Help Index :: Misc :: Measurements

This help file aims to help people understand methods of measurement.

Created 12 June 2001, Phule

In TFE, we measure vertically large things (height of walls, etc) in
cubits. A cubit (more specifically the Roman cubit) is equal to
about 17.5 inches, or nearly 44.5 centimeters. This is (very) roughly
1.5 feet, or half a meter. Something a mile high is over 3600 cubits. A
500 foot drop is (about) 340 cubits. A 10,000 foot mountain is over 6800

Distance is in the form of the
pace. A pace (more specifically the
Roman pace) is equal to a little more than 58 inches, or almost 148
centimeters. This is (very) roughly 5 feet, or 1.5 meters. In fact the
Romans defined their mile as 1000 paces (double-steps). One of 'our'
miles is a little over 1000 paces (it was extended to 5280 feet to
accomodate easy division into furlongs...).

One might also measure distances in 'rides' (days of riding).

For smaller heights (such as a person), we use the term
A hand is equal to 4 inches, or (roughly) 10 centimeters.
So a six-foot tall human is, in terms of hands, 18 hands tall.

For small measurements (such as the thickness of a swordblade, etc) we
use the roman
digit. The digit is equivalent to (very nearly, at
least) 2 centimeters. This is (roughly) 0.78 inches (hate to get
technical...). So a digit is about the width of a finger; a decently
thick (and crude!) sword would be a digit at its thickest.

For weights, we have
grains. A grain is 1/7000th of a pound. That
is, 7000 grains make up a pound. For larger weights, we use the
stone, which is 14 pounds, or about 6.35 kg. So, a 200 pound human
would weight about 14 and a half stones (a little less, actually). A
stone is 98K grains. Pounds are acceptable units of weight as well.

I know it may take some time to get used to these measurements. But it
really helps me to get 'into' the spirit of things when your entire
thinking gets different.