If Carolyn Solon joined a superhero team, it wouldn’t be a Squadron. Nor a Patrol, or Corps, or a Legion. It would be a League.
Did you know that the title of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” doesn’t refer to a depth, but a horizontal distance of travel (while “under the sea”?
A league was originally the distance an average person could work in an hour. For me, that’s about three miles under decent conditions, so 60,000 miles would be an extremely deep ocean. The deepest part of the ocean we have, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, is only 6.9 miles deep.
It gets a bit more complicated, of course, as old units often do. A nautical league, which is more relevant to that particular story, is three nautical miles. That comes out to 6,076 feet, compared to a U.S. of A. mile of 5,280 feet.
The word “league” comes from a Roman phrase, the “leuga Gallica,” or “League of Gaul.” It was about 1.4 miles, so I guess I walk faster than a typical Roman.
It was brought to England by Vikings (well, Normans, which are very nearly the same thing).
Eventually, leagues became almost synonymous with stadia (see last week’s post), which eventually became something more like the mile we use today.