Convert Historical Lengths Instantly

This conversion page features historical units (ancient, medieval, etc.) that are mostly no longer in use. If you are looking for units of length that are used today, including many national units of various countries, please switch to our main length conversion page.
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1234567.89none
1 234 567.89space
1,234,567.89comma
1.234.567,89point

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Metric

We only include several basic units here for you to convert historical units to contemporary ones. A more comprehensive list of metric units is available on the main length conversion page.
kilometer (km)
meter (m)
centimeter (cm)
millimeter (mm)
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The American System of Measures (US Customary Units)

We only include several basic units here for you to convert historical units to contemporary ones. A more comprehensive list of U.S. units is available on the main length conversion page.
mile (mi)
yard (yd)
foot (ft)
inch (in)
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Ancient Egypt

It might be hard to imagine, but these units dates back to 3100 BC. Egyptian people used them 5000 years ago. These units are distant ancestors of US customary units used today.
iteru (river measure)
knet (rod of cord)
nbiw (pole)
meh niswt (royal cubit)
meh nedjes (short cubit)
remen
djeser, bu
pedj-aa (large span)
pedj-sheser (small span)
amem (fist)
deret (hand)
shesep (palm)
djeba (finger)
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Ancient Roman

Roman length units were very well defined. The value of the base unit pes (foot) was discovered by John Greaves in 1639 after he made a lot of measurements in the ruins of Rome. Since then we know that the value of one pes was between 0.967 and 0.986 English feet. An accepted modern value is 296 mm. For most Roman units below we give an English equivalent in parentheses.
schœnus (rush rope)
leuga (league)
mille passus (mile)
stadium (stade, furlong)
actus
decempeda
pertica (perch)
passus (pace)
pes sestertius
gradus (step)
cubitus (cubit)
palmipes
pes (foot)
palmus major (palm length)
palmus (palm width)
uncia (inch)
pollex (thumb)
digitus (finger)
»

Old Spanish

In various provinces of Spain diferent variations of units were used. The conversions below use Castilian system. Although most of these units are now obsolete, some can still be used today in the countries of Latin America.
legua de por grado (league of the degree)
legua marina (nautical)
legua
milla marina (nautical)
milla
cuerda of Valencia
cuerda
estadal
braza
paso
vara
codo de ribera
codo
pie
palmo
coto
pulgada
linea
punto
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Old Portuguese

These units were used in Portugal, Brazil and other countries of the Portuguese Empire until the adoption of the metric system in 19th century.
braça
toesa
passo geométrico
vara
côvado
palmo de craveira
polegada
linha
ponto
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Old French

There were many local variations; the following are Quebec and Paris definitions
lieue commune
lieue marine
lieue de post
lieue metrique
arpent
perche
toise
pied [foot]
pouce [inch]
ligne
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Old Swedish

Common measurement system was introduced in Sweden by law in 1665. Since then the system was slightly altered twice: in 1735 and 1855. Sweden switched to metric system in 1889.
nymil (new mile, used since 1889 till now)
mil (mile)
fjärdingsväg
rev before 1855
rev after 1855
stång
famn (fanthom)
aln (forealrm)
fot (foot)
kvarter
tvärhand (hand)
tum (thumb or inch) before 1855
tum (thumb or inch) after 1855
linje (line) before 1855
linje (line) after 1855

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