Brill’s New Pauly

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Pes
(331 words)

[German version]

The pes ('foot') was the basic unit of Roman measures of length (corresponding to 296·2 mm). According to Vitruvius (Vitr. 3,1,5) it, its subdivisions digitus ('fingerwidth'; Greek δάκτυλος/ dáktylos = 1/16 foot) and palmus ('handwidth'; Greek παλαιστή/palaistḗ = 1/4 foot) and its sesquimultiple cubitus ('cubit'; Greek πῆχυς/ pȇchys ) draw on the proportions of the human body. Following the duodecimal system usual in coinage, the pes was also subdivided into 12 unciae ('inches'). Numerous surviving folding foot-long rules of bronze, bone or brass ge…

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Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim), “Pes”, 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 17 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e916020>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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