A citizen of Byzantium in the «valley of the shadow of death» (Psalm 22:4)

Prof. S. B. Sorochan

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

The article attempts to generalize the ideas of specialists in Byzantine Studies about the causes and levels of mortality in Byzantium. Studies show that the average life expectancy was quite typical of ancient and medieval society and did not differ from the Neolithic era. Usually death occurred within 20-40 years, in the most productive period of life. Thus, Byzantine society remained quite young. With a high birth rate, the number of children who reached adulthood usually did not exceed two per family. Premature deaths were caused by epidemics of infectious diseases, environmental, natural disasters, accidents, murders, and wars. In the last case, 90% of the deaths were due to disease, starvation and cold, and not to the battle. In general, the Byzantine rulers, representatives of secular and ecclesiastical authorities behaved very wisely, trying to avoid excessive violence and human loss.

Key Words: Byzantium, life expectancy, birth rate, mortality, diseases, disasters, demography

https://dx.doi.org/15407/internalmed2021.02b.044

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Cite:

  1. Сорочан, С.Б. Византиец в «долине смертной тени» (Псалом 22:4) // Східноєвропейський журнал внутрішньої та сімейної медицини. – 2021. – № 2(Б). – С. 44-55. doi:15407/internalmed2021.02b.044
  2. Sorochan SB. Vizantiec v «doline smertnoj teni» (Psalom 22:4). [A citizen of Byzantium in the «valley of the shadow of death» (Psalm 22:4)]. Shidnoevr. z. vnutr. simejnoi med. 2021; 2b:44-55. Russian. doi: 0.15407/internalmed2021.02b.044

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