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The Age of Gold was one of the so-called 'commonplaces' inherited by the Renaissance from classical antiquity, a myth (taking many different forms) telling of an era of human happiness without war or want. Most writers used it as a convenient device, predicting its return as an age of peace and plenty upon the accession of a ruler or the signing of a treaty: others moralized it as a reformed or spiritually regenerated society. Elizabeth Armstrong's search for an answer to this question has entailed a study of a wide range of possible influences, classical, medieval and contemporary, and an examination of neglected areas of Ronsard's own vast literary output. Most of all an explanation is sought in his temperament and tastes, which made the theme of the Age of Gold at one period in his life a welcome vehicle for poetry expressing his love of freedom and his sensibility to untouched nature.