League (unit)


League (unit)

A league is a unit of length or area long common in Europe and Latin America, although no longer an official unit in any nation. The league most frequently expresses the distance a person, or a horse, can walk in 1 hour of time (usually about 3.5 miles or 5.5 kilometres).

Different definitions

The English-speaking world

In English units over the past couple of centuries or so, the league was most often considered to be 3 miles, or about 4.8 to 5.6 km, depending on the mile being used – most commonly either the nautical mile (1852 m) or the statute mile (now 1609.344 m, but varying slightly through history). However, English language usage also includes use of this word for any of the various leagues mentioned below (e.g., in discussing the Treaty of Tordesillas).

Ancient Rome

The league was used in Ancient Rome, defined as 1.5 Roman miles (7,500 Roman feet, 2.2 km, 1.4 mi.). The origin is the "leuga gallica" "(also: leuca Gallica)", the league of Gaul.:"See also: Ancient Roman units of measurement."

Argentina

The Argentinian league ("legua") is Convert|5.572|km|mi|sigfig=4|abbr=on or 6,666 "varas": 1 "vara" is Convert|0.83|m|in|abbr=on. ["Espasa-Calpe Dictionary", Argentina and Mexico Edition 1945: headword "Legua"]

Brazil and Portugal

In Portugal, Brazil and other territories of the former Portuguese Empire there were several units called league (Portuguese: "légua"):
* "Légua" of 18 by degree, equivalent to 6,172.4 metresClarifyme|date=August 2008
* "Légua" of 20 by degree, equivalent to 5,555.56 metres (maritime "légua")
* "Légua" of 25 by degree, equivalent to 4,444.44 metresAs a transitory measure, after Portugal adopted the metrical system, the metric "légua", equivalent to 5.0 km, was established.

In Brazil, "légua" is still used occasionally in the country, where it has been described as equivalent to 6.6 km, approximately.

France

The French "lieue" – at different times – existed in several variants: 10,000, 12,000, 13,200 and 14,400 French feet, about 3.25 km to about 4.68 km. Its use overlapped the metric system for a while but is now long discontinued.

:"See also: French units of measurement".

Mexico

In Yucatan and other parts of rural Mexico, the league is still commonly used in the original sense of the distance that can be covered on foot in an hour, so that a league along a good road on level ground is a greater distance than a league on a difficult path over rough terrain.

pain

The Spanish League or "legua" was originally set as a fixed unit of distance of 5,000 varas ( 0.82 m each ), about 2.6 miles or 4.2 km. Officially the league was abolished by Philip II of Spain in 1568, but it is still in use unofficially in parts of Latin America, with exact meaning varying in different countries.

In the early Hispanic settlement of New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, a league was also a unit of area, defined as being equal to 25,000,000 square varas or approximately 4428.4 acres.cite web | url = http://www.ghostseekers.com/Conversions.htm | title = Land Measurement Conversion Guide | format = HTML | author = Vikki Gray | publisher = Vikki Gray | date = 1998-12-24 | accessdate = 2007-06-04] This usage of league is referenced frequently in the Texas Constitution. So defined, a league of land would encompass a square that is one Spanish league on each side.

Use in fiction

*The seven-league boots are a magical prop in European folk tales.
*Several fantasy authors have used the league to measure distances in their work. One example is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.
*Jules Verne used this unit in the title of 2 novels:
**"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"
**"Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon"
*Measurements in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, are expressed in leagues, as being equivalent to a unit (the "lár") used by the people who appear in the story.
*Measurements in The Belgariad and The Mallorean by David Eddings are expressed in leagues.

ee also

* anthropic units
* Medieval weights and measures for various definitions of the league.
* Li (unit), a Chinese unit of length (considerably shorter than a league).
* Obsolete Spanish and Portuguese units of measurement
* Walking

References



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • League — may refer to: League (unit), obsolete unit of length of an hour s walk, usually equal to three miles Roman league, one of the ancient Roman units of measurement, approximately 1.5 miles Rugby league a full contact football code National Rugby… …   Wikipedia

  • League of Nations — (English) Société des Nations (French) Sociedad de Naciones (Spanish) International organization …   Wikipedia

  • league — W2 [li:g] n [Sense: 1 5; Date: 1400 1500; : French; Origin: ligue agreement to act together , from Old Italian liga, from ligare to tie ] [Sense: 6; Date: 1300 1400; : Late Latin; Origin: leuga] 1.) a group of sp …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • league — [n1] association, federation alliance, band, bunch, circle, circuit, club, coalition, combination, combine, compact, company, confederacy, confederation, conference, consortium, crew, gang, group, guild, loop, mob, order, organization, outfit,… …   New thesaurus

  • league — league1 [lēg] n. [ME ligg < OFr ligue < It liga < legare, to bind < L ligare: see LIGATURE] 1. a compact or covenant made by nations, groups, or individuals for promoting common interests, assuring mutual protection, etc. 2. an… …   English World dictionary

  • league — unit of distance of between 2.4 and 4.6 miles Units of Measurement …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • league — league1 /leeg/, n., v., leagued, leaguing. n. 1. a covenant or compact made between persons, parties, states, etc., for the promotion or maintenance of common interests or for mutual assistance or service. 2. the aggregation of persons, parties,… …   Universalium

  • league —    a traditional unit of distance. Derived from an ancient Celtic unit and adopted by the Romans as the leuga, the league became a common unit of measurement throughout western Europe. It was intended to represent, roughly, the distance a person… …   Dictionary of units of measurement

  • UNIT — For other uses, see Unit (disambiguation). UNIT Universe Whoniverse Type Intelligence agency, military organisation Founded 1968 Location Worldwide Geneva, Switzerland Mount Snowdon, Wales (Unit Base 5) An office building in London, England The… …   Wikipedia

  • League of Militant Atheists — The League of Militant Atheists[1] (or The Union of Belligerent Atheists; Russian: Союз воинствующих безбожников); other names include Общество безбожников (Society of the Godless) and Союз безбожников (The Union of the Godless), was a mass… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.