Wednesday, July 15, 2015

"[Noble families] disappeared all the time—so much that historians at one point estimated the half-life of nobility"

In both Europe and China, the average family would rise up and sink back down in four to six generations. The Roman Republic, between 500 BC and 27 BC, did better, as a little under one third of its top fifty families were still on top after five hundred years. But in Medieval Europe, out of any given group of noble families, fifty percent would be eliminated one way or another by the next century.