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1183RE: On the trail of hobbits?

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  • Julia Palffy
    Mar 3, 2000
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      Stolzi@... wrote:

      "Thus, our European ancestors were an amazing bunch of hobbits running
      around measuring somewhere in the 2 feet, 2 feet 6 in, 3 feet range?

      I can just imagine the 2-foot-long suits of armor and the 2 1/2-foot-tall
      horses they were using in those days of chivalry... there must be some in

      There is... and it does look a bit large for Hobbits! ;-) though rather too
      small for the average modern man. The range might be more like 5 feet, 5
      feet 10". Still, knights had to be tough. I remember being told in school
      that a knight in full armour would have been carrying 30-35 kgs of metal on
      his body, which considerably hampered their mobility. I also remember a
      display in a museum in England, explaining that their chargers were huge
      horses of the Clydesdale type, because these were the only ones that didn't
      collapse under the weight of the armour (the horse also wore some armoured
      protection of its own, besides having to carry the knight and his stuff,
      which would probably amount to ca. 100 kg).

      Other examples for comparison: in Haworth Parsonage, one of Charlotte
      Bront´┐Ż's actual dresses (adult size) is displayed. She writes somewhere that
      she was undersized, being something under 5 feet, and the dress bears this
      out. The dress is in fact pretty small - today it would barely fit a petite
      10 year-old (You wouldn't believe how tiny that waist is!).

      Still smaller are the petrified Roman bodies that were excavated at Pompeii.
      When you actually see them, it's hard to believe they weren't all children,
      even taking into account that they must have been shrivelled by the hot
      ashes which buried them.
      The Romans were known to be of small stature - but even these must have been
      at least 4 feet tall...

      Also, different European peoples had different average sizes during the same
      period. The Gauls often seemed gigantic to the Romans.

      So, even though people today are as an average somewhat taller than their
      medieval ancestors, that "full meter" difference reads more like a joke from
      Marseille (people there love exaggerating...)than like any kind of serious

      Julia Palffy
      Zug, Switzerland
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