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N.S. Gill

How Tall Were the Ancients?

By January 21, 2004

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Have you ever wondered how tall the Romans were? How about medieval knights? According to the following study, by Nikola Koepke and Joerg Baten, which shows the annual average height from the first to the eighteenth century, the average height of Europeans, male and female, in the 4th century was about 169 centimeters or about 5.5.
The Biological Standard of Living in Europe During the Last Two Millennia

Comments

October 7, 2008 at 5:16 am
(1) D Anderson says:

169 centimeters is a little over 5′ 6 1/2″, NOT 5′ 5″. That’s a significant difference!

March 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm
(2) Octavian says:

Actually 169cm = 5.54 inch, so 5.5 is OK. If you do not have a calculator just type in Google’s search window: 169 cm in feet
…and you get the answer

August 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm
(3) Michael says:

Actually, Octavian, D Anderson was correct. 169 cm IS 5’6″ and a half, NOT 5’5″. The reason you came up with 5’5″ is because you probably converted 169 cm into FEET not inches. 169 cm IS approximately 5.5 feet. But remember, the number after the decimal is TENTHS, not twelfths. 5.5 feet means 5 and one half feet, NOT 5 feet 5 inches. 5 and one half feet, because feet are divided into, of course 12 inches, IS 5’6″. 169 cm is exactly 66.5354 inches. 5 feet is sixty inches, and the remainder is about 6 and a half inches, therefore 5’6.5″ Please don’t hastily correct someone before you’re certain you’re right. This whole issue arises from the fact that our number system is in tens usually, but that “feet” and “inches” break the general rule by being 1/12.

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