(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org
------------------------------
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:35:45 -0500
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Subject: Re : Shkiya & Bein Hashmashot
Regarding the ongoing discussion on the time it takes to walk a roman mil.
I did not want to get involved in this discussion but there are certain
obvious facts about human walking which cast questions on certain shittos.
Since this a halachic matter I urgently seek a satisfactory solution.
FACT: The average person walks between 2.5 and 3 miles an hour
FACT: A fast walker walks between 3.5 and 4 miles an hour
FACT: A cubit is between 18 and 24 inches.
FACT: A roman mil = 2000 cubits
FACT: An american mile = 5280 feet
It is now straightforward algebra to convert statements about the time it
takes to walk a roman mil into normal walking speeds.
CASE 1: ASSUME CUBIT = 1.5 feet
===============================
Then a speed of 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4 miles an hour correspond to a roman mil
time of 13.5, 11.5, 9.75 and 8.5 minutes (rounding to nearest half minute)
CASE 2: ASSUME Cubit = 2 feet
=============================
Then a speed of 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4 miles an hour correspond to a roman mil
time of 18, 15.5, 13, and 11.5 minutes.
Thus the only reasonable correspondence with Shittas is the following:
ASSUME CUBIT = 2 feet ASSUME AVERAGE WALKING SPEED = 2.5 miles per hour We
then get a roman mil = 18 minutes.
Furthermore we can translate the various shittos of 18, 22.5 and 24 minutes
for the roman mil into walking time. E.g. 22.5 minutes becomes 2 miles per
hour (assuming cubits are 2 feet).
Now 2 miles per hour is extremely slow. And 2 feet is quite long for a cubit.
At any rate if someone can find some satisfactory answer to the above it
would be appreciated.
Russell Hendel; Phd ASA
Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu
------------------------------