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I often see in fantasy a person being “x moons old” or “x summers old”. Has this ever been the case in real life? When did it become standard to refer to someone as “x years old”?(r/AskHistorians)
The following excerpt from my Introduction to Folklore may help:
For many pre-industrial cultures, seasons were far more important than the concept of the 365-day year. To count the passage of years, people commonly referred to the number of particular seasons that had passed. They might, for example, count years as winters. Sven Liljeblad (1899-2000) writes that “when asking somebody about his age, a Bannock Indian says ‘How many winters ago did you become a human being?’” In some Slavic languages, the words for “summer” and “year” are the same when considering numerous years, which were expressed by the number of summers that had passed. The Russian word lyet, meaning both the season and the year, is a good example of this. The lunar cycle was also extremely important to pre-industrial people, who often paid little attention to the solar calendar. Thus, they could count the passage of time with the phases of the moon and the passages of seasons. Priests or government administrators usually led the way toward adopting a solar calendar. This was true during each of the Classical periods of civilization in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. The Church also followed this model, exporting it with conversion. Nevertheless, changing to a solar calendar was a slow process, and peasants only reluctantly adapted to this new way of viewing the passage of time.