Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

Golden Age
(932 words)

1. Definition

The ancient assignment of the ages of the world to corresponding metals is first attested in Hesiod (around 700 BCE). On this model, the golden age was a period when life was idyllic, with no disease, war, or hard labor, and the ensuing silver, bronze, and iron ages represented a steady deterioration of social and moral conditions. In the first century BCE, Virgil celebrated the time of Augustus as the beginning of a new golden age in his fourth Eclogue (Bucolica).  Most later characterizati…

Cite this page
Scholz-Hänsel, Michael, “Golden Age”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020331>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

▲   Back to top   ▲