficulties and the time-consuming research needed in maintaining historical accuracy. By conceiving a timeless setting – a vanished age – and by carefully choosing names that resembled our history, Howard avoided the problem of historical anachronisms and the need for lengthy exposition.

Although he is not represented in Howard's library, nor alluded to in his papers and correspondence, there is a strong likelihood that Howard's conception of the Hyborian Age originated in Thomas Bulfinch's The Outline of Mythology (1913), acting as a catalyst that enabled Howard to "coalesce into a coherent whole his literary aspirations and the strong physical, autobiographical elements underlying the creation of Conan." Howard's Hyborian Age is also related to Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean cycle.

In Howard's artificial legendarium, the Hyborian Age is chronologically situated between two other eras: "The Pre-Cataclysmic Age" of Kull (c. Upper Paleolithic 20,000 BC) and the onslaught of the Picts (c. 9500 BC). According to "The Phoenix on the Sword", the adventures of Conan take place "...Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas..."

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The Coming Of Conan The Cimmerian - Miscellanea
... submitted draft) "Notes on Various Peoples of the Hyborian Age" "The Hyborian Age" Untitled Synopsis (The Hall of the Dead) Untitled Synopsis ("The Scarlet Citadel ...
Conan Chronologies - Compared Order
... Story REH's writing order Jordan Notes The Hyborian Age, Part One - - Cimmeria (poem) - - Conan of Venarium - - Conan the Bold - - "Legions of the Dead ...
Robert E. Howard - Biography - Conan
... Going back home he developed the idea, fleshing out a new invented world—his Hyborian Age—and populating it with all manner of countries, peoples, monsters, and magic ... The Hyborian Age, with its varied settings similar to real places and eras of history, allowed him to write pseudo-historical fiction without such problems ... preserving the sentiment." With these three completed he created an essay called "The Hyborian Age" in order to flesh out his setting in more detail ...
The Hyborian Age
... The Hyborian Age is an essay by Robert E ... Howard pertaining to the Hyborian Age, the fictional setting of his stories about Conan the Cimmerian ... In describing the cataclysmic end of the Thurian Age, the period described in his Kull stories, Howard linked both sequences of stories into one shared ...
Hyborian Age - Etymology
... In his fantasy setting of the Hyborian Age, Howard created imaginary kingdoms to which he gave names from a variety of mythological and historical sources ... of Corinth and reminiscent of the imperial fiefdom of Carinthia in the Middle Ages ... Howard imagines the Hyborian Picts to occupy a large area to the northwest ...

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