legua [Spanish]

1

In Spain, ? – present, various units of itinerant distance. From the late Latin leuca, perhaps influenced by Celtic languages. In Spain, 20th century , 5.5727 kilometers (approximately 3.46 miles) (UN 1966). In earlier periods a large number of different legua existed, and sometimes with a single name having two different magnitudes.

legua = 6666²⁄₃ Castillian varas (each 0.835905 m), about 5.572699 kilometers.

In the 19th century, the legua of the provinces of álava, Almería, Badajoz, Burgos, Cádiz, Castellón, Córdoba, Coruña, Granada, Huelva, Logroño, Madrid, Málaga, Murcia, Oviedo, Salamanca, Santander, Sevilla, Teruel, Toledo, Valladolid, Vizcaya and Zaragoza.¹

The number of varas, 6666²⁄₃, arises from the use of the paso (a pace) in measuring itinerant distances; 1 paso = ⁵⁄₃ varas. This legua was thus 4000 paces.

legua común = 800 cordes = 6600 varas = 19,800 pies, about 5.511 kilometers.
legua valenciana in the province of Valencia, 19th century, = 7222.223 Castillian varas, about 6.037092 kilometers¹.
legua in the province of Ciudad-Real, 19th century, = 8000 Castillian varas, about 6.687240 km¹.
legua in the province of Huesca, 19th century, = 8000 varas, about 6.176 kilometers¹.
legua in the province of Navarra, 19th century, = 7000 varas, about 5.495 kilometers¹.
legua de quince al grado = 15 legua to a degree of the meridian, about 7.429 kilometers.
legua géographique,
legua de diecisiete y medio al grado
= 17½ legua to a degree of the meridian= 7605 varas = 22,815 pies, about 6.368 kilometers.
Made obligatory for the scales on maps by Phillip V in 1718.
legua de dieciocho al grado = 18 legua to a degree of the meridian.
legua marina,
legua marítima,
legua común
= 20 legua to a degree of the terrestrial meridian = 3 millas = 6666²⁄₃ varas (each 0.833 m) = 20,000 pies, about 5.55555 kilometers.

In the 19th century, the legua of the province of Alicante.¹

legua terrestre,
legua de veinticinco al grado
= 25 legua to a degree of the meridian, = 15,000 pies, about 4.225 kilometers.
legua de camino for roads constructed after 1766, = 4800 pasos = 8000 varas = 24,000 pies, about 6.620 kilometers
legua jurídica = 3 millas = 24 estadios = 3000 pasos = 5000 varas = 15,000 pies, about 4.175 kilometers.
Abolished in 1568-1587 by Phillip II.
Sometimes called the legua legal.

Lei 8, Libro 5, Título 25.
Recopilación de las leyes de Castilla
Madrid, 1775.

legua legal 6.958 kilometers
legua de posta 13,900 pies, 3.894 kilometers. Later = 4 kilometers.

1. Dirección General del Instituto Geográfico y Estadístico.
Equivalencias entre las Pesas y Medidas Usadas Antiguamente en las Diversas Provincias de España y las Legales del Sistema Métrico-Decimal.
Publicadas de Real Orden.
Madrid: Imprenta de la Dirección General del Instituto Geográfica y Estadístico, 1886.

From these come a number of units of itinerant distance in Spain's former colonies:

Argentina

= 5.20 kilometers (about 3.23 miles)

For details on its history, see Balbin on the legua.

Some Local Values, mid-19th century¹
Province Varas Cuadras Meters
Santiago del Estero 5000 33¹⁄₃  
Jujuy 6000 5015.400
San Luis, Mendoza,
San Juan, Catamarca
6000 40 5016.6000
La Rioja 6000 40 5053.2000
Córdoba 6000 40 5089.8000
Tucuman 6000 40 5160.0000
Salta 6000 40 5166.6000
Buenos Aires, Santa Fe 6000 40 5196.00
Corrientes 6000 40 5197.2000
Entre-Rios 6000 40 5211.0000

1. Valentin Balbin.
Sistema de Medidas y Pesas de la República Argentina.
Buenos Aires: Tipografia de M. Biedma, 1881.

Bolivia

20th century, = 5 kilometers.¹

La lieue commune,— legua, — est de 6.662 varas ou 20.000 pieds, correspondant à 5.569 mètres, selon les uns; mais, d'après les plus autorisés, elle est de 4231m,939 seulement. Un degré en contient donc 26,3.²

The lieue commune,— legua, — is 6,662 varas or 20,000 pieds, corresponding to 5,569 meters, according to some; but, following more official [sources], it is only 4231.939 meters. A degree [of the meridian] contains therefore 26.3.

1. [Bolivia] Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia y Colonizacion. Dirección General de Economia Rural.
Resumen General de Medidas típicas de la República de Bolivia.
Corrected and revised by the Departamento de Muestreos y Padrones.
[La Paz]: Departamento de Muestreos y Padrones, 1956.

2. André Bresson.
Bolivia. Sept Années d'Explorations, de Voyages et de Séjours dans L'Amérique Australe.
Paris: Challamel Ainé, Éditeur, 1886.
Page 617.

Chile A map showing the location of Chile.

20th century, 4.514 kilometers (approximately 2.805 miles)¹

1. United Nations 1966.

Colombia and Ecuador

20th century, 5 kilometers (approximately 3.107 miles)¹

1. United Nations 1966.

Costa Rica

5.573333 kilometers.¹

1. [Costa Rica. Ministerio de formento.]
Medidas y pesas del sistema métrico, y tablas de equivalencia con las antiguas.
San José de Costa Rica: Imprenta nacional, 1885.

Cuba

20th century, 4.240 kilometers (approximately 2.635 miles), 5,078 square Castillian varas.¹

1. United Nations 1966.

El Salvador

= 4000 meters.¹

1. Technical Factors..., 1972, page 155.

Guatemala

20th century, 5.573 kilometers (approximately 3.463 miles).¹ The same as the current magnitude in Spain.

1. United Nations 1966.

Honduras

20th century, 4.175 kilometers (approximately 2.59 miles).¹ This value is the same as that of the legua jurídica abolished in Spain in 1568.

1. United Nations 1966.

Mexico

20th century, 4.190 kilometers (approximately 2.604 miles) = 2 medias = 4 cuartos = 1,000 cordels = 5,000 varas

Anciently 1 legua = 3 millas each of 1,000 pasos de Solomon, each of which was ⁵⁄₃ varas.²

1. United Nations, 1966

2. Galván Riviera, 1844. Excerpt in Spanish with English translation.

Nicaragua

= 6666²⁄₃ varas, 5592 meters.¹

1. Alfonso Valle Candia.
Diccionario del habla nicaragüense. 2nd ed.
Managua: Union 1972.
Page 170.

Paraguay

20th century , 4.33 kilometers (approximately 2.69 miles)¹

1. United Nations 1966.

Peru

20th century, 5.556 kilometers (approximately 3.452 miles.¹

1. United Nations 1966.

Uruguay

20th century, 5.15 kilometers (approximately 3.2 miles).¹

1. United Nations 1966.

2

A unit of land area.

Spain 4,822 square fanegas, 3,105 hectares, about 31.05 square kilometers.
Paraguay 20th century, 1,875 hectares, approximately 4633 acres (UN 1966)
Uruguay 20th century, 26.52 square kilometers, approximately 6,533 acres (UN 1966)
Venezuela A map showing the location of Venezuela. 20th century, 1,600—2,500 hectares, approximately 3,954—6,178 acres. (UN 1966)

sources

Segund la cuenta de la arismetica son ocho estadios media legua; et XVJ, una; et segund la razon desta cuenta, era ell espacio desta tierra quatro leguas.

According to the count by arithmetic eight estadios are half a legua; and 16, 1 [legua]; and according to the reasoning behind this calculation, the extent of this land was four leguas.

Alfonso X, General Estoria I, fol. 303r 95-99. Also defined in General Estoria IV, folio 54v, 70-72. Cited in
Herbert Allen Van Scoy.
Ivy A. Corfis, editor.
A Dictionary of Old Spanish Terms Defined in the Works of Alfonso X.
Madison (WI): The Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1986.

X

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