Golden Age  

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This page Golden Age is part of the Ancient Rome series.  Illustration: Antichita Romanae (1748) by Piranesi
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This page Golden Age is part of the Ancient Rome series.
Illustration: Antichita Romanae (1748) by Piranesi

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term Golden age stems from Greek mythology. It refers to the highest age in the Greek spectrum of Iron, Bronze, Silver and Golden ages, or to a time in the beginnings of Humanity which was perceived as an ideal state, or utopia, when mankind was pure and immortal. The features of a "Golden Age" are a strong military, an efficient government, stable, peaceful, full of prosperity and an open society that encourages learning. In literary works, the Golden Age usually ends with a devastating event, which brings about the Fall of Man (see Ages of Man). An analogous idea can be found in the religious and philosophical traditions of the Far East. For example, the Vedic or ancient Hindu culture saw history as cyclical composed of yugas with alternating Dark and Golden ages. The Kali yuga (Iron Age), Dwapara yuga (Bronze Age), Treta yuga (Silver age) and Satya yuga (Golden age) correspond to the four Greek ages. Similar beliefs can be found in the ancient Middle East and throughout the ancient world.

Present-day usage

Golden age (metaphor)

The term "Golden Age" is at present frequently used in the context of various fields, such as the "Spanish Golden Age", "Dutch Golden Age", "Golden age of alpinism", "Golden Age of American animation", "Golden Age of Comics", "Golden Age of Science Fiction", "Golden Age of Hollywood", "Golden Age of Hip Hop" and even "Golden Age of Piracy" or "Golden Age of Porn". Invariably, the term "Golden Age" is bestowed retroactively, when the period in question has ended and is compared with what followed in the specific field discussed.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Golden Age" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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