is a unit
long common in Europe
and Latin America
, although no longer an official unit in any nation. The league most frequently expresses the distance a person, or a horse, can walk
in 1 hour
of time (usually about 3.5 miles
or 5.5 kilometres
The English-speaking world
In English units over the past couple of centuries or so, the league was most often considered to be 3 miles
, or about 4.8 to 5.6 km, depending on the mile being used – most commonly either the nautical mile
(1852 m) or the statute mile (now 1609.344 m, but varying slightly through history). However, English language usage also includes use of this word for any of the various leagues mentioned below (e.g., in discussing the Treaty of Tordesillas
The league was used in Ancient Rome
, defined as 1.5 Roman miles
(7,500 Roman feet, 2.2 km, 1.4 mi.). The origin is the "leuga gallica" (also: leuca Gallica)
, the league of Gaul
- See also: Ancient Roman units of measurement.
The Argentinian league (legua
) is or 6,666 varas
: 1 vara
Brazil and Portugal
and other territories of the former Portuguese Empire
there were several units called league (Portuguese
- Légua of 18 by degree, equivalent to 6,172.4 metres
- Légua of 20 by degree, equivalent to 5,555.56 metres (maritime légua)
- Légua of 25 by degree, equivalent to 4,444.44 metres
As a transitory measure, after Portugal adopted the metrical system, the metric légua, equivalent to 5.0 km, was established.
In Brazil, légua is still used occasionally in the country, where it has been described as equivalent to 6.6 km, approximately.
The French lieue
– at different times – existed in several variants: 10,000, 12,000, 13,200 and 14,400 French feet, about 3.25 km to about 4.68 km. Its use overlapped the metric system
for a while but is now long discontinued.
- See also: French units of measurement.
and other parts of rural Mexico
, the league is still commonly used in the original sense of the distance that can be covered on foot in an hour, so that a league along a good road on level ground is a greater distance than a league on a difficult path over rough terrain.
The Spanish League or legua
was originally set as a fixed unit of distance of 5,000 varas
(0.82 m each ), about 2.6 miles or 4.2 km. Officially the league was abolished by Philip II of Spain
, but it is still in use unofficially in parts of Latin America
, with exact meaning varying in different countries.
In the early Hispanic settlement of New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado, a league was also a unit of area, defined as being equal to 25,000,000 square varas or approximately 4428.4 acres. This usage of league is referenced frequently in the Texas Constitution. So defined, a league of land would encompass a square that is one Spanish league on each side.
Use in fiction