The best age; as the golden age of innocence, the golden age of literature. Chronologers divide the time between Creation and the birth of Christ into ages; Hesiod describes five, and Lord Byron adds a sixth, “The Age of Bronze.” (See Age, Augustan.)
i. The Golden Age of Ancient Nations:
(1) NEW ASSYRIAN EMPIRE. From the reign of Esar-haddon or Assur Adon (Assyria's prince), third son of Sennacherib, to the end of Sarac's reign (B.C. 691-606).
(2) CHALDÆO—BABYLONIAN EMPIRE. From the reign of Nabopolassar or Nebo-pul-Assur (Nebo the great Assyrian) to that of Belshazzar or Bel-shah-Assur (Bel king-of Assyria) (B.C. 606-538).
(3) CHINA. The Tang dynasty (626-684), and especially the reign of Tae-tsong (618-626).
(4) EGYPT. The reigns of Sethos I. and Rameses II. (B.C. 1336-1224).
(5) MEDIA. The reign of Cyaxares or Kai-ax-Arës (the-king son-of “Mars”) (B.C. 634-594).
(6) PERSIA. The reigns of Khosru I., and II. (531-628).
ii. The Golden Age of Modern Nations.
(1) ENGLAND. The reign of Elizabeth (1558-1603).
(2) FRANCE. Part of the reigns of Louis XIV. and XV. (1640-1740).
(3) GERMANY. The reign of Charles V. (1519-1558).
(4) PORTUGAL. From John I. to the close of Sebastian's reign (1383-1578). In 1580 the crown was seized by Felipe II. of Spain.
(5) PRUSSIA. The reign of Frederick the Great (1740-1780).
(6) RUSSIA. The reign of Czar Peter the Great (1672-1725).
(7) SPAIN. The reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, when the crowns of Castile and Aragon were united (1474-1516)
(8) SWEDEN. From Gustavus Vasa to the close of the reign of Gustavus Adolphus (1523-1632).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894