Skip to comments.Evidence in the bones reveals rickets in Roman times
Posted on 08/23/2018 12:53:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Rickets is mostly seen as a 19th-century disease, but research has revealed that the Romans also had a big problem with getting enough vitamin D. Researchers from Historic England and McMaster University in Canada examined 2,787 skeletons from 18 cemeteries across the Roman empire and discovered that rickets was a widespread phenomenon 2,000 years ago. Rickets is caused by vitamin D deficiency, often because of a lack of exposure to sunshine... During the three-year project, researchers examined skeletons from northern England to southern Spain, looking for the deformities generally seen in rickets. Evidence for rickets was found in more than one in 20 children, with most cases in infants... Unlike in Victorian times, Roman-period rickets was less common in towns than in cities, apart from one place: Ostia in Italy, a port on the Tiber, which was densely populated with many people living in the equivalent of multi-storey apartment buildings... Mays said: "It shows how important getting out in to the sunshine is. We tend to be a little nervous of getting kids exposed because of the risk of skin cancer and quite rightly so ... but this shows you can take sunlight avoidance too far and I think that was happening in Roman times and they were paying the penalty in cases of rickets."
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
Densely populated place where people live packed together in high rise apartment buildings. Why, it almost sounds like Ostia was also a city.
By “equivalent of multi-storey apartment buildings” is meant “multi-storey apartment buildings” — the Roman empire pretty much invented those. In Rome itself there are probably some of the originals which are still in use, but with modern additions (plumbing, electricity).
I thought they ate tons of CHEESE......................
People from that time had all kinds of maladies. Life was tough with periods of starvation. What was the life expectancy? 40 years?
Infant mortality rate was probably pretty high too.
Folks: quality of life improved a little over 100 year ago with gradual improvements in medicine and food production.
100 years vs the rest of humanity wrought with starvation, diseases, ....
How quickly this can all change, too.
I believe that a number of members of the Bourbon family who ruled France for 200 years before the French Revolution died young from rickets.
They had a higher than modern infant mortality. Life expectancy prabably wasn't that far off the modern valley, perhaps it was ten or so years lower. The most common kind of doctor in the Roman Empire was the eye doctor, probably due to staying indoors (hmm...) and the use of various burning things for lighting (lots of crud in the air). Food supply was great, Roman famine wasn't common at all.
(LOL) You get a cookie.
Yeah, so much in fact, they named their emperors after it -- Julius Cheeser, Cheeser Augustus, I'll stop now.
I listened to a couple of English tourists (who'd not met before) discuss the real origin of cheddar, and how it was illegal (not here, obviously) to sell cheese as cheddar unless it came from the right place. I wanted to ask, which one of you is Wensleydale? But I held off.
EU market rules are such that things historically named for places must come from those places..................
"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" - Charles de Gaulle
Relax, everyone else, we’re just gettin’ started.
Famine. I’ll defer to you. :)
I guess when who and where. I read a story about a man who was supposed to be a gladiator in some fashion. I remember that he was short in stature, 5 ft tall, and had several broken bones that had healed. He was a strong individual based on his frame — larger bones and short, I guess. A nasty person if you ever met him in an alley.
They were able to look at his teeth and conclude that he had several periods in his life where food was in limited supply. Especially while he was a child. They implied and even mentioned that this was common.
As long as the grain ships from Egypt arrived.
One of Vespasian's first moves on his way to becoming Emperor was to secure the grain supply in Egypt.
There were a couple of hiccups with the grain delivery in his reign I seem to recall but I am too lazy to go look them up right now.
Sorry for the double post:
How much our lives have improved in 100 years. I guess the previous thousand or millions depending on your belief system, was “h e double toothpicks!”
Probably made our ancestors hearty and stronger. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Not a fun time to live in and all the more reason why we should appreciate how far that we have come!
Sounds a lot like Heaven!...........................
Ostia was, as I recall, a major port for the Roman navy. As such it was likely populated by a lot of sailors and their families, as well as support people and merchants you'd find in any port. I wonder if the sailors might influence this finding of unusually high cases of rickets for a so-called small town rather than a city (though as I said, it isn't described as a town).
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