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There is a saying, I heard from my father a long time ago, that the development of man resembles the development of society: the infant resembles the Renaissance, the young person corresponds to the Age of Enlightenment and later to Romanticism, and finally a more mature person that of modern society.

I have used it in birthday speeches with some success, but I don’t see any source for this observation on a Google search.

Where would he have seen or heard about that?

  • I wonder if this wouldn't be better handled on "English Language & Usage". english.stackexchange.com – AllInOne Nov 6 at 14:03
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    On EL&U, there is fierce debate whether "Who first said?" questions are on topic; in its present form, this question would certainly be closed there. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Nov 6 at 14:54
  • FWIW the idea seems like the kind of stuff a late 19th to pre-WW1 social thinker or literary author might suggest. I've no idea which one, but it's definitely not a historian. A historian wouldn't have suggested that classical history didn't matter. And anyone more recent wouldn't have suggested that modern society (which gave us the US Civil War in those days, WW1 and WW2 later on, etc.) resembled anything like a mature adult. – Denis de Bernardy Nov 8 at 11:13
  • Actually I believe my father might have ended the scenario with the era of romanticism. When I think about it I thought it was so obvious it must come from another source. My father didn't present it as his own. Perhaps a literature forum would be more appropriate? – Mikael Jensen Nov 9 at 20:24

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