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Population of Rhemuth

Started by revanne, September 28, 2021, 03:39:09 AM

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Does anyone have any idea of the approximate population of Rhemuth in Kelson's time?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


The population of the capital of Wales at that time was around 2000. I thought that might be comparable. I tried to find the population of Scone in Scotland which was a medieval capital but no luck. Dublin in Ireland had a population of around 4000. Hope this gives you an idea to work from. I didn't think Rhemuth would be a big as London but maybe,
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance


The computer says "At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 London had a population of about 18,000. By the 14th century, it rose to about 45,000. "

Looking at the drawing of Rhemuth on the poster map, I estimate that there are at least 5000 buildings lining the streets,( I am not going to count them all). Giving that there are likely four to ten total people living in each builder(including children and elderly) so let us average four adults per building (parents and at least two of their parents) then 4x 5000 is 20000 adults and say 4 x 5000 children is 20000 children(is that too many?).   so a total population of 40,000.  which is close to London in the 14th century. Rhemuth has been said to be architecturally closer to 14th century.

So my best guess for Rhemuth is 30,000 to 40,000 with half being children.
May your horses have wings and fly!


Thank you,

I had forgotten the map, that's really helpful.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


I would have thought London is a good comparison - I may be wrong, but offhand, London is sited as the highest spot on the Thames where sea-going ships can reach (although barges can go further) and I think Rhemuth is in a similar spot with regard to the Eiran.

Throw in that Rhemuth grew out of and around an old Byzantum town-outpost much as London did from a Roman one (there's a note in the codex that Rhemuth has the same layout as a city down in Bremagne (millflower), which suggests the Byzantums had a standard template for how to lay out a frontier town, much as the Romans did.


Thanks Drakensis,  I had wondered about the layout of the city being the same as Millflower in Bremagne,  But I did not get the reference as to why that would be. I didn't know the Romans/Byzantums had templates for towns.  Very interesting.
May your horses have wings and fly!


The grid pattern of Roman towns is still often apparent underlying the medieval maze that was built on top. British - mainly in England - towns that have a Roman origin can be identified  by the fact that they often end in ...cester, derived from the latin Castra meaning a fort. Or in Wales by the word Caer as in Caernavon - the fortress over from Mon, or Anglesey. Chester where we lived for many years was a Roman garrison town guarding the entrance to the River Dee, its modern Welsh name is simply Caer.

A notable exception is York, Roman Eboracom, where the name derives from the Viking settlement of Yorvik.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)


You lived in Chester? So did I, back in the 80s!


We lived there from 1982 - 2003
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)



On chat there has been a discussion of population of people in Gwynedd and how many might be Deryni. Evie recalled a post she had made back in 2011, which Fruit found. I am going to abridge Evie's post to only the important figures about population because the post was trying to determine the number of Portals in private homes in Gwynedd. The original post came from Evie's early story chapters ("The Demoiselle and Derry", Chapter Seven, page 3 of the comments)

Quote from: Evie on November 14, 2011, 02:33:42 PM...Gwynedd in the time period of the books covers the 900s to the early 1100s, yes?  OK, so just to look at what population figures would be like for the Kingdom during this time, let's do a comparison with England of 1066.  It's roughly analogous in terms of type of society plus ease of finding stats on the Internet about that year.

So....Estimated population of London in 1066 seems to vary widely, but most seem to fall between 10,000 and 50,000.  I would imagine this would be comparable to Rhemuth, so for the sake of comparison, let's say 50,000.  That's a huge city in an era when the average major city would have at most 500-1000, and most villages would have a few hundred at most.  I've been looking at some manorial records lately for knights' lands (comparable to Chervignon) where the entire manorial estate--including the village, would be closer to 25 to 50 persons, if that.  It's an agrarian society, so the population centers are very spread out, and centered around locations ideally situated for water supply and defense.

OK, if Rhemuth has 50,000 (and that's the high estimate), Coroth would probably be, due to its location, the only comparable sized port city.  IF it is comparably sized, but let's assume it is.  So that's 100,000 people accounted for so far.  But of course, most people would live outside these towns, so looking at estimates for the population throughout England during this time period, they tend to fall between 1.25 and 2 million for the entire kingdom.  Let's call it 2 million to make the math easier.

Of these 2 million, most would fall under the "Third Estate"--i.e., the peasantry.  The small remainder would be clergy and nobility/royalty.  Only these far smaller segments of the population could afford the time and the possible expense of full Deryni training.  (That is to say, even if the Scholae don't charge, you'd still have living expenses, travel expenses, etc.  Your average peasant Deryni would be working dawn to dusk, leaving little time to learn formal Deryni training even if this were permitted.  They would probably only have the most rudimentary abilities like Truth-Reading, handfire, and what the common folk would think of as "hill magic.")  So what percentage of the population would have easier access (such as it ever was "easy") to specialized training?  Maybe 5% at most.  So 5% of 2 million brings us down to 100,000 individuals who are clergy, landed knights, barons, earls, dukes or royals.  I doubt adding in the very few wealthy non-landeds wouldn't inflate this figure too much, if at all, so let's add them in too.

OK, out of all of these, you have a population which has an extremely rare genetic trait in common.  I'm going to guess this is roughly 1% of the population.  That's rare but not unheard-of rare.... So, of the Deryni in Gwynedd theoretically in a position to get proper training, that brings us down to...1000.

Personally, I wonder if that figure might not be a little bit high, but then again, that would be clumped in a smaller number of families who carry the trait.  So assuming a generation in which at least one parent and all children surviving to adulthood are Deryni, I'll guess in any given year you might have an average of 5 members of a household with the trait.  Some would have fewer and some more, of course, but that makes 200 households total.

Some of these, of course, don't even know they're Deryni.  Of those who do, some are afraid to pursue training, or can't take the time away from Gwynedd to seek it elsewhere, so in modern-day(Kelson's day) Gwynedd there'd maybe be 50 to 100 households at maximum that might be able to send someone to get the training needed to create a Transfer Portal.  And not all would, of  course. 

Since all of these numbers were rounded up, I actually think the true number of Deryni in the trainable population is lower.  So at most, there might have been, at one time, 40 to 50 private homes with TPs installed.... 

40 to 50 private homes is definitely not very numerous in a kingdom with 2 million souls, of whom up to 20,000 (including peasantry) could possibly have at least some trace of Deryni blood.  And a lot of the homes from Camber's time boasting TPs have probably been destroyed, and few new ones rebuilt or reactivated due to the dangers in the past 200 years.  But that doesn't mean they can't be.

-2 million people in Gwynedd. 50 thousand in each of the large cities of Rhemuth and Coroth.

-5% or about 100,000 are nobility and clergy(including children).

-1% of the total population or about 20,000 have some Deryni trace abilities.

-About 200 families (Households) with Deryni abilities(including all ages in that family unit). But only about 50-100 families with someone trained in magic. ( I think that is generous before Kelson's university) Maybe that number is after Kelson's university is established, when families can afford to send ONE child to the university to get training.

-Which means there are only about 100-200 persons (one or two per Deryni family unit) that have Deryni training In Gwynedd.

Let us say this is about a decade into Kelson's reign, just at a time when Deryni are beginning to become more comfortable with sending a child to the new Schola.

Now I am wondering if the Rhemuth Schola has only about 100 students each year.
May your horses have wings and fly!


I can see where Gwynedd does not have too much "scarcity of Resources". It seems to have an abundance of low land around the rivers for farming to keep it's people feed. And most of the Haldane kings have only ever been in defense wars and not in attack wars, which means they have what they need.
Meara seems to be the one province that is unhappy with their allotment. So it is very possible that they can not grow the food they need and perhaps that is the cause of their periodic civil unrest.

On the other hand, Torenth is always attacking Gwynedd, I would guess that Torenth Does have a serious "scarcity of Resources"  and far too many Deryni nobles who think they should be kings of somewhere else.

As for the Connait and Howicce,  I get the feeling that the population of those areas is quite low. There is no true cities and the weather may be dry reducing the amount of farmland it can sustain. the men from there are mercenaries which seems to be the only way they can make money.  I read the story of a Pirate who was ran aground by other pirates and sea merchants, so he set up a home in the Connait and named himself Prince. I would imagine that Connait and Howicce were always running small skirmishes between the family estates. But that would be no more than a handful of men on each side.

A population of 2 million is large, and I can see where it might only be 1.5 million people.  One source quoted that Roman Britain had a population of 4 million but that decreased after the fall of the Roman empire to 1,250,000 and then grew back up to 2 million by the year 1000. The Domes day book says in 1066 England had a population of 2 million and that does not include Scotland.

So if Kelson's kingdom includes Meara, Cassan, Claibourne and Corwyn, then I can see a population that flourishees. And then weans when war and plaque strike. (that did happen a few times in the 200 years we are watching the history of Gwynedd.) Yet KK has not made a statement that I am aware off that gives her population numbers. So it is speculative on our part. 
May your horses have wings and fly!


I'd suspect Gwynedd is more like France than it is like England/Scotland. Gwynedd proper seems to be a very productive agricultural area - perhaps one of the richest in that regard of the Eleven Kingdoms.

Once France was united, and no longer being fought over (comparable to the pre-Festil Haldane's kingdom) it supported a population of over 13 million, very substantially more than the British Isles.

It's likely the mountainous Kheldour, Cassan, Meara and Eastmarch regions are significantly less populous than the rest of Gwynedd (Corwyn and Carthmoor as coastal territories might be better off), with less arable farmland. But Gwynedd is large and rich, a prize to be fought for when opportunities arise, but otherwise best left alone.

Meanwhile the Haldanes have mostly had to focus on keeping their lords and church under control because a population that large is challenging to administer under medieval conditions.


I'm uneasy about the maps. The distances seem too small, and the territory seems to have shrunk over the years. In my head, Netterhaven to Kharthat can't be just 700 miles-- that's only Houston to Atlanta. In my head it's more like Warsaw to Bordeaux, or at least Berlin to Bordeaux. 


Quote from: revanne on September 28, 2021, 03:39:09 AMDoes anyone have any idea of the approximate population of Rhemuth in Kelson's time?

I always looked at Kelson's Rhemuth as being something like 50,000 to 60,000 people, city plus suburbs/surrounding villages. 2 to 3 million people seemed about right for Gwynedd as a whole. For whatever reason, I always imagined Beldour as older and larger-- 70,000 to 80,000.