[LMB] HH chapter 10

Peter H. Granzeau pgranzeau at cox.net
Fri Apr 7 01:18:59 BST 2006

At 10:35 AM 4/6/2006, Elizabeth Holden wrote:

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

On the other hand, I have been noticing how many people from history 
(meaning they lived past childhood and lasted long enough to have 
made their mark) died before they reached what we consider retirement 
age, or nearly at that age.  Dickens died at 57.  Beethoven was 
56.  Rembrandt was 63.  William of Orange (King William III of Great 
Britain) died at 52.    There were people who died quite old (Sir 
Christopher Wren, Sir Isaac Newton), of course, but also those who 
died much younger (Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn).  I still believe 
an average for those who lived to 20 was closer to 55 than to 75.

> > 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
>Lois-Bujold mailing list
>Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk

Regards, Pete
pgranzeau at cox.net 

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