Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]


 p871  Article by Philip Smith, B.A., of the University of London
on p871 of

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

PASSUS (from pando), a measure of length, which consisted of five Roman feet (Colum. V.1; Vitruv. X.14) [Mensura]. The passus was not the single step (gradus), but the double step; or, more exactly, it was not the distance from heel to heel, when the feet were at their utmost ordinary extension, but the distance from the point which the heel leaves to that in which it is set down. The mille passuum, or thousand paces, was the common name of the Roman mile [Milliare]. In connecting the Greek and Roman measures, the word passus was sometimes applied to the extension of the arms, that is, the Greek ὀργυιά, which, however, differed from the true passus by half-a‑foot; and, conversely, the gradus was called by Greek writers βῆμα, or τὸ βῆμα τὸ ἁπλοῦν, and the passus τὸ βῆμα τὸ διπλοῦν.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 22 Jul 14