I've seen the claim on the acre and plowing before, too. It may well be true—in which case, the linear measurements were likely derived from it rather than the converse—though any number of factors could render this more theoretical than practical: soil consistency and rockiness, weather, condition from the prior year (what, if anything, was planted) and so on… the age and condition of the ox, for that matter. As witness the term "oxgang" being "land tillable by one ox in one plowing season"… which is said to have "averaged" 20 acres, but which is also said to have been "typically around" 15. Pick one. I don't have the wherewithal to check primary sources at the moment. I may get back to you.
None of which means much to someone who doesn't own an ox, of course. Nor does it have to, so long as it meant something to whoever came up with the measures.
[The rest of this is largely tangential—to just about everything—but I found the digression difficult to resist, as it eventually wends its way into one of my great passions. You'll be able to spot it when it arrives.]
The American football field is 300 feet long by 160 wide without end zones, 360 x 160 with them, so it comes out to 48,000 square feet or 57,600 square feet: a bit over 1.1 acres or a bit under an acre and a third, depending on which way you're looking at it.
What Americans call soccer and the rest of the planet calls association football is played on a field of between 110 and 120 yards long and between 70 and 80 yards wide, giving an area of 7,700 to 9,600 square yards (69,300 to 86,400 square feet). This comes out to a minimum size of just under 1.6 acres… so Butterfly was close enough.
Australian football is generally played on cricket grounds, which vary in dimensions, but which come in at between 150 and 180 yards long by, if I'm reading it correctly, at least 130 yards wide… albeit configured as an oval (nor are all the ovals identical in ellipticality), so it isn't quite the 19,500+ square yards (175,500+ square feet) a rectangular field would be. This is, however, the minimum size—for cricket. For footy itself, the minimum dimensions are 150 meters by 135 meters. Yes, meters, not yards. Yes, 150 by 135. Yes, "minimum." They're allowed to be larger. The field is bloody huge… so big that the maximum 18 players per side allowed on the field at one time are dwarfed. Yes, "maximum." You don't think they're gonna stop a game just because someone's hurt, do you? And in point of fact, they generally don't: unless someone has a limb or head off, usually the team doctor just runs out onto the field to check on the bloke… any drama queen who rolled around on the field after being tripped like they do in soccer would be laughed off the field by the other players, jeered off by the crowd, and thrown off by the ref. Even the water boys are on the field a great deal of the time during play.
Oh: the game is also played in four 20-minute quarters… plus any time added if they do, for some reason, actually stop the game. A bit shorter than soccer, a bit longer than American football. They also allow four player substitutions during the course of the game, rather than the three soccer permits. Considering the pace is more similar to that of a basketball game than to either of those, that the field is twice the size of the larger of the two, that like the predecessor of all three—rugby—it is full contact, and that unlike American football, rugby or even soccer the only protective gear players are even permitted is a mouthpiece, I can honestly say that footy players make just about any other professional athletes look wimpy by comparison.
Did I mention that the only acceptable ways to advance the ball are by drop-kicking, "handballing" (volleying), or running—the last of these requiring bouncing the ball off the ground and back into your hands every few steps?
Did I mention that, like the field, the ball is also oval?
After years of watching this sport, I finally concluded that, contrary to all appearances, it does indeed have "rules," as its name implies. (Prior to which I led of a campaign to have it renamed "Australian Guidelines Football." Or, failing that, "Calvinball.") At least three. Two of which involve scoring. The third is that you can't tackle someone by his hair.
Okay, maybe I exaggerate a bit. I didn't really lead any campaigns to rename the game.
I'm also not 100% certain about there being a third rule, either.
But, man, is it ever fun to watch.
Only in Oz.
I have taken all knowledge to be my province. Tariff rates and immigration policies forthcoming.
In metric hectares (ha)are used instead of acres. 1 hectare is 2.47105 acres or 2.5 depending on how precise you want to be. If you are converting things roughly you can compare meters and yards. ( 1 yard = 3 feet. 1 foot =0.3048 metres....so 1 Yard = 0.9144 metres) Your archer may make a shot at 125 yards or 114.3 metres. Close but not exact.
A hectare is 10000 square meters (100m x 100m or any shape consisting ov 10000 square meters) If you want to get a visual idea of land size, pace off about 110 steps, assuming you have an average size and that will be close enough to 100 meters. Picture that distance squared and you have about 1 ha or 2.5 acres.
I never liked the acre as a measurment.
Now being able to picture an acre as alittle less then a football field might help.
But you'll always follow the voices beneath, Loyalty, loyalty, loyalty, only to me!
The only thing I remember bout grammar is she baked me cookies.
I was wondering about the "league" distance, as well. As it seems to be a common measurement for marching/walking. I had heard variations from 2 miles to 10 miles... but I like the explanation someone had earlier, of it being "the distance a person can walk in an hour". Obviously, that varies... but it would also narrow it down to something like 3-5 miles on average. Maybe slower if it is a marching army...and can speed up or slow down based on the terrain.
Remember that 'league' is also used as metric of time-to-target, not actual physical distance. As in, a league over rough terrain is physically shorter than a league over flat grassland, but in each case they take the same amount of time to travel (as said several times, one hour was the usual).
As mentioned above, many modern writers simply use the league = 3 miles equivalent. 4 or 5 kilometers is another measurement I see a lot.