Hesiod's Works and Days is self-consciously a poem of the Iron Age. It is addressed to Iron Age men about how to manage the Iron Age human condition. The narrative ventures out of the Iron Age only to explain how we got here and how the present age compares to those which came before. The Iron Age audience is addressed by a narrator who situates himself explicitly (and discontentedly) as a contemporary:
μηκέτ᾽ ἔπɛιτ᾽ ὤϕɛλλον ἐγὼ πέμπτοισι μɛτɛῖναι
ἀνδράσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἢ πρόσθɛ θανɛῖν ἢ ἔπɛιτα γɛνέσθαι.
νῦν γὰρ δὴ γένος ἐστὶ σιδήρɛον·
Would then that I was no longer among the fifth race of
men, but either died earlier or was born later.
For now indeed it is a race of iron.(Works and Days, 174–6)