Brill’s New Pauly

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(163 words)

[German version]

(later Greek ξέστης/xéstēs, 'a sixth'). Roman unit of fluid and dry capacity equalling 1/48 of an amphora [2], 1/6 of a congius, 2 heminae , 4 quartarii and 12 cyathi (Cyathus [2]; see table); a sextarius corresponds to approximately 0,546 l. As a measure of volume sextarius also occurs on ancient measuring vessels. Colloquially sextarius was also used for 1/6 of anything. The sextarius was the largest measure of both fluid and dry capacity; higher units had distinct names.

Roman units of fluid and dry capacity and their relationships: sextarius     


cyathus  …

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Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim), “Sextarius”, 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 31 May 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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