If we are to call any age golden, it is beyond doubt that age which brings forth golden talents in different places. That such is true of this our age [no one] will hardly doubt. For this century, like a golden age, has restored to light the liberal arts, which were almost extinct: grammar, poetry, rhetoric, painting, sculpture, architecture, music ... and all this in Florence. Achieving what had been honored among the ancients, but almost forgotten since, the age has joined wisdom with eloquence, and prudence with the military art.... This century appears to have perfected astronomy, in Florence it has recalled the Platonic teaching from darkness into light ... and in Germany ... [there] have been invented the instruments for printing books.
— Marcilio Ficino, from a letter to a friend (1492).