the school of athens
The School of Athens, a Renaissance-era fresco by Italian artist Raphael. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If you weren’t living in the 21st century, when and where would you prefer to reside?

Click start to play today’s Crossword, where ‘era’ is the answer to one of the clues.

The modern age has a lot going for it – electric cars, hot water in the shower, and sliced bread to name a few. But there have been many historical eras full of peace, prosperity and rapid cultural growth – all around the world. If you had a time machine, which era would tempt you the most?

Here are three that stood out for us:

1. Ancient Egyptian Dynasty, 1,100BC

The ancient Egyptians were far ahead of their time in a number of fields – from science and technology to architecture and medicine. They even had access to inventions that are commonplace today, like toothpaste, board games and make-up. Ordinary people lived well, and historians have found that they had access to education, sports, leisure activities and healthcare. The best part? It was a great place to be a woman, to a considerable extent, since men considered them to be their equals, and women were able to pursue a range of professions, like doctors and scribes.

2. Baghdad, eighth century

As the centre for learning during the Islamic Golden Age, and its opportune location as a trade hub, Baghdad saw incredibly prosperity and wealth, and was covered with parks, bazaars, fountains, mosques and schools in the eighth century. Baghdad’s House of Wisdom, a massive private library (or a public academy – historians can’t be sure), especially drew intellectuals from around the reigning Abbasid empire. People from all faiths came together to translate famous works and expand knowledge in almost every possible field, from mathematics to geography. The scholars were so valued, the government paid them salaries that were equivalent to today’s sport stars!

3. Renaissance Italy, 15th and 16th centuries

Although this era was arguably the best time in history to be alive to experience cultural and artistic prosperity, it came about after a period of great tragedy. The Black Death wiped out over a third of Europe’s population in the 1340s. In the aftermath, because so many people had died, workers were able to demand fairer treatment and higher wages. The economy thrived, and Italy experienced an economic, cultural and artistic rebirth. A bonus? The era saw pioneers like Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei – so that’s pretty great company to keep.

Is there another era you would like to visit? Play today’s Crossword and tell us at