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Ancient and early modern mortality: experience and understanding

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Abstract

This article discusses the various problems associated with the derivation of mortality measures for ancient Greece and Rome. It outlines two new sets of high mortality model life tables that describe the experiences of such populations more effectively than existing models. The issue of ‘demographic borrowing’ is also considered, particularly the use of early modern Europe and East Asia as sources for analogies, together with the ways in which the mortality component of historical demographic regimes has been represented and interpreted.

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