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p138 Article by Philip Smith, B.A., of the University of London
on p138 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

A′RURA (ἄρουρα), a Greek measure of surface, which would appear, from its name, to have been originally the chief land-measure. It was, according to Suidas, the fourth part of the πλέθρον. The πλέθρον, as a measure of length, contained 100 Greek feet; its square therefore = 10,000 feet, and therefore the arura = 2500 Greek square feet, or the square of 50 feet.

Herodotus (II.168) mentions a measure of the same name, but apparently of a different size. He says that it is a hundred Egyptian cubits in every direction. Now the Egyptian cubit contained nearly 17¾ inches (Hussey, Ancient Weights, &c. p237); therefore the square of 100 × 17¾ inches, i.e. nearly 148 feet, gives approximately the number of square feet (English) in the arura, viz. 21,904. (Wurm, De Pond., &c. p94).

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Page updated: 27 Sep 12