[These pages were authored by the late Thoki Yenn, and were restored here from the Internet Archive by Erik Demaine, with contributions of missing files from various readers (notably Tommy Stevens, Roberto Morassi, and Boaz Shuval). If you spot any other bugs like missing images or pages, please report them.]

More about Roman Foot

More about the Roman Foot

The search for the Roman foot ended in this little book written by a Danish Engineer Paul Rantzau, it was published in 1969. In English the title literally translated would be: “MANY knows so LITTLE about so MUCH”.

John Cunliffe, of ELFA fame London, who wrote the Booklet: “The Silver Rectangle”, No. 21 in the BOS Series, has also studied “The Secrets of Ancient Geometry”, and after especially having studied Chapter 21, about the A-Format, he asked me in a letter, the old-fashioned ones, you know with envelope and stamp stuck on, whether I knew from where Tons Brunés had the information about the Roman Foot?

I found the answer in the above shown book, which had been sitting in my bookcase for many years, it contains a lot of information about different measuring standards both in Denmark, England, USA and the old Greek and Roman measures.

Under OLD GREEK measures I found: “The racing course in Olympia was called stadion after the unit of length, which here was 192 meter, it was divided into 600 olympic feet of 32 cm., the name stadion is later used to designate the location for sport exercises........

Plinius, the Elder, states (first century A.C.) that 1 Greek stadion in length is equivalent to the Roman one, i.e. 625 pës (roman foot) = 600 pús (Greek foot) = 185 meter.

Under OLD ROMAN measures I found this: 1 Roman Stadion = 600 pës = 178 meter. My calculator later showed me that 1 Roman Foot was 29.69 cm, which happen to be the length of the long side of a sheet of A4.

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