How tall were the Romans?

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Salem Alshdaifat:
for the Roman as people they were as tall as us now, they werent gaint  :afro:
I have the chance to examin a cave with around 35 wall graves for a family  once while an American students and teachers were removing the cover of that cave and I saw that the skelitons is exactuly the same size as the people now.

Howard Cole:
I remember reading some place that the knights of the middle ages were aroung 5 feet 5 inches tall, based on surviving armor.  They were usually the best fed and biggest people around.

I also know that the ancient Chamorros, the natives of the island I live on, were about 5 feet 6 to 8 inches tall and were considered gaints when the Spanish settled here in the early 1600's. 

I know this has nothing to do with Rome or Greece, but it does give some idea of what may have been the size in the past.  As for web sites about the height of person that live during the time of Rome or in ancient Greece, I can't find anything.

One last point, nutrition has a lot to do with height, along with genetics.  For example, before World War II, the people of Japan were fairly short.  This was mainly because of a diet consisting of mainly vegatables and noodles, with very little meat.  After World War II, meat became more common in the Japanese diet and now they are a lot taller.  So one must also consider the diet of the people when looking at height.

Lately, I went to the Herculaneum exhibition at Haltern, Germany, where a group of victims of the volcanic catastrophe of 69 AD was presented. During the excavation of the boat-houses along the former coastline about 300 victims have been found, representing about 10 % of the inhabitants of the city which is a good sample fo further clues. The catalogue named the average height of the excavated men with 160 cm (5 ft. 3 inches), the average height of women with 150 cm (4 ft. 11 inches). Most of the group were considered to be members of the lower classes though. Therefore, the real average height might have been a bit taller. Still, nobody has to imagine Julius Caesar as being 5 ft 3 or so: Suetonius reports that he was rather tall. As Suetonius himself was writing from the point of view of the higher classes, Caesar might well have been up to 6 ft.

Best regards


well, wander round many of the old parts of Britain and you always need to stoop when going through the doorways...  The ceilings are very low!  That considered, the average Roman probably had a better diet than an average medieval British peasant...

The Romans were supposed to be smaller than the Celts but I'd say that diet has a lot to do with it.  A noble aristocratic Roman would probably eat like a normal person nowadays but I did hear somewhere that the noble Celts ate a diet with a lot of meat so they were probably tall as well...

William Wallace, the 13th Century Scottish freedom fighter, was supposed to be 6 foot 10 and his sword is around 5 foot long!  Also his feet scraped the dirt when he was on a horse!  Propaganda but who knows?

Scotland even at the beginning of the first world war in 1914 had a regiment of soldiers that were known as the "bantams" because they were raised in the slums and were tiny even for then!  I think they were all around 5 foot tall...

As Howard said about the Japanese, the height of people has only really increased recently.  My grandad born in 1905 was 5 foot 4, my father born in 1949 is 5 foot 7 and I am 5 foot 10.

All those refined carbohydrates have to go somewhere!!!

Apologies that there is little about the Romans here but it is a fascinating subject... 

Have you heard that Maximinus was like 8 feet and a few inches or something?  I am pretty sure you  can judge about the height  by face/head  features, may be doctors can help


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