Was their ever a people in European history where life expectancy was similar to Now? 21st century? 70+ years of age? Average or Median?
I realize conventional wisdom would inform us that modern medicine, technological convienences, better food sources, and cleaner water have all made a dramatic improvement to life expectancy in modern times. From 1700 where the average life expectancy in England was 35 years, in America it was 25 years.. to now when it's well eclipsed 70 years.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
Solon replied, “Croesus, you ask me about human affairs, and I know that the divine is entirely grudging and troublesome to us. 2 In a long span of time it is possible to see many things that you do not want to, and to suffer them, too. I set the limit of a man's life at seventy years; 3 these seventy years have twenty-five thousand, two hundred days, leaving out the intercalary month.
Plato, in the Laws
The guardian of the law shall not hold office longer than twenty years, and shall not be less than fifty years of age when he is elected; or if he is elected when he is sixty years of age, he shall hold office for ten years only; and upon the same principle, he must not imagine that he will be permitted to hold such an important office as that of guardian of the laws after he is seventy years of age, if he live so long.
Aristotle, (History of Animals): In the human species, the male is generative(can reproduce), at the longest, up to seventy years, and the female up to fifty; but such extended periods are rare. As a rule, the male is generative up to the age of sixty-five, and to the age of forty-five the female is capable of conception.
Tacitus: A Dialogue on Oratory
from Cicero’s death to our day is a hundred and twenty years, one man’s life-time.
Life expectancy grew world wide to 71.5 years just in 2014. Is their an example of a people in antiquity who's life expectancy was comparable to ours?
I'm looking for a population's life expectancy. I'm not looking for isolated octogenarians or centenarians from history. I'm limiting the question to Europe because they have a sufficiently long well documented history to entertain this question.
I don't question the value of vaccines. However; the first documented case of the measles was in the 9th century. Rubella in the mid 18th century, and cholera in the 19th century. There is no question that as civilizations have risen, germs and diseases have arisen also. A civilization in antiquity wouldn't have the same challenges from diseases we face in the 21st century.
"Sanitation Improvements" absolutely describes the human experience from the 1800's to 21st centuries given population levels, but it is far from clear that they would describe cultures from antiquity who did not have to contend with the same pre and post Industrial Age, population challenges.
As for child mortality, That would affect an average life expectancy comparison, not a median life expectancy comparison. It could be part of an answer.