Hatley, James | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Hatley, James. “Aion.” Environmental Humanities 6, no. 1 (2015): 179-182. doi:10.1215/22011919-3615961.

Aἰών. This word is first found in Homer’s Iliad. There it expresses the span of a human life, not in terms of its chronological duration but rather of its being and having been lived. When Sarpedon’s psuche, breath, would take flight in the fatal thrust of a spear, only then might his aion also dissipate. In the Homeric Aion, up to the point of the individual soul’s death, time proves to be recursive upon itself, intensive, inhabited, in its place. Time as chronos is volatile, fleeing without a trace, but in the Aion time becomes thickened, layered, embodied, enduring. In the centuries after the Iliad, the Aion underwent a broadening of its scale and so meaning as it came to signify a generation, an age, a vast amount of time and even eternity. In our historical age the Aion has emerged anew in the naming of the four geological eons, vast spans of geogenic and biogenic time in which the emergence of our own living kind upon the face of the earth can be recognized and situated. (Text from author)

© James Hatley 2015. Environmental Humanities is available online only and is published under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).