Saturday, November 29, 2008

Speaking of ancient learning ...

It was not senex, but senior that was anything over 40. Of course, not even "anything over" since it was not the last age of a man.

Fr Ambrose is right to believe his patron Saint, St Ambrose, but might want to get the philological matters right in reading him.

I too was wrong and apologised for it, Centurio correcting me on Emperors' dates and so.

PS: I think the limit between senior and senex was not 60 after all but 65. That giving a fair space of time before the last of ages before death.

1 comment:

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Here are the ages according to four authorities.

Two agree, namely Sts Augustine and Isidor of Sevilla:
1 Infantia - to 7
2 Pueritia - to emission of semen or 14
3 Adolescentia - to beard or 24
4 Iuventus - to 50
5 Gravitas, aetas seniorum - to 70
6 Senectus, aetas senum - to death.

St Bede calls 5 senectus and 6 aetas decrepita.

The author of De Hebdomadibus (a Greek, probably from pagan times) gives these limits:

1 Puerulus - to 7
2 Puer - to emission of semen or 14
3 Adolescens - to beardgrowth or 21
4 Iuvenis - to 35
5 Vir - to 49
6 Senior - to 63
7 Senex - to 98 (death).

Cited in Dictionnaire Raisonné du Moyen Age Occidental by editors Jacques Le Goff and Jean-Claude Schmitt.