Schoenus

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For other uses, see Schoenus (disambiguation).

A schoenus (Latin) or schoinos (Greek) is a historical unit of itinerant distance once common throughout the Mediterranean.

The Greeks, who adopted it from the Egyptians, considered the schoinos ("rope", plural schoenii) equal to 40 stades. But neither the schoinos nor the stadion had an absolute value, and there were several regional variants of each. Strabo (XV,I,II) noted that it also varied with terrain, and that when he "ascended the hills, the measures of these schoeni were not everywhere uniform, so that the same number sometimes designated a greater, sometimes a less actual extent of road, a variation which dates from the earliest time and exists in our days."[1]

  1. ^ Herodotus (2.6 and 2.149) says, that schoenus is 60 stadia. Pliny the Elder 5.11 that is 30 stadia. Strabo 17.1.24: according to the place, between 30 to 120 stadia.