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Roede (Old Dutch)

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This page describes an obsolete unit.

The unit described on this page was in use prior to modern methods of precision measurement. It was based on a standard which is no longer available, and which is not capable of being calibrated against modern measurement units. Therefore, the equivalence to modern SI units or to current United States customary units can only be considered approximate.

The roede (meaning rod) was a unit of length in the old Dutch system of lengths. It was intended to be about the width of the top phalanx of the thumb of an adult man[1].

The length of the roede varied from place to place; Cardarelli[2] gives the Amsterdam voet (which he calls "voeten," actually the plural form of the word) as 0.2830594 m = 11.1440709 in. = 0.9286726 ft , and the roede (which he calls "roeden," actually the plural form of the word) as thirteen of these, which would make it 3.6797722 m = 4.0242478 yd = 0.0022865 mi.

According to Wikipedia[1], the following were the lengths of some of the various roeden in use in the Netherlands prior to metrication:

  • one Rijnland rod (Rijnlandse roede) (= 12 Rijnland feet) was 3.767 m = 4.12 yd = 0.002 mi
  • one Amsterdam rod (Amsterdamse roede) (= 13 Amsterdam feet) was 3.68 m = 4.024 yd = 0.002 mi
  • one Bloois rod (Blooise roede) (= 12 feet) was 3.612 m = 3.95 yd = 0.002 mi
  • one 's-Hertogenbosch rod ('s-Hertogenbosche roede) (= 20 feet) was 5.75 m = 6.288 yd = 0.004 mi
  • one Hondsbos and Rijp rod (Hondsbosse en Rijp roede) was 3.42 m = 3.74 yd = 0.002 mi
  • one Putten rod (Puttense roede) (= 14 feet) was 4.056 m = 4.436 yd = 0.003 mi
  • one Schouw rod (Schouwse roede) (= 12 feet) was 3.729 m = 4.078 yd = 0.002 mi
  • one Kings rod (in Friesland) (Konings roede) (= 12 feet) was 3.913 m = 4.279 yd = 0.002 mi
  • one Gelderland rod (Geldersche roede) (= 14 feet) was 3.807 m = 4.163 yd = 0.002 mi


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia article on "Dutch units of measurement"
  2. Cardarelli, François (1998). Scientific Unit Conversion. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-76022-9. 

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