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. It was written in the 1930s but not published during Howard's lifetime. Its purpose was to maintain consistency within his fictional setting.

The essay

The essay sets out in detail the major events of Howard's pseudohistorical prehistory, both period before and after the time of the Conan stories. In describing the cataclysmic end of the Thurian Age, the period described in his Kull stories, Howard links both sequences of stories into one shared universe. The names he gives his various nations and peoples of the age borrow liberally from actual history and myth.[1] The essay also sets out the racial and geographical heritage of these fictional entities, making them progenitors of modern nations. For example, Howard makes the Gaels descendants of his own Cimmerians.

In addition to its use as underpinning to his Kull and Conan stories, Howard drew on his invented prehistory in tales with later settings. For instance, "Kings of the Night" brings King Kull forward in time to fight the Roman legions, while "The Haunter of the Ring," set in the modern age, makes use of a Hyborian artifact.

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