[LMB] HH chapter 10

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Thu Apr 6 15:35:24 BST 2006


--- Alfred Kelgarries <alfredkelgarries at hotmail.com>
wrote:

> >Wasn't life expectancy at the time of the
> >Goths something like 35 - 40 years, depending? I
> > think I had heard something like that.

You might have heard it; that doesn't mean it's true.
It might just mean that a lot of people died before
they were five years old and a life-expectancy of 40
is therefore the average. It might be based on a very
tiny sampling of evidence. (One graveyard, for
example.) I'd want to see the evidence before I
believed it.

> I agree on the TextEv on his age, but one must
> remember that age figures 
> being low for previous times are *sometimes* based
> on high infant and child 
> mortality rates due to poor sanitation and regular
> plagues. 

And in the case of Goths, at least during their
migrations, very harsh conditions and high levels of
warfare and violence.

> I read in my last history class (FAR too many 
> years ago) in university that if in 1200 
> you lived to be 20 you would live to be 50 or 60,
> unless war or plague got you.

Lots of people lived past 60 or 70. Lots of people
died before the age of 3.  It's difficulty to quantify
or average because no one has a good census from that
time.  We can cite the age at death of known
individuals, but before c. 1150, even that is
difficult - it's hard find records of birth dates.

At least I'm finding it so, researching the Lusignan
family.

namaste,
Elizabeth



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