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Another almost centenarian example is Enrico Dandolo, the blind Doge of Venice. It's a little iffy whether he counts as a monarch, but he was supposedly 98 when he died in 1205. As the legends go, he was already 84 when elected, and led an army toon the crusades at the age of 9094. For obvious reasons modern historians are quite sceptical, and his real birth date remains unknown.

Another almost centenarian example is Enrico Dandolo, the blind Doge of Venice. It's a little iffy whether he counts as a monarch, but he was supposedly 98 when he died in 1205. As the legends go, he was already 84 when elected, and led an army to the crusades at the age of 90. For obvious reasons modern historians are quite sceptical, and his real birth date remains unknown.

Another almost centenarian example is Enrico Dandolo, the blind Doge of Venice. It's a little iffy whether he counts as a monarch, but he was supposedly 98 when he died in 1205. As the legends go, he was already 84 when elected, and led an army on the crusades at the age of 94. For obvious reasons modern historians are quite sceptical, and his real birth date remains unknown.

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Modern scholars estimate John VI to have been born around 1295, i.e. about 88 when he died in 1383. Wikipedia claims it was as early as 1292, which is evidently the basis for the 91 years claim asserted in @MAGolding's answer. But thiseither way is basically just guessing in the absence of a documented birth.

Modern scholars estimate John VI to have been born around 1295, i.e. about 88 when he died in 1383. Wikipedia claims it was as early as 1292, which is evidently the basis for the 91 years claim asserted in @MAGolding's answer. But this is basically just guessing in the absence of a documented birth.

Modern scholars estimate John VI to have been born around 1295, i.e. about 88 when he died in 1383. Wikipedia claims it was as early as 1292, which is evidently the basis for the 91 years claim asserted in @MAGolding's answer. But either way is basically just guessing in the absence of a documented birth.

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In practice, poor record keeping meant that we don't know the exact year of birth of many rulers, let alone the actual date. Filling in the gaps between fragmentary and sometimes contradictory sources have resulted in quite a few claims of improbably long lived characters, for example the Harold Fairhair mentioned in the question.

AnotherOne particularly egregious example of an alleged centenarian is John VI Kantakouzenos, for whom an incredible 116 year lifespan was once calculated. This is of course quite improbable, and none other than Edward Gibbons noted in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that:

Modern scholars estimate John VI to have been born around 1295, i.e. about 88 when he died in 1383. Wikipedia claims it was as early as 1292 though, which is evidently led to the basis for the 91 years claim asserted in @MAGolding's answer, it's really just guesswork either way. Such imprecise birth years seem to be a common problem with Byzantine emperors, perhaps because many of them rose from obscurity - Justinian the GreatBut this is variously said to have been 483 or 482, for instancebasically just guessing in the absence of a documented birth.

Another almost centenariancentenarian example is Enrico Dandolo, the blind Doge of Venice. It's a little iffy whether he counts as a monarch, but he was supposedly 98 when he died in 1205. As the legends go, he was already 84 when elected, and led an army to the crusades at the age of 90. For obvious reasons modern historians are quite sceptical, and his real birth date remains unknown.

A similar but less extreme example is Grand Duke Kęstutis, which Wikipedia confidently asserts was born in 1297. This would make him leading armies into battles at an improbable 85, when he was defeated by a nephew. In reality, since Wikipedia also states his elder brother Narimantas was born "born in 1277 or just before 1300", even though their father Gedminias was born "ca. 1275", all of these dates should probably be taken with a liberal side of salt.

In practice, poor record keeping meant that we don't know the exact year of birth of many rulers, let alone the actual date. Filling in the gaps between fragmentary and sometimes contradictory sources resulted in quite a few improbably long lived characters, for example the Harold Fairhair mentioned in the question.

Another example of an alleged centenarian is John VI Kantakouzenos, for whom an incredible 116 year lifespan was once calculated. This is of course quite improbable, and none other than Edward Gibbons noted in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that:

Modern scholars estimate John VI to have been born around 1295, i.e. about 88 when he died in 1383. Wikipedia claims it was as early as 1292 though, which evidently led to the 91 years claim asserted in @MAGolding's answer, it's really just guesswork either way. Such imprecise birth years seem to be a common problem with Byzantine emperors, perhaps because many of them rose from obscurity - Justinian the Great is variously said to have been 483 or 482, for instance.

Another almost centenarian example is Enrico Dandolo, the blind Doge of Venice. It's a little iffy whether he counts as a monarch, but he was supposedly 98 when he died in 1205. As the legends go, he was already 84 when elected, and led an army to the crusades at the age of 90. For obvious reasons modern historians are quite sceptical, and his real birth date remains unknown.

In practice, poor record keeping meant that we don't know the exact year of birth of many rulers, let alone the actual date. Filling in the gaps between fragmentary and sometimes contradictory sources have resulted in quite a few claims of improbably long lived characters, for example the Harold Fairhair mentioned in the question.

One particularly egregious example is John VI Kantakouzenos, for whom an incredible 116 year lifespan was once calculated. This is of course quite improbable, and none other than Edward Gibbons noted in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that:

Modern scholars estimate John VI to have been born around 1295, i.e. about 88 when he died in 1383. Wikipedia claims it was as early as 1292, which is evidently the basis for the 91 years claim asserted in @MAGolding's answer. But this is basically just guessing in the absence of a documented birth.

Another almost centenarian example is Enrico Dandolo, the blind Doge of Venice. It's a little iffy whether he counts as a monarch, but he was supposedly 98 when he died in 1205. As the legends go, he was already 84 when elected, and led an army to the crusades at the age of 90. For obvious reasons modern historians are quite sceptical, and his real birth date remains unknown.

A similar but less extreme example is Grand Duke Kęstutis, which Wikipedia confidently asserts was born in 1297. This would make him leading armies into battles at an improbable 85, when he was defeated by a nephew. In reality, since Wikipedia also states his elder brother Narimantas was born "born in 1277 or just before 1300", even though their father Gedminias was born "ca. 1275", all of these dates should probably be taken with a liberal side of salt.

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