Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 month ago

When exactly did people in history start to look back to a "Golden Age"? If you do not know, what is your guess?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Always.  This is human nature.  Life in the present is hard and often boring.  Even today while we live a cushy life compared to our ancestors there are still lots of boring chores we can't put off for our own well-being on comfort and we still have big worries about the future if we stop to think about it, but the past?  When we think about it we're like film directors and we can edit the (hi)story to focus on the things that represent an ideal world, how we'd like to live.  Notice how that golden age is never golden for everyone whether it's the 1950s when somebody has to be garbagemen or sewer workers, or a Ancient Greek golden age full of slaves doing all the dirty work. We just skip out the parts we don't like to think about or don't think applies to ourselves.  There are many people who think the story of Genesis where Adam and Eve are cast out of the Garden represents a Bronze Age memory of the invention of agriculture and they were deep down resentful about leaving behind a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  They weren't actually wrong about that either.  Archaeology tells us that agriculture decreased the health of individuals considerably even as it allowed for population increase which also lead to social inequality.  It was many thousand years later before agriculture lifted the health of people above that of the hunter-gatherers.  I'm willing to bet you that from the moment we first had speech and so could conjure the past there was a proto-human gesticulating at the savannah and saying, "this here all used to be trees where the branches hung heavy with fruit and nuts all year long and there were no lions and nobody ever got sunburn."

  • 1 month ago

    The first written account was Hesiod in Works and Days, in around the 7th or 8th century BCE. But that’s only because he was one of the first poets to write things down, the myths might be much older.

    It seems to be a very common theme that life was better in the past, and the present is awful.

    According to Hesiod, his time was the Age of Iron, and things couldn’t get much worse. 

    You just have to look at frequent questions here about how wonderful life in the 1950s was - all non historical of course. It does seem to be a bit of a human failing to look back to some mythical ‘simpler’ time when things were better.

    Anyone who knows anything about history wouldn’t agree.


  • Harry
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Perhaps when it became the "Awake"

  • D50
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    I don't know about the specific term "golden", but everyone always has looked back to the good ol' days when everything was better. "The world's going to hell in a handbasket!"

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    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    I'd say the middle ages, after the Romans left Britain. Buildings and roads slowly deteriorated, no wine coming in, no underfloor heating.

  • 1 month ago

    References to the metaphor "Golden Age" date back to the ancient Greeks and Romans; especially Greek mythology (Hesiod).

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