Measures. Distance and time
Of Fibonacci relations, horse distances and hours of forty minutes
Anthologica Universe Atlas / Universes / Idachean Guild / The customs and traditions / Measures. Distance and time


Longitude and distance

The ancient Hellesanid longitude units, of Sateperan origin, are derived from the foot (303'636 mm or 30'36 cm), the base unit of the ancient system of longitudes and distances used in the Megadelanean basin. The Sateperan divisors and multiples are inferred from the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…): therefore, divisors are ½, 1/3, 1/5, 1/8, 1/13, and multiples are x2, x3, x5, x8, x13.
    These units were recovered by historical research and archaeology, being proposed as the official international units in the 18th Congress of the International Measures System in the year 3514.

Divisors of the foot
½ foot (span) = 151’818 mm, or 15’18 cm
1/3 of foot (palm) = 101’212 mm, or 10’12 cm
1/5 of foot (finger) = 60’7272 mm, or 6’07 cm
1/8 of foot (inch) = 37’9545 mm, or 3’8 cm
1/13 of foot (nail) = 23’35661 mm, or 2'3 cm

Multiples of the foot
x2 feet (cubit) = 607’272 mm, or 60’73 cm
x3 feet (step) = 910’908 mm, 91’09 cm, or 0’91 m
½ cane (rod) = 759’09 mm, or 75’91 cm
x5 feet (cane) = 1518’18 mm, 151’82 cm, or 1’52 m
x8 feet or x4 cubits (height) = 2429’088 mm, 242’91 cm, or 2’43 m
x13 feet or x6'5 cubits (large cubit) = 3947'268 mm, 394'68 cm, or 3'94 m
x10 steps (long step) = 910’9 cm, or 9’11 m
x500 steps (stade) = 45.545 cm, 455’45 m, or 0’46 km
x1.000 steps or x2 stade (mile) = 910’9 m, or 0’91 km
x5 miles (league) = 4.554’5 m, or 4’55 km
x10 leagues (large league) = 45.545 m, or 45’5 km

The nail equals 1/13 of a foot (23'35661 mm or 2'3 cm) according to the Sateperan tradition. A variant that measures 1/16 of a foot (18’97725 mm or 1’9 cm) was also used in ancient times.
The inch traditionally measures 1/8 of a foot (37’9545 mm or 3’8 cm). The name comes from Peran tigampe, femenine of tigampi "thumb".
The finger equals 1/5 of a foot (60’7272 mm or 6’07 cm). The name comes from Peran getsu "finger", from Sate khar–it "finger". The plural of ghèz is ghèus.
The palm is 1/3 of a foot (101’212 mm or 10’12 cm). From Peran nbarabolu, from Sate par–ad "hand, palm".
The span equals half a foot (151’818 mm or 15’18 cm). The name comes from Peran pādu "foot", from Sate par–ad "hand, palm".
The foot is 303’636 mm or 30’36 cm, and is the basis of the whole Sateperan measure system. The Sarden variant, the madà ghisomant "imperial foot", is 46’8 cm. The name comes from Peran matanu "foot", from matan "foot sole, base, footstall", from Sate mat–an "footstall, base", from mat "to resist, to last, to persist".
The cubit or elbow measures two feet (607’272 mm or 60’73 cm). The name is of Sate origin: ke-wu-te-na "elbow" (the body part and the measure unit), from kūt–an "elbow".
The rod or staff equals half a cane or five spans (759’09 mm or 75’91 cm). It's the Peran approximation to the rod of Targas, of 3 feet (91’08 cm), of Davarian origin (qanaf "staff").
The Sateperan step measures three feet (91’09 cm or 0’91 m), but the step of Targas measures 3’5, this is, three feet and one span (1062’726 mm or 106’27 cm). The Sarden step is 96’25 cm. The name is an Hellesan word for “step”, postverbal derivation of tursar "to pass". It's the origin of current tilar, the longitude unit base used throughout Taura.
The Sateperan cane measures five feet (151’82 cm or 1’52 m). Various variants were used during the Old Age, the most common being the Labirença cane (155’5 cm or 1’56 m) and the sea cane, of six imperial feet (280’8 cm or 2’8 m). The name comes from Peran partnamatanas "five feet".
The height measures eight feet, this is four cubits (242’91 cm or 2’43 m). Is thus named because it was used to measure heights, especially in the construction world.
The long cubit or long elbow equals sixteen feet or six and a half cubits (394'68 cm or 3'94 m).
The stade, one of the oldest longitude units, is of Satic origin, and equals 500 steps (45.545 cm, 455’45 m, or 0’46 km).
The mile, defined as "one thousand steps" or "two stades" (91.090 cm, 910’9 m, or 0’91 km). The name comes from mar "thousand".
The league equals five miles (4.554’5 m or 4’55 km) and is considered the distance that "a healthy and strong horse can gallop through good ways before weakening". The name comes from Middle Peran saktgadli, from Archaic Peran sakad o sakar– "fast" + tigaduli "horse".
The large league, equals 10 leagues (45.545 m or 45’5 km), defined as "a slow journey travelling on a horse through good ways".

We ignore the origin of pad, but it may be Sate as well. It is believed that the span should have measured, more or less, the same as the current one. In Imperial Measures and Rules it's briefly mentioned, saying «widely used, common throughout the Megadelanya […], with little error margin in the variation of this measure».

Free measurements
The dag ("fork"; m; pl. dags) is the distance between the tips of the thumb and the index when they form a right angle.

The reckoning of time

The use of number 60 and its divisors and multiples in the reckoning of time is due to the ancient Cassardians. They divided the year into 360 days, as they used the lunisolar calendar then; that also gave place to the division of the circle into 360 degrees and, that of the day, into 6 great periods, each one with 60 minor periods (6 x 60 = 360).
    With time the system got more complex due to the need of shorter periods for domestic reasons. Therefore, Cassardian astronomers, inspired by the 360° circle, divided the day into 36 equal periods, thus creating the 36 hours day in which every hour lasts 40 minutes or 2,400 seconds.

Some divisions of the day: Bredezhan or Peran-Sarden cycle (teal),
Terran divison (orange), and Elnid cycle (green).

A day has 86,400 seconds. If it's divided into 360 parts (in the image above, the small divisions on the outer ring) that means that one of the parts lasts 240 seconds (4 minutes). Therefore, each of the major periods of the ancient Cassardian division lasts 14,400 seconds (240 minutes or 4 hours); the solar cycle was divided into two great halves and had per axis the sunrise (strat of the day) and sunset (end of the day). The Bredezhan calendar, in use all over Taura, uses the Peran-Sarden division of the solar cycle: days of 36 oncis (which we can translate as “hours”, although each onç lasts 40 minutes), with two axes: ‘sunrise – sunset’ and ‘midday – midnight’. Elns, though, did as ancient Cassardians: they divided the day into six periods, but with a central ‘midday – midnight’ axis.

Other ancient units of time

Also named syasc. It represents a very short moment, similar to a second. The name is the onomatopoeia of the snap made with fingers.
A little more than 3 minutes, which is the twelfth part of an onç (40 minutes). The name literally means “moment”.
The interval of time between drinking a glass of green tea and the need to peepee derived from that. The unit and its name come fron Elnid lanssis, literally “tea pee”, from lanf “tea” + sis “pee”. Equal to 26 minutes. The plural form is lansius.
The hour of Megadelanean peoples, resulting from the division of the day into 36 equal parts. 1 onç lasts 40 minutes.
Two oncis (80 min), in ancient academies the duration of ordinary classes; still used nowadays in universities. The name comes from Old Hellesan sàgea or sagede “reading, lesson”.
One of the main divisions of the 24h day, the result of arranging the 36 Euremegadelanean hours into groups of 12 hours each; 1 vès equals 3 oncis (120 minutes). The name comes from Peran uers– “to separate, to split”.
Fifteen days, half a month. The name is the femenine ordinal of number fifteen, thus literally meaning “fifteenth”.
The lapse of time between two consecutive full moons. Not equivalent to an Euremegadelanean month, though, which is always 30 days; the unit is, therefore, a free one. The name comes from tiue, from Archaic Peran tepde “face”, from Sate ti-pu-da “face, facial”.
Forty days, a sacred unit of time used in religious acts and in medicine, since it's considered the prescriptive time between important religious feasts, as well as the necessary time to fully recover from a cured illness. The name is the collective form of sartard “forty”.
A solar year or 365 days.
Period of five years (lustre). From Sarden sinzes, from Madinesian simzat “five”.
Twelve years, which according to popular belief is the lifespan of cats, hence the name, which in the last resort comes from Sate ma-su-ru “cat”.

The Megadelanean Calendar

The Megadelanean Calendar (also known as the Euremegadelanean, Bredezhan and Midonid Calendar) is the time reckoning system used by most peoples in Bredezhanya, among them the Hellesans. The calendar is almost as old as the amount of years it reckons, and its last iteration was established in the Council of Midònia, in 1860 MR (Megadelanean Reckoning).
    Since Taura is Earth in a parallel timeline, natural years are like ours, and reckoning years tend to have 365 days in hybrid calendars (360 in some lunar calendars). The Bredezhan Calendar consists of 12 months in a 365-day year. Summer solstice marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer, but also the new year. The last day of the year is bressaures 5th, followed by the first day of the year, brans 1st. A new day begins at sunset.
    Each year is divided into four large times that correspond to seasons, each one having three months of the calendar, more or less. All months have 30 days, except bressaures which is a special division with only 5 days; it is known as gui(g) preninci "half week", because weeks are 10 days long. Each month has exactly three weeks, which means that all months start with the first day of the week, dimarn, and finish with dirols, week's last day. The days in bressaures are not named, only numbered, so dirols, 30 na cenller (the year's last big month) is followed by bressaures, which is followed by dimarn, 1 na brans.

A rough comparison with the Gregorian calendar gives the following:

1st. Brans / June 21 to July 20
2nd. Arges / July 21 to August 19
3rd. Feres / August 20 to September 18
4th. Berm / September 19 to October 18
5th. Bruine / October 19 to November 17
6th. Riçold / November 18 to December 17
7th. Mavendres / December 18 to January 16
8th. Rovanyes / January 17 to February 15
9th. Àster / February 16 to March 17
10th. Bers / March 18 to April 16
11th. Martighes / April 17 to May 16
12th. Cenller / May 17 to June 15
Half week. Bressaures / 16 to 20 June

Leap years

In leap years an additional day is added at the end of bressaures, making it a half-week of 6 days. The additional day is added every four years, but every 33 years the last leap year takes place after 5 years; and so on.
    To sum it up.

Megadelanean leap years in sky blue. Gregorian leap years in pink.

Megadelanean years don't exactly match with Gregorian years because those begin with the summer solstice, so the coincidence period is from June 21st to December 31st. Consider this when consulting tables like the one above.

The seasons and the months

The combination of seasons and months results in this typical pattern:

ISEU "summer"; from Peran isaura "hot flush".
Brans apocope of Bramsard, the deity that assures the fertility of fields and animals, from Peran Baramasarata "reaper bull".
Arges from Sarden Argymai Festia "Festa's tears", the name given to the Perseids.
Feres from Peran Ferais, related to Common Megadelanean Faris "Sirius".

NAUSARD "autumn"; from Elnid nausarth "decay, fatigue, weariness".
Berm from Peran nbermauas "pilgrimages to the woods".
Bruine from Peran broduinar "herds of mist; flocks of fog".
Riçold from Peran Ritiaudas "wind freezer", a nature deity that announces the arrival of winter.

ARBOÇ "winter"; from Elnid arabarth "stagnation, stoppage".
Mavendres "weddings of cats".
Rovanyes from Peran Rubanies "(feasts) of the wolves".
Àster "disturbingly tumultuous, ravishing".

MADISSAIVE "spring"; from Sarden madisaeues "sweet fruits".
Bers from Peran Baire, the deity of flowery plants.
Martighes from Peran malestigazi "pilgrimages to the mountains".
Cenller related to Hellesan cenard llir "kingly cereal, royal corn".

Bressaures from Peran brēnas saurus "five suns". Solstice day is named Armallard, from Elnian Armail Ardar "Sun on the top".

The week and its days

Ancient cultures like Sates and Perans had lunar calendars without the concept of week as we understand it. Months were divided into smaller periods of time accordingly to lunar phases. With the adoption of 30-day months these were divided into two equal halves, the fortnights, of 15 days each. Later, when Sardens made further adjustments to the calendar, Perans created 5-day weeks by dividing the fortnights into 3 parts. The last step in the creation of the current Megadelanean week was to unite two Peran weeks into 10-day weeks, and adjusting them so each month had three weeks.
    The names of days vary from language to language, but they are usually the result of naming days after deities or weekly tasks. The Hellesan names begin with di, which is the short form of Peran dinaki "24h day". The first five days have names of Peran origin, the oldest of all, and the last five are the new additions after the creation of 10-day weeks.
    The days of the week are:

Dimarn "day of the Great Ones", from Peran dinaki Maremnas. Devoted to the Great deities of the Megadelanean pantheon, the so called 'Twelve'. It was the only truly festive day in Ancient days, and people named it, jockingly, dinaki Marnu "(the) Great Day". Nowadays it's one of the three festive days of the week.
Dinçolà "day of the Home-ones; Day of the domestic ones". Devoted to the home deities and the ancestors. Originally it was a half-festive, and people spent the day cleaning the house and doing the other domestic tasks, so people jockingly referred to that day as dinaki tedule (day of (doing) the house), irreverent form of dinaki Tedulani.
Didac "Idachi's Day". Dedicated to Idachi, one of The Twelve.
Dinfers "Ferseu's Day", the national hero of Perans.
Dinare "Niare's Day". Dedicated to Niari or Niare, the moon goddess.
Disturs "rusturs' Day". Dedicated to the natural genies of forests, mountains and wild lands.
Dirines "irines' Day". Dedicated to the genies of calm waters.
Dibardes "pardenyes' Day". Dedicated to the genies of the land and the countryside.
Dintarmes "tambres' Day". Dedicated to the genies of the underground.
Dirols "erols' Day". Dedicated to the genies of the atmospheric skies.

The day and its parts

Days (dinci "24h day") have the same length as ours, but they are divided into 36 hours of 40 minutes each (onç "40 minute hour"). As we said a new day begins at sunset, unlike our days, which begin at midnight. In the table below you can see the Bredezhan day compared to ours. As you can deduce, davenalle stands for "midnight" and daussort means "midday"; therefore giane "sunset" and aurefoys "sunrise".
    To each half of the 24h day correspond 18 oncis. Hours are numbered from 1 to 36, the first one being the one after sunset. The hours are reunited into groups of three, six of these corresponding to night (nalle) and named gisles "vigils", and the other six to day (sort "day(light)") and named jancis "day time".


Vigils and daytimes are named accordingly to characteristic traits or associated ideas:

    • Tasyare "silent calm". Considered the most tranquil part of the day, when animals return to yards and, people, to home.
    • Brossar "(to have) supper". The hours dedicated to the day's last important meal.
    • Entressatze "abed one". The hours to go to bed.
    • Brantallons "intempestive hours". Considered the most untimely and less productive hours in the whole day.
    • Natjambre "terrible night". Considered the worst part of the night, for being dark and deep hours in which spirits and night beings roam ways and fields.
    • Fesyellet "rooster's call". The hours previous to sunrise. when roosters crow the most. Considered the best hours to share secrets.
    • Laude "golden one". The hours after sunrise, when light takes golden and pinkish shades.
    • Tregolança "bustling", "feverish time". The hours when work is most intense.
    • Sarçol "sun's crown". The three hours previous to midday.
    • Daunir "(to have) dinner". The hours dedicated to that meal. And to after-dinner's nap.
    • Ainocandh "evening's falling". The last hours in which there's still enough light to work outside.
    • Morsandh "dark entering". The hours that open the path to night.