Steps of Life


Are you adolescent or middle-aged? Are you on life’s upwardly mobile journey towards the peak years (whatever these may be) or are you spiraling downwards in terminal decline?

The stages of life — from childhood to death — may be the simplistic invention of ancient scholars who sought a way to classify and explain the human condition, but over hundreds of years authors and artists have continued to be drawn to the subject. Our contemporary demographers and market researchers are just the latest in a long line of those who seek to explain, and now monetize, particular groups by age.

So, if you’re fascinated by this somewhat arbitrary chronological classification system the Public Domain Review has a treat. They’ve assembled a fine collection of images from the last five hundred years that depict the different ages of man and woman.

A common representation is to show ages ascending a series of steps from infancy to a peak and then descending towards old-age, senility and death. The image above is a particularly wonderful example of the genre and while the ages are noted in French the categories are not difficult to decipher:

20 years: “Jeunesse”

40 years: “Age de discretion”

50 years: “Age de Maturité”

90 years: “Age de decrépitude”

Image: “Le cours de la vie de l’homme dans ses différents âges”. Early 19th-century print showing stages of life at ten year intervals from 10-90 years as ascending and then descending steps. Courtesy: Wikipedia. Public Domain.

148 thoughts on “Steps of Life”

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  4. You were at the Royal Gorge when you were 14? How cool is that? Probably enjoyed the gorge a whole lot more than I did.Let's see you were 14 in, ah, what year was that? Oh yes, I remember … that makes you … oops! I guess I'd better not say any more!

  5. Steve –Yes Britney can command money at Vegas or appearing at parties (I’m told Paris Hilton gets 100K per party appearance!!)But that’s not “real” money.The real money used to be in records sales, (before Napster/iTunes). Now the music industry has no way to sell to young consumers who were the core of profits. Well, sell at a profit.Who’s going to buy Britney’s music now? Her fans are YouTube laughingstocks. People will AVOID her music.Meanwhile U2 churns out hits reliably, decade after decade.

  6. CStanley Steve, take a deep breath and reread ARs comment because you're misreading much of it- Porkulus, for example, doesn't refer to the healthcare bill, it's a reference to the nonstimulatory ARRA. The Congressmen who are getting earfuls are from districts where people are responding angrily to their votes for huge, expensive bills which don't deliver what they promise, and which were passed before anyone had a chance to read them.

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  8. Actually Monika, same-sex marriage is legal in many countries now (and I believe about 5 States in the USA). Also, if you are going to act like you know it all, then use proper English. Otherwise, your ignorance and lack of class is painfully apparent from your post. Furthermore, and more curiously, if you hate gay couples so much then why are you trolling on this site to begin with????

  9. I have just been made redundant after 30 years working in customer front line services. I believe with all experience.knowledge and skills in that time in dealing with customer complaints and enquires that it would make me a suitable mature candidate to work in retail. I am base in Blackpool and would be intrest in working at by example Marks and Spencer in town centre.


  11. ceea ce mi se pare mai inspaimantator este ca s-a ajuns ca toata lumea sa-si schimbe telefonul anual, ca deh, a iesit un model nou. Am un LG cookie luat acum 4 ani si probabil il mai folosesc, pana crapa. Nu inteleg nebunia asta sa tot iei anual telefon nou, cand oricum nu face nus’ ce in plus. Dar deh, tre’ sa fim la moda 🙂

  12. Yazi gercekten cok guzel olmus.Keske yorumlari okumasaydim.Canim turkiyem gene beni benden aldi.Hayvanlari da bu sekilde algiliyor olabilir mi bu insanlar acaba? Erkek kedi ve bayan kedi..?Bende mi bu erkek grubuna dahilim diye dusunerek utandim.Kadinlarin da neden medeni cesaret gosterip iletisim kurmaya calisan erkekleri tersledigini daha iyi anladim. Cnku bunkar bayanlarla degil kadinlarla tanismak isteyen erkekler oluyormus genelde..Neyse, yaziya sonuna kadar katiliyorum. Yazanin eline saglik.

  13. Hey INTJ Mom!!!I think part of the problem with these afterlife stories is that one person imagines his vision of heaven — and tells everyone that’s the true heaven — but different people have different ideas of what would constitute heaven.

  14. A kínaiak szerint nem az a lényeg, hogy megérkezz az út végére, hanem hogy miközben mész az úton, mennyivel gazdagodsz…Hogy a Micimackó és a Taóból idézzek:Az Út menés.A Tett tevés.Az nem kevés,ha mész az út.

  15. Pior do que os mandantes, só mesmo os capatazes dos mandantes. A esse energúmeno em cima, virtude politica de longa data ao jeito de "puta oferecida", desejo-lhe saúdinha… Bom ano, labajão sem vergonha!!!

  16. One more question Marsha…. How many hours per day do you spend (not counting breaks.) We just started our second week, and I feel like we are not spening enough time. I think we might be getting 2 hours per day in? For a first grader? What do you think?Amy

  17. Palmetto Patriot,I am still unable to post a comment on SAN without joining one of the prescribed “social networks”, which I won’t do. S obe it, but here’s me comment per your 11/27/12 post:Not to mention the demographic change that would take place, which would relieve Texas of much if not most of its unproductive and dependent population and see the arrival of more productive and independent people fleeing the “United States”.

  18. La passe en arrière, lors d’une course, est un contre-temps. De ce retour surgit une brisure; cette oscillation dans l’espace crée une dislocation, l’ineffable,alors, passe, je suis là et pas là.Du magma, du chaos du regroupement, de l’inextricable collectif où adversaires et équipiers se mêlent, métaphore des luttes intérieures, surgit le ballon, le verbe.

  19. Hi Lizzie! This is Amy from The Messy Middle — I updated my blog this weekend but haven’t been able to move subscribers from wordpress. Sigh. So, if you want to keep following me, you’ll need to resubscribe through wordpress ( I’m slowly learning more about technology, that’s for sure … thanks for following! See you this week Amy

  20. Asterion y posibles interesados en cuestiones contestatarias a la Ciencia Oficial : os sugiero pasar por mi blog – – donde he colocado el último comentario : Ampliación.3, “La estafa mas de cerca”, dentro de lo que estoy escribiendo sobre – “La estafa de Einstein” -. Si se engaña de la manera tan elemental y gigantesca que muestro, ¿en que se puede confiar de esta ciencia que no sea aquello en lo que se expresa tecnológicamente?.

  21. How can the black man be the descendant of Cain when Cain lived before Noah? Fools!. . There is a curse on the descendants? of Canaan in the latter years because of a sin he committed against Noah.. Canaan is the son of Ham, Noah’s son, the father of the black man. Canaan’s progeny would be the servant of Shem, the father of white people. This curse does not pertain to all blacks, just the descendants of Canaan. This prophecy has already passed.. . This has nothing to do with Cain & Abel.

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  24. that Komal has faulted on few (least amongst all trade experts) occasions when he has predicted failure, but if he says WINNER it is a winner.And by now NG has moved on from Komal on this one’s paylist and against that. Komal allegedly (highest percentage allegations wise) on Karan-SRK paylist has by and large been ripping every SRK-Karan project starting with KANK and also Billu.Komal was also the first (before release) who predicted all and also National for Big B in Paa.

  25. Wegs for President!October 11, 2011 at 12:09 pmI’m still using my old Nokia. I don’t complain about smartphones because I’m well aware of the futility of upgrading every other year to get the newest, shiniest communications device. I DON’T NEED A STATUS SYMBOL IN MY POCKET. I ALREADY HAVE A BIG PENIS.

  26. Euh…. je viens un peu tard pour cause de vacances prolongees n’ai pas bien senti ou etait l’humour dans ce billet, franchement je n’ai pas ri du tout a ce « minute par minute » (copyright).J’espere que tu feras mieux la prochaine fois!au revoir

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  29. Isn’t this so true, even for a mom who wishes her daughter was exactly like herself… God is challenging all of us to dig deeper and celebrate the individuals He delights in… This is beautifully put, Joe!!1 It’s so neat to see what the Lord is doing in and through you! AMEN!!!

  30. What about a thumbs up, thumbs down type thing, with a bar in the middle showing the balance, down being on far right, up being far left, and a bar indicating where the majority of the votes are. Kind of like the stars are doing now since people mostly only rate 1 or 5 stars.

  31. N’empêche….Admettons, pour la discussion, que le problème, c’est qu’on est trop « difficile » (pour ce que ça veut dire).On fait quoi alors? On couche/se met en couple avec quelqu’un alors QU’ON EN A PAS ENVIE? Me semble que c’est pas le but recherché….« La bandaison, papa, ça ne se commande pas. »(Brassens)*on jase*

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  34. Denok : Si dans un discours célèbre Baldur von Schirach a bien prononcé la phrase que vous dites, il ne faisait que citer une réplique de la pièce du dramaturge nazi Hanns Jost : *Schlageter*. Encore l’exaltation d’un martyr pour la bonne cause, puisque Leo Schlageter (d’ailleurs militant communiste !) avait été exécuté pour sabotage par les Français pendant l’occupation de la Ruhr… ce qui ne nous dispense pas aujourd’hui de rendre à César ce qui est à César !

  35. Quit with the fear-mongering already. We’ve already been told the Galactics have told us where all the traps were located and they have been removed/disarmed. This whole Olympics thing is just a diversion from other things going on. It’s just fear-mongering by the cabal to convince us we’re insignificant, powerless and at their mercy. They thrive on fear and angst. We’re just laughing at their last ditch efforts. It’s pathetic, really. They’re going DOWN. FAST.

  36. Thank you for making that point! The drum does need to be in place for the blower to properly draw the heat away from the hi-limit thermostat which will kick the burner off after about 10-15 seconds if the duct is clogged or the appliance is open not allowing the blower to pull heat. Sorry I didn’t make that more clear! Congratulations! Thanks for the comment!

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  38. Matt -I assume this is a review of the Standard Version. I purchased the Deluxe version (1st printing) and was not happy with the quality (the printing on wood was uneven and the box had some structural issues).I think the game itself is amazing, but I'd recommend the standard version unless things have changed a lot.

  39. I am in bed, speechless and with tears mostly because this is the stuff I wanted to say to you when the marathon got canceled. Namely, everything after the snap of you in the sheet. And you knew it already. I think running carries all of us in that way.Run like the wind this weekend. Xx

  40. Con’t [14];people who got in the game in the 90′s era or earlier … can trade up or downsize with a nice equity cushion. Meanwhile the person buying their ‘starter’ home from them is using a 3.5% FHA.Another example of The Locust Generation eating their young.

  41. "Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Experience." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++You clowns could learn a lot by ignoring your theories and looking out the window once in a while.None of this has convinced me that the 407,000 jobs are net jobs.Look out the window.

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  43. Det er en super sej løsning, men tror du, at du fÃ¥r din kæreste med pÃ¥ den:)Jeg har faktisk alt i basis-guiden, minus en læderjakke, men synes ikke det er til at finde en jeg kan li til en ok pris.NÃ¥ ja, og sÃ¥ ejer jeg heller ikke en t-shirt kjole, for den fÃ¥r kun sÃ¥n en som mig til at se gravid ud, haha…

  44. , “That’s OK daddy, I understand.” And that was the end of that.All of the “difficult” talks we’ve had since, like sex and condoms and stuff, have been a piece of cake because I went into them assuming that she was capable of understanding anything presented to her.I’ll just bet Nico can handle anything you can throw at him. Did I mention what an amazing artist he is??? 🙂

  45. Well, can you leave dairy products, dough with yeast which grows fungus, perishable sauce, ect. out for days and eat it? hmmm, no. But i’ve done it before! Lolz. Some urban myth, more like a joke. My friend tricked me into eating mold once on pizza, and personally cold pizza probably soggy doesn’t sound very tasty to me.

  46. My husband and I share our Canada Pension Plan Income. My husband took some part-time work and now collects Emplloyment Insurance. However they are now clawing back part of his CPP — which is only as high as it is since we share and my income was always the highest. Is there anything I can do?

  47. Hi Nathan,I’m using the free custom post type UI plugin. I’ve managed to complete every stage apart from I can’t understand where to find the Field IDs with this plugin to enable loopbuddy to work with the custom post type.I know you did say that it should work with any custom post type plugin but I’m tearing my hair out with this trying to find where the field IDs are hiding! Any help would be much appreciated and I might still just have some hair left :-}Many Thanks,Dave

  48. Vi har den samme smag i brudekjoler! De er simpelthen så flotte dem du har valgt frem. Jeg er især vild med de to nederst til højre. Deres form er helt perfekt og så skuller der være blonder på dem. Lidt vintage-agtigte brudekjoler er jeg vild med Det bliver spændende at se hvordan din kommer til at se ud! Du bliver en smuk brud

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