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24

Measurement units have followed a fairly standard pattern. Originally things are compared to something that both parties recognise. It could be a specific thing (the Washington monument) or a general thing (a banana). No one is really measuring anything accurately, so this is good enough. Next people start to measure things against their own standard. ...


15

You give your own answer! When that size variation was a problem, they could standardize, somewhat, by using the body part of a ruler/monarch/lord/etc. instead of just some random individual. There is some historic individual who has made a big impression on all of these involved races. Measurements reference body parts and famous exploits of this ...


9

Well, for one, it's unlikely that having multiple races would affect using body parts for measurement; humans come in varying shapes and sizes after all, and that's why we moved to more objective forms of measurement as our technology allowed for it. At most, you'd wind up with a situation where they say things like "that's an orc-foot long" or "that weighs ...


8

We have used non-human body parts for measurement before. Roman roads were just broad enough to allow for two horses to go side by side on them. If anything, though, the usage of body parts from onespecies might make the other feel misrepresented. This may lead to tensions which will hasten the adoption of some sort of universal, scientific measure. The ...


6

Measurements were originally derived from things aside from the human body. The acre was originally the amount of land that could be plowed by a yoke of oxen in one day, and eventually became defined as a strip of land a furlong in length and a chain wide, with the furlong the length of a furrow said oxen could plow in one go before having to rest. What's ...


6

It's not stated in the original question, but the implicit assumption that seems to be at work is that there are no other "godlike entities" around to interfere. If that's the case, then we're looking at our world with the one change being this thing arrives and starts being all godlike, yes? Well, in that case, it doesn't have to worry about the Abrahamic ...


4

Different races world most likely still use their own body parts among themselves. When interacting with other races they would learn to change between units. If the races have been in contact with each other for a long time, it would be easier to use measurement units taken from elsewhere in their nature, from animals and plants common enough that ...


3

Look at the Holy Roman Empire. Basically every city and principalia had its own units. This shows us two things concerning your question: Firstly that people could life and trade with different units of measurement and second that those units supposedly based on body parts lost their reference after a while. For example the Hessian Klafter was 2.5m, ...


3

Burping is mostly caused by gas contained in the stomach. Methane and ethane are formed in the intestine by bacteria residing there. Therefore if you want to have methane fed fire, you have to lit farts. Less epic, if you want. Or more, depending on your taste for epic. If you want to lit burps, the only thing you can achieve is producing hydrogen using ...


3

They could continue to use their own body parts, and simply be aware of conversions and other rules of thumb. If a human and a halfling are negotiating for some number of feet of cloth, they should establish which culture's "feet" are being used. (Or, maybe they don't and this is one way unscrupulous vendors try to swindle people in your universe.) In pre-...


3

Easiest way to convert all of Judea at that time: Send a prophet who passes their "tests for a prophet", outlined in their religious text. Most notably, the test of a prophet is in Deuteronomy 13:1-3 and Deuteronomy 18:18-22. Now then, the rule here is that a true prophet can predict the future accurately, confirms his message with signs and wonders, and ...


3

If you already have standard measurements for, e.g. time, you could base things off of that. E.g. a candle that is tall enough to burn in one hour is a candle-length. Sure, some one-hour candles might be taller than others, but the same is true for the body-part measurements that would otherwise have been used. If a certain type of candle has been around ...


3

The reason people used body parts was its something everyone could reference. Given that's not the case with multiple fantasy races, then they'd likely use some other common reference. Perhaps they'd measure lengths in bananas. Or Elephant tails. How much is that rope? Its 2 coppers per Narwhal tusk.


2

Why not use the size of the Earth itself? This is, after all, how real life got both the nautical mile (conceptually one minute of latitude, or 1/21 600 of the circumference) and the meter (1/40 000 000). It can be measured with good-enough accuracy using the knowledge available to Eratosthenes (276-195 BCE). Of course, as technology improves, more ...


2

Use circles. The angles would be consistent regardless of the size of the circle, especially if you make them concentric to evaluate them. Then use the distance the stars move in a particular time frame. Perform a few calculations and you can come up with latitude and longitude and from defining a unit of measure as the set fraction of the distance ...


2

Just keep Rome healthy (The question is rather broad, so I'm going to generalize a bit. Okay, a lot. Bear with me.) The distinction between religion, culture and politics is a relatively modern invention. To the people you're interacting with, it is simply their way of life, and coming into contact with a different one is something that the Romans were, ...


2

Before Christianity came along, the Pharisees, the most dominant sect of Jewish leaders, were already cooperating with the Roman government allowing Roman culture to subvert the bulk of Judaism. The Gnostic Jews were scattered to the wilderness where they cut themselves off from society making them harmless, and the Zealots who actively opposed Roman ...


2

We're in this exact situation on this planet right now: Within one part the planet, the one type of aliens use one system, whereas in the other part the other aliens use another system. So the answer to your question is: Wherever the aliens do not talk to one another, they use their own system, but if the one alien tries to sell something to the other ...


1

The 'Problem' and the Answer If you're disallowing body parts as the foundation unit, even if they're the body part of a particular individual, then that leaves other physical objects, and repeatable physical phenomena. For example, one culture might use a {unit} defined as the length of the shadow of some famous monument, taken at local noon on the ...


1

You are chasing a non-issue. Variation among races doesn't matter. By the time the variation of other races matter, your culture isn't using natural measurements anymore. handspans work fine even with a wide variety of races because by the time the difference in hands matter you are not using real handspans anymore. First nothing in nature is consistent ...


1

(1) In 45 BCE Judaea was not part of the Roman empire. It became a Roman province half a century later, in 6 CE. (2) By the middle of the 1st century BCE the Roman official state religion was already on life support. Public theological debate with Jewish priesthood with consequent public subversion of Elijah's Jahweh vs Baal challenge. Why on Earth would ...


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