Contents

Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]


Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]


Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…


Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]


Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.


Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland


Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.


Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.


Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.


Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.


False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.


Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.


Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.


Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…


Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche

Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device


The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Medieval Height

Seated Bishop by Tilman Riemenschneider, The Cloisters Museum - By Flickr user Asterix611 and used under a creative commons licence

Seated Bishop by Tilman Riemenschneider, The Cloisters Museum - By Flickr user Asterix611 and used under a creative commons licence

The figures never lie. But then again there are “lies, damned lies and statistics“.

So bearing that in mind, take note that the information below may be factually correct (or at least somewhat so). It could also be wrong, if the data has been misinterpreted over time.

Cereals

Human height yo-yos over time and social strata. Professor Robert Bartlett presents a startling fact about medieval Europe. He contends (based on what survey? – see footnotes) that when medieval European farmers turned to more efficient grain-based food production more people were fed with greater ease. What is interesting in this fact is that this resulted in a shorter population – after the switch to agrarian predominant farming the population’s average height shrank by approximately 5 centimetres.

With the growth of a cereal based diet, protein featured in a lower ratio in people’s everyday calorific intake. Cereals came in, and pushed animal proteins out, to a certain extent. Protein consumption should, however, be relatively high for an individual to realise their optimum genetically programmed height. The social environment and its attendant features ought also be taken into account – for example its hard to eat properly when the countryside is ravaged by war, disease spreads faster in urban areas.

Due to our diets and general health now, the shrinking didn’t last. We are taller, better fed and healthier than ever before.

Footnotes
Here Professor Bartlett is drawing our attention to the findings in Helmut Wurm’s “Korpergrosse und Ernahrung der Deutschen in Mittelalter” in Mensch und Umwelt in Mittelalter (Stuttgart 1986) which was edited by Bern Herrman.

Bibliography
Heights across the ages
Canada’s Macleans on why Canadians are taller than Americans
Interpreting the archaeological record
The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950 – 1350, Robert Bartlett, Penguin, 2003

This article was posted by on Thursday, March 17th, 2011 at 12:51.
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