How Old is the Mile (Unit)?

It was actually used in Roman times (as well in a few different cultures). As far  as the  Romans were concerned:

The Roman mile (mille passus, lit. “thousand-pace”; abbr. m.p.; also mille passuum[n 2] and mille) consisted of a thousand paces as measured by every other step—as in the total distance of the left foot hitting the ground 1,000 times. The ancient Romans, marching their armies through uncharted territory, would often push a carved stick in the ground after each 1000 paces. Well-fed and harshly driven Roman legionaries in good weather thus created longer miles. The distance was indirectly standardised by Agrippa’s establishment of a standard Roman foot (Agrippa’s own) in 29 BC,[7] and the definition of a pace as 5 feet. An Imperial Roman mile thus denoted 5,000 Roman feet.

The British standardized their use of the mile in 1593.

A footnote on the countries that use the mile versus the kilometer:

While most countries replaced the mile with the kilometre when switching to the International System of Units, the international mile continues to be used in some countries, such as Liberia, Myanmar, the United Kingdom, the United States, and a number of countries with less than a million inhabitants, most of which are UK or US territories, or have close historical ties with the UK or US.


The featured image is of Saudi Arabia’s 167-floor Jeddah Tower, currently built up to the first thirty-eight floors and scheduled to be completed in 2019-2020.


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