The Golden Age is a period in a given society or culture, usually of cultural, intellectual, and scientific excellence that is considered to be its highest point or point of greatest development The Golden Age is typically set at a specific point in history, with its end and beginning marked by some major event or moment of change. It is often used to refer to the period between the end of the Renaissance and the onset of the industrial revolution, with some stretching its definition as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Empire of the Aztecs: The Aztecs, who ruled the region of Mesoamerica from the 14th to 16th centuries, are often credited with having a Golden Age. Their peak, often termed the “Classical Age”, saw their empire expand through warfare and shrewd economic alliances. This was a period of great cultural and intellectual advancement, with innovations in art, math, and astronomy being developed. They also saw a great emphasis placed on religious and spiritual life. The fall of the Aztec Empire, which was caused by a combination of Spanish conquest and internal strife, signaled the end of the Aztec Golden Age.
Athens Pericles and the Athenian Golden Age: The Golden Age of Athens, which took place during the rule of Pericles in the 5th century BC saw the Greek city-state reach the peak of its power and influence. This period of wealth and prosperity saw the creation of some of its most enduring monuments, such as the Parthenon, and the emergence of some of its most renowned intellectual figures, such as Socrates and Plato. Art, literature, and philosophy blossomed during this period, as did architecture and engineering. The Athenian Golden Age was brought to an end with the death of Pericles in 429 BC, and the subsequent Peloponnesian War with Sparta.
Imperial Japan: The period of Imperial Japan from the late 19th century to the start of WWII is commonly referred to as the Japanese Golden Age. This was a period of rapid modernization, with Japan becoming an industrial and military powerhouse. Intellectual life was also rich, with the emergence of new currents of thought in art, literature, and science. This period also saw the rise of Japanese nationalism, as Japan prioritized the development of its own distinct identity. The Japanese Golden Age came to an end with the defeat of Japan in WWII, and the subsequent Allied occupation.
Mughal India: The Mughal Empire, which began in 1526 and ruled India until the mid-1800s, is known for its great achievements in the fields of art, architecture, culture, and science. This period saw the patronage of many scholars and artists, leading to a great flourishing in these fields. Indian painting, poetry, and music flourished under Mughal rule. They are also known for their advancements in medicine, engineering, and mathematics. The Mughal Empire was gradually weakened during the 18th century, and eventually dissolved after the death of its last emperor in 1858.
The Renaissance: The Renaissance, which began in the 14th century in Italy and spread throughout much of Europe, is often credited with being the catalyst of the European Golden Age. This period of rediscovery and innovation saw the emergence of great thinkers such as Galileo, Shakespeare, and Michelangelo. It was a time of great progress in art, science, and philosophy. The Renaissance also saw the rise of modern banking, the discovery of the New World, and the advancement of exploration. The end of the Renaissance is usually marked by the end of the Italian Wars in 1559.