How far is a league?

Discussion in '"The Lord of the Rings"' started by Niniel, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. Niniel

    Niniel Random Quoter

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    I was just wondering how far is a league? in LOTR people are talking about distances in terms of 'leagues' all the time, but how many kilometres is that? I figured it was about 5 km, but I couldn't find it exactly.
     
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  2. Dwimmerlaik

    Dwimmerlaik Registered User

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    A league is three miles,which is roughly five kilometres.
     
  3. Niniel

    Niniel Random Quoter

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    Thanks!
     
  4. Landroval

    Landroval Registered User

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    Ok, so it is a given that 1 league is 3 miles. So, what I have always wondered is where does "20 thousand leagues under the sea" come from. That would be 60 thousand miles under the sea, on a planet that is 24 thousand miles in diameter. Was Verne an idiot or am I missing something?

    :)
     
  5. Dwimmerlaik

    Dwimmerlaik Registered User

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    I'm not sure,but I think that sea unit's of measure,whilst using the same terms as land are different,See Smeagol's example of Nautical miles.
    Even if this were not the case,I believe that Verne was attempting to convey a sense of great depth that his readership(many of whom were exclusively land bound),could begin to understand.
    One should never let unpleasant fact's get in the way of a good tale.
    Look at the Zane Grey,he was a Cincinatti dentist whose experience of the wild west was limited to cowboy and indian films.
     
  6. Niniel

    Niniel Random Quoter

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    Seeing that one league is 3 statute miles and 2,6 nautical miles makes it even stranger, since then 20,000 nautical miles are even further than 60,000 kilometres. It mustn't be taken literally I suppose.

    But then he'd have to go around the earth one and a half times under water. I haven't read the book, but it seems a bit long.
     
  7. pohuist

    pohuist Ignorant Loremaster

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    It has been a long time since I read that book, but I believe, he did. He (Captain Nemo) made Nautilus his home for the rest of his life.
     
  8. Elu Thingol

    Elu Thingol Lord of the Sindar

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    The actual definition for a league is the following

     
  9. Eledhwen

    Eledhwen Cumbrian

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    Time and tide wait for no man

    Try www.rog.nmm.ac.uk - the definitive place for weights, measures, time and distances.
     
  10. pohuist

    pohuist Ignorant Loremaster

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    Where did you get it? And, while, we are on the subject maybe you know how long the 'fathom' is.

    Elu, I believe I read somewhere in UT that a league is a measure not necessarily equivalent to ours (so the dictionary doesn't help) and corresponds to 5,000 paces of a Numenorean man/king, those being rather tall, a league would be about 5km. So, I think Smeagol is right.
     
  11. Elu Thingol

    Elu Thingol Lord of the Sindar

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    I was just showing the definition for a league. Actually in the unabriged version of the same dictionary it refers to a league as 3 miles which would actually be less than 5k. Also could you provide me with the quote from the book about the 5000 paces.
     
  12. Lantarion

    Lantarion no house

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    I tried to find information on the Númenórean measure for a league (described in the appendix of UT as 'very nearly three miles'), but found only the actual name: lár.
     
  13. pohuist

    pohuist Ignorant Loremaster

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    Elu: The note that Lan refers to (that I believe provides the description of the league) is

    From UT, Appendix to the "Description of the Island of Numenor"

    (emphasis added)


    Thank you. Now, when reading books I will finally understand what is the distance when fathom or furlong is mentioned.
     
  14. Saeledhel

    Saeledhel New Member

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    The title refers to the distance traveled while under the sea and not to a depth, as 20,000 leagues (80,000 km) is nearly twice the circumference of the Earth. The greatest depth mentioned in the book is four leagues. The book uses metric leagues, which are four kilometers each.
     
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  15. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Skulking near Archet

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  16. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    The 20,000 Leagues of the Jules Verne book indicates their travel distance while the narrator was aboard - not their depth below the surface.

    A league in Middle Earth is three miles - more or less. JRRT spells it out in one of the notes on "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields" in Unfinished Tales. He actually has it come out to very, very slightly less. I just worked it out to 6'-8" less than three miles, if I did the math right. But he adds the qualifier about the degree of certainty that a ranga = 38" exactly.

    Three miles.

    EDIT: Oh - I see a couple quotes just a little before mine cover all the territory that I touched on, only better. I scanned the thread before I posted, but ought to read it more closely next time. :)
     
  17. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    Hey Val! How is my fellow Nortrhern Dunedain fanfic writer?
    I see Entmoot has been on bandwith limits for a while now.

    I tend to use a league as 3 miles in RP and fanfic. It works well.
     
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  18. Rebecca Fike

    Rebecca Fike New Member

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    I am so curious to try it as I didn't yet try it before.
     
  19. Valandil

    Valandil High King at Annuminas

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    Doing fine - how are you? :)
     
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