Medieval Facts & Myths: How Long is a Furlong? Ask an ox.
Some people know a furlong is an eighth of a mile. But far fewer know how the term furlong originated.
Hint: It has nothing to do with horse racing.
In the Medieval era, a furlong was the length of a furrow in a common field. But how was a common length determined? That's where the oxen enter the story.
A furlong was the distance a team of oxen could plow without resting.
Thus, the stamina of a pair of bulls, minus their male appendages, came to define a standard measurement of Medieval life.
Medieval Facts & Myths is a blog series featuring KING ROBIN, a novel by R. A. Moss releasing February 2021 from Beck and Branch Publishers.