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Eighteen - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
January 24th, 2004
08:28 pm

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Eighteen
What is the reason for eighteen being a meaningful age in social contexts in many human cultures, from Classical Greece to many modern states? Why eighteen?

Current Mood: curious
Current Music: Handel -- The Messiah [Ton Koopman]

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From:ygurvitz
Date:January 24th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)

It's actually more modern than you might think

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For instance, the last US Constitutional amendment, passed in 1976, declared that voting age will be 18 in all states. Prior to that, some states made it 21 (and some states still sell alcohol, for instance, only to people over 21 years old). And minimum marriage age can be 16 or 17 in some places (in Israel, for instance, it's 17).

Why 18? Good question. We can be certain, however, that the fact that it is *precisely* the half of 36; *precisely* 3 times six and 2 times 9 - has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
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From:passacaglio
Date:January 24th, 2004 07:50 pm (UTC)

Re: It's actually more modern than you might think

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I thought age-restricting alcohol vending rules are federal.
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From:jdm314
Date:January 24th, 2004 07:59 pm (UTC)

Re: It's actually more modern than you might think

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They are now.

Ijon, I hadn't heard about 18 in the Greek context. What's the locus classicus on that?
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From:ukelele
Date:January 24th, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)

Re: It's actually more modern than you might think

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Isn't that the breakpoint for ephebes?
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From:ijon
Date:January 24th, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC)

Re: It's actually more modern than you might think

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Precisely! See here, jdm314.
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From:ukelele
Date:January 24th, 2004 08:07 pm (UTC)

Re: It's actually more modern than you might think

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Also, excellent icon.
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From:jdm314
Date:January 24th, 2004 07:58 pm (UTC)

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גמטריה
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From:ijon
Date:January 25th, 2004 12:21 am (UTC)
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Oh, I doubt it.
From:batgirl1536
Date:January 24th, 2004 11:37 pm (UTC)
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chai?
From:pelig
Date:January 25th, 2004 12:46 am (UTC)

Yes please.

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(sorry, couldn't help it)
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