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Height of the Crusaders,Knights..

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baracuda View Drop Down
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  Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Height of the Crusaders,Knights..
    Posted: 20-May-2005 at 01:50
1.40m / 1.50m in the middle ages?

I know it sounds odd as most films portray otherwise.. but I dont remmember seeing armour for people higher than the above in most european museums I have been to.. (mainly british,french and german) ... (there are but so few (1,2) that its irrelevent)..
funny..no? I wonder the height of the Arabs and the Turks that period also...
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2005 at 08:22
What? No, no, that is definitely wrong, I assure you. This has been studied, and I read an article on the subject not long ago.

Excavated peasant's skeletons reveal them to have been generally of lower stature than the average European today, due to their often poor and by our standards malnutritious diet. This varied though, some places the peasants ate quite well.

As for the knights and nobles you mention, their skeletal remains show us that their height more or less equaled that of today's Western European middle class men. Case closed.

There are also several examples of extraordinarily tall men who lived during the middle ages. Edward I of England (1239-1307) was nicknamed "Longshanks" for his approximately 190 cm. His opponent William Wallace is said to have been quite tall as well.

The viking chief Gange-Rolf, more commonly known as Rollo the founder of Normandy, is told by the sagas to have been so large that no horse could carry him. Thereby his name, which translates to something like Walking-Rolf.

Lastly, not long ago a knight was excavated here in Norway (where I live). In addition to a gash in his head, this guy sported a healthy 189 cm.

Edited by Reginmund
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  Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2005 at 09:18
Well..... example.. height of doorways, rooms in old english houses.. gives a sense that the average height of poeple back then must have been around 1.50 they simply wouldn't have fitted through the doors or had the abbility to stand tall in a room.
Again I know there are long knights.. that were back then but then again.. the majority of the armour I saw was for pretty short people by todays standards..

Vikings.. Norsemen.. etc.. I am not counting them in.. Just the standard countries.. Spain, England,France, Germany, Italy....
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2005 at 09:50
Hehe, yes, the houses have really small doorways don't they? You have to crouch to get in, but so too did the people who once lived in them. The doorways are that small for warmth. In those days without electrical heating and isolation, it was important to preserve the little warmth generated. Large, man-size doorways would let all the heat escape. Same goes for the size of the room; a larger room takes more warmth and more time to heat up. For a peasant family in the temperate regions of Europe this could be a matter of life and death during winter. And remember; peasants were generally smaller than todays Europeans.

Excluding the Norsemen then, the study of excavated skeletons I mentioned is continental. Conducted in France if I remember correctly.

I can't say anything about those suits of armour you saw, I need to see them for myself. Of course, the armour was tailored to suit the man it was intended for, so it's possible the armour you saw was intended for a man below average height. Another possibility is that they were made for young, aspiring knights, boys that is.

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  Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2005 at 10:01
Well the armour I am talking about is most of the British Museum.. in France, various castles.. and Im not talkig about fancy armour.. talking about the ordinary ones..
As for houses..well logical reason I agree must be for warmth.. but not only the doorways are small.. the corridors are narrow and low, the ceiling is low on ground floors of some houses you cant stand at all.. well yes the castles they are larger inside, but houses.. they are tiny.. or maybe Im too big.. but I doubt that.. im only 1.80m
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  Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2005 at 10:08
You're way bigger than the average, European peasant of the middle ages, a bit taller than the average knight too, I guess.

Same thing goes for corridors as well as rooms and doorways.

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  Quote Dawn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2005 at 17:19
there is an interesting article here http://historymedren.about.com/b/a/112443.htm on the topic .
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  Quote Gazi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2005 at 16:15

Originally posted by baracuda



  I wonder the height of the Arabs and the Turks that period also...

I have read that old Turcomans were pretty short.I think this is the result of spending their life on horseback.(although the scarce food they found on the steppes may also have an effect.)Arabs might have been a bit taller, but lets face it...not many people of that age would be able to join the NBA

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  Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2005 at 16:45
"Gazi" - Actually height seems to be dependant of heat or cold climates.. nothern people living in a cooler climate being heigher than the poeple living in hot climates.. well at least thats what I've understood from the beliefs of some scientists whose works are on the inet..

(although there are erros with the chukchi's or eskimo's with this idea..)

Edited by baracuda
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  Quote Gazi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2005 at 12:17
So the Turcomans were taller when they were in the steppes but they became shorter when they settled in the warmer middle east?
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  Quote John the Kern Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2005 at 09:15
most armour we have today from "the good old days" was made for older boys in there teens, 13-16, before they stopped growing. there mansized battle armour would be batterted as hell by the time they where 30
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  Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2005 at 12:41
But what about the houses? little houses for big people? for heat, n economy?

I mean the streets in older parts of europe are really narrow, the old houses in england, I doubt any one over 1.70 can be happy standing in the 1st floor.. corridors mainly are very small...

I mean teens it could explain the armour.. but it wont explain the housing..
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  Quote violentjack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-May-2006 at 14:18
People were smaller then,true.Richard Lionheart was described as tall fellow,so i dont know if thats true.Tzar Petar of Russia was giant of a man who was 198 cm tall or 6.6,he towered over everybody.And im just meager 185 cm tall,so imagine when people were much shorter finding such tall people.Its like Karem Abdul Jabar of the day
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2006 at 08:30

I f we talk about heigh Bulgarian king Kaloian - 1197-1207 was nearly 2m tall

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  Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2006 at 08:45
People back in the middle ages were shorter. When I went to the Heinsberg museum, in Germany with my school, about 3 years ago, they showed us many medieval weapons and armour. The museum guy there took from a closet a chain mail armour of the 13th century. He looked around and gave it to classmate of mine to wear it. This classmate back then was about 1,65 m, and the museum guy chose him because the average size of the 13th century man was like his, and the armour fit quite well on him. Today the average German would be like 1,80+ m.
That's not weird, some decades ago the average size of a Greek 18 year old soldier was like 163-167 (depending on the area, poor areas=162-163, rich areas and Crete 168-170).
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  Quote tadamson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2006 at 10:49
You might find this article interesting...

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/medimen.htm

The book is fascinating.
rgds.

      Tom..
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  Quote shurite7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-May-2006 at 01:39
Interesting article.  Thanks Tom.
 
 
Cheers

Chris
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