The Hyborian Age was devised by author Robert E. Howard as the post-Atlantean setting of his Conan the Cimmerian stories, designed to fit in with Howard's previous and lesser known tales of Kull, which were set in the Thurian Age at the time of Atlantis. The name "Hyborian" is a contraction of the Greek concept of the land of "Hyperborea", literally "Beyond the North Wind". This was a mythical place far to the north that was not cold and where things did not age.

Howard's Hyborian epoch, described in his essay The Hyborian Age, is a mythical time before any civilization known to anthropologists. Its setting is prehistoric Europe and North Africa (with occasional references to Asia and other continents).

On a map Howard drew conceptualizing the Hyborian Age, his vision of the Mediterranean Sea is dry. The Nile, which he renamed the River Styx, takes a westward turn at right angles just beyond the Nile Delta, plowing through the mountains so as to be able to reach the Straits of Gibraltar. Although his Black Sea is also dry, his Caspian Sea, which he renames the Vilayet Sea, extends northward to reach the Arctic Ocean, so as to provide a barrier to encapsulate the settings of his stories. Not only are his Baltic Sea and English Channel dry, but most of the North Sea and a vast region to the west, easily including Ireland, are, too. Meanwhile, the west coast of Africa on his map lies beneath the sea.

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