Plethron (Greek: πλέθρον) is a measurement used in Ancient times, equal to 100 Greek feet (ποῦς, pous). It was roughly the width of a typical athletic running-track, and was used as the standard width and length of a Wrestling square, since wrestling competitions were held on the racing track in early times.
Although the standard measure for a plethron may have varied from polis to polis, it normally corresponded to the length of around 30 meters (100 ft). A square plethron is consequently a square of around 30 by 30 meters, i. e. something like 900 square meters.
The plethron was also used as a measure of area (i.e., as a square plethron). This functioned as the Greek acre and varied in size to accommodate the amount of land a team of oxen could plow in a day. Under the Byzantine Empire, these differences were codified among different themes and the unit came to be known as the "stremma", which continues as a (now metric) unit in modern Greece.
- V. L. Ménage, Review of Speros Vryonis, Jr. The decline of medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the process of islamization from the eleventh through the fifteenth century, Berkeley, 1971; in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) 36:3 (1973), pp. 659-661. at JSTOR (subscription required); see also Erich Schilbach, Byzantinische Metrologie (referenced but not seen)
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