Does Edward Gibbons’ claim that the best time to live in history was during the golden age of the Roman Empire have merit?

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Edward Gibbons writes:

If a man were called upon to fix that period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the deaths of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.

Gibbons further explains his reasoning seen here:

The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded involuntary respect.The forms of the civil administration were carefully preserved by Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, and were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws. Such princes deserved the honor of restoring the republic, had the Romans of their days been capable of enjoying a rational freedom

I understand that his work is generally seen as outdated and obsolete but do you believe that the golden age of Rome really is the best time to live? If not under the Roman Empire, which time period and/or location do you think is the best time live?

Source: reddit post


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