Brill’s New Pauly

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(84 words)

[German version]

Roman measure of length ('palm'; cf. the Greek palaistḗ) of 4 digiti, corresponding to 1/4 foot and a length of c. 74 mm (cf. Vitr. De arch. 3,1,8: "relinquitur pes quattuor palmorum, palmus autem habet quattuor digitos."). Like digitus ('finger width') and pes ('foot') this unit of length is based on the proportions of the human body.


1 F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882, 74f.

2 H. Nissen, Griechische und römische Metrologie (Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft 1), 21892, 842f.

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Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim), “Palmus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 16 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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