From The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume One (1776) by Edward Gibbon:
If a man were called to fix the 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 death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom.
From Arguing with Zombies (2020) by Paul Krugman:
If you had to identify a place and time where the humanitarian dream – the vision of a society offering decent lives to all its members – came closest to realization, that place and time would surely be Western Europe in the six decades after World War II. It was one of history’s miracles: a continent ravaged by dictatorship, genocide, and war transformed itself into a model of democracy and broadly shared prosperity.