Were Alexander the Great and average Greek men really 5 feet tall? When they saw foreigners, how tall were the "giants".

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· 2y · Stickied commentLocked
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· 2y · edited 2y

According to anthropologist John Lawerence Angel the average height of a Greek Male was 162-65cm or roughly 5'3 to 5'4. This was seemingly validated even further at excavations at a necropolis.

"The Metapontion necropolins ... revealed that the average height of adult males was between 162 and 165 cm, that of females between 153 and 156 cm, and with a body weight of approximately 60-65 kg for males and 50-55 kg for females; in other words, the findings of earlier examinations were soundly confirmed in this respect.

**~ Kagan, Donald, and Gregory F. Viggiano, eds. Men of Bronze: Hoplite Warfare in Ancient Greece, Pg 167, Princeton University Press, 2013.**

Now, we don't have an exact height unfournately for Alexander himself but we do have some clues that could indicate that he wasn't as tall as some of his peers. I think this excerpt from Robin Lane Fox sums it up nicely.

He was smaller than Haephiastion, the man he loved, and he may well have been smaller than almost anyone else, when he sat on the throne of the Persian king, he required a table** not a stool, for his feet, and although the throne was designed to be high, this suggests a definite shortness of leg. His only measurement was given in the fictious Romance of Alexander, where is he said to have been three cubits, or four feet and six inches high; this surely can not be correct, nor can it confirm his historical smallness, although legend liked to play on the theme that the world's great conqueror was reduced to a mere three cubits on Earth. Only in German myth was Alexander redembered as king of the dwarfs, and it would explain his ambition on the assumption that he was unsually small."

**~ Robin Lane Fox, Alexander The Great, Pg 28**

So, we have no real concrete height of Alexander and many sources may have downplayed his height to fit a type of Napolenic Complex like model. However, as Fox states he did require a table and was smaller than Haepestion so while he was smaller then average we can't can't give an accurate estimate but he was likely in the early 5ft range.

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Now as for giants, this is likely going off Plutatchs account of Porus' height as he was tall enough to make riding on an Elephant made it look suitable to him like an average man on a horse. This along with Arrian's accounts of Celt who towered over Alexander who's main fear was the "sky falling on their heads." So giants for the Greeks would've been anyone in the 6ft range or over.