77

Art does not exist in a vacuum, but is rather only one part of the historical record. Just as people comment on our modern standard of beauty today, so does early modern writers on theirs. Fortunately, Baroque art dates from a recent enough period that the historical record is extensive. For example, a 17th century commentary on a Van Dyck portrait of a ...


45

The film said this un-extraordinary working man had the vote, my calculations show it was possible he had the vote. But the 1918 act gave "working men the vote". So one of these 2 statements must be wrong, why didn't working men already have the vote in 1918? These statements are not as contradictory as you seem to think. The key here is that "working men" ...


25

A lot of the paintings were commissioned as portraits, why would people pay for themselves to be depicted in an ugly way? Wealth nowadays is associated with a slim, tanned, and shaped body because those are traits of people who have enough free time, and money to achieve it. In that period, it would be the reverse, being more on the fat side would require ...


20

Marxist Theory Marxism, as taught and practiced in the USSR, claims that human society consists of base: economic structure (ownership of means of production, relationships between the owners and workers, technology envolved &c) superstructure: "culture" (politics, laws, rituals &c) and the base determines the nature of the superstructure. ...


19

In his book "A Social History of the Navy 1793-1815", Michael Lewis gives the following breakdown of the background of Navy officers based on their parents' social status. Social Status of R.N. Officers' Parents, 1793-1815* A. Titled People Total Percentage 1. Peers 131 7.3% 2. Baronets 85 4.7% B. ...


18

Well here is an African example of the darker the better. Southern Africa was invaded from the north by black tribes (intentionally no names as there were a number) who then oppressed the lighter skinned San, Koisan etc. The conquering tribes were agriculturalists while the indigenous people were mainly hunter gatherers. The black tribes also worked metal ...


18

The Wikipedia article about life expectancy incudes the following: Life expectancy increases with age as the individual survives the higher mortality rates associated with childhood. For instance, the table above listed the life expectancy at birth among 13th-century English nobles at 30. Having survived until the age of 21, a male member of the ...


13

It was more. In 2006 Walter Schiedel wrote an interesting working paper on Roman incomes ("New ways of studying incomes in the Roman economy") which you can find on the web. However, Schiedel's paper just scratches the surface. When Cicero, a very frugal and honest man, ruled as governor of Cilicia, a relatively poor province, he made 2.1 million sesterces, ...


13

Q How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty? Do we really? We don't. The anthropological constant to be observed is: "women are considered 'attractive' if: young and healthy" (both more or less relating to fecundity; Whether socio-biological, evolutionary, or just cynical): Differences in the historical record ...


12

Scholars have noted that pre-agricultural societies often have more egalitarian gender norms than agricultural societies. This had led to theories that agriculture led to the development of inegalitarian gender norms, because it privileged men's body strength. A more refined version of thesis was first posited by Ester Boserup in "Woman's Role in Economic ...


12

In his momentous study L'origine des systèmes familiaux, Emmanuel Todd notes that, to the best of a rather sparse archival knowledge, first, the status of women in Eurasia in the 5000BC-1500CE interval seems to historically follow a lowering trajectory, second, this lowering trajectory seems to proceed in a top/down fashion and, third, the adoption of anti-...


11

Ancient Greece isn't as cohesive as Ancient Rome, each city-state had its own social structures. I'll concentrate this answer to Athens only, and try to give you at least another answer for Sparta. The earliest known division of the Athenian society is ascribed to Theseus, the city's legendary founder, with three basic classes: Eupatridae The nobility, ...


10

In China, there were warriors similar to ronin - the xia. As a link, I found only those regarding their philosophy or literature about them. GURPS Martial Arts (it's no solid historical work and I didn't manage to find any better source) states they were more like Robin Hood than Lancelot - they were not upper class like samurai. Korean Hwarang are ...


9

Slaves and prostitutes weren't of such a low status modern people like to assume. At least, not all of them. Also, some actors (like senators or even the 'bad' emperors, like Nero, and others fighting in the arena) could be famed and disregarded at the same time. Just like the virile sex symbols that were the gladiators. By law, gladiators were not ...


8

There is a Chinese saying (in pinyin), "Hao tie bu da ding, hao ren bu dang bing." (Good iron is not used to make nails. Good men do not become soldiers.) For most of Chinese history, soldiers were vilified, rather than honored. Hence, they would not generally be regarded as members of the upper class, which was occupied by landowners and philosophers. ...


8

It's important to remember that the concept of "white people" (or fair-skinned people) as a single, all-encompassing term for Caucasians is a fairly recent development. As recently as a hundred years ago (or even today, in super-conservative areas), "white people" meant Anglo-Saxons, exclusively. People as closely-related as Irish or Germans may not have ...


8

I remember a British TV episode where someone sarcastically remarked on the majestic equality of English law, where the millionaire and homeless man are equally forbidden to sleep under bridges. That is similar to the Marxist view expressed in "class basis of law" that the laws in Capitalistic society are more for the benefit of the upper classes than the ...


7

The first problem is that you're reading a textbook. Textbooks are not ways in which historical research is reported; they're primarily teaching tools and are highly criticised and considered bad for teaching in some systems. Your textbook gives us some clues about how the authors are using "class," a complex theoretical tool. as Marx stressed…middle-...


7

The slaveholding colonies and states of the American South are one such example, where the slaveholding class used illiteracy as a way to make it easier to control the enslaved population. An act from South Carolina of 1740 made it a fineable offense to teach slaves to read or write: Whereas, the having slaves taught to write, or suffering them to be ...


7

In the 19th century U.S., there were basically two types of "gentlemen." The first was the landed gentry. Obvious enough, the idea came from England and Europe generally. This may have represented 1% of the population. The second type was "professional" men; doctor, lawyer, scientist, all with university degrees. These were expensive in terms of money and "...


7

All men over 21, with no property restrictions, and women over 30 or some property owning women. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representation_of_the_People_Act_1918


7

Apparently, it is still valid. If you can read Spanish and you have a stomach for legalese, you can try to digest this. It is a relatively long but definitely dull exposition on what you should do in case that you wanted to prove your status of "hidalgo" in modern XXIth century Spain. I've browsed diagonally the document, and the TL;DR; version of ...


7

The other answers touch on this point, but I think it needs to be emphasized: The quote in the question demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of the concept of average life expectancy. Overall average life expectancy is less meaningful than average life expectancy at a given age. The average life expectancy at birth was much lower than it is today, but that ...


6

The upper classes who stayed wealthy did so because of their economic practices. The global economy today is a recent invention; economies tended to have less interaction on a broader scale in the past. Thus, there was an even more immediate feel of the zero-sum game (my gain comes from your loss) in ancient times. One way for a person to make the initial ...


5

I interpret the question as, "where and when in world history, was the lack of literacy of a population held against it, despite other qualities? One example was in 14th century England, where religious dissenters known as "lollards" were attacked, not for their religious beliefs (per se), but for the ignorance (of Latin) and the Latin catechism. Another ...


5

Merchants during the feudal system, tended to be Jews or other "foreigners." Lombards, Genovese and Venetians, (from the most entrepreneurial parts of Italy), and Greeks, tended to perform this function in northern Europe, Dutch (and other western Europeans) in Eastern Europe, etc. Merchants were basically independent of the feudal system, being neither ...


5

France seems to hung on to the tradition longer than other places. It was still occurring in France with regularity before ww1. Perhaps it the slaughter of ww1 brought about the sharp decline after the war. Georges Clemenceau french leader during war fought duels 1892,duelled the author and Boulangist Paul Déroulède with pistols. http://en.wikipedia.org/...


5

There is a very detailed discussion of this issue on pages 281-284 of Законы о состояниях (Св. зак., т. IX изд. 1899 г., по прод 1906, 1908 и 1909 гг.). / Сост. Я.А.Канторович. — СПб.: Право, 1911. — 1032 с.. In short: The status of children of clergy depended on the type of clergy, on clergy's education, on the region of residence, etc. For instance, ...


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