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The Scythians, when they were about to lie down to sleep, brought the quiver, and if they happened to have passed that day unharmed, they placed a white pebble on the quiver, but if [things had gone] troublesomely, [they placed] a black one. Accordingly, in the case of men who were dying, they brought out their quivers and counted the pebbles; and if many white ones were found, they declared the departed fortunate.
When I relayed this anecdote to my long-suffering colleagues (who have to endure every randomness that strikes me online when I should be working, and may well keep a mental stock of black pebbles for when I do), one wondered that that quiver might get pretty damn heavy after a while. The other pointed out that with pre-Classical average lifespans of 30 (especially for warriors), and entering into service at 18, they wouldn’t get that heavy.
Hand me my back of an envelope: 12 years, 365 days, 1 g a day: 4.4 kg. Quite doable. More realistic for pebbles, 20 g a day: 87.6 kg. There may be some implementation issues to address with the anecdote. Could the Scythians have pebbles on credit perhaps?
He also suggested this would make for a good white-pebble applet. If anyone out there feels like warming the hearts of their fellow human beings, I claim no copyright (especially since it was my colleague’s idea anyway).