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Pertica

(155 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Pertica is the name given to the measuring rod (bar) of the Roman land surveyor and architect (mostly with a length of 10 feet ( decempeda ) = c. 2,96 m, more rarely with 12, 15 or 17 feet). Pertica is also the t.t. for the area surveyed with the rod as well as, in the form pertica quadrata, for the surface measurement for an area of 10 × 10 feet. As a regional special form, pertica is known from Germania as a length measure of 12 feet according to the pes Drusianus at 33.3 cm, corresponding to 3.99 m. In agriculture, pertica is the term for the stakes used in viticulture to at…

Sescuncia

(126 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (also sescunx; sesqui unciae = 1 1/2 unciae ). Roman unit for 1/8 of a larger whole. As a weight it equals 1/8 of a libra [1] = 40.93 gr. (value mark I-L; AE 1968, 258), as a length, 1/8 of a pes = 37 mm, as an area, 1/8 of a iugerum = 315 m2. In the eastern Mediterranean the sescuncia as a weight was also equal to 12 Attic drachmai (value mark I-B). In coinage, the  sescuncia corresponds to 1/8 of an as , later also 1/8 of a denarius . As a coin the sescuncia is found in Venusia (SNG Munich, 1970, 550) and in Paestum (SNG Copenhagen, 1969, 1346). Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliog…

Hexas

(285 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (ἑξᾶς; hexâs). Greek name for silver and aes coins from Sicily and (more rarely) southern Italy worth 1/6   litra ; also called dionkion, Latin equivalent   sextans , since the coin system used there was based on 12 unciae to the litra. Value symbol: 2 dots. The extremely rare smallest silver coins (average weight 0.14 g) of this nominal are attested in Tarentum [5. 1117-1121], Acragas [2. 122], Himera [1. 30], Leontini [7. 1345], Messana [7. 326], Segesta [1. 48] and Syracuse [3. 373]. Owing to the non-uniform standard of the bronze litra, the aes coins have greatl…

Medimnos

(102 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (μέδιμνος; médimnos) is the largest Greek unit of measurement for dry substances, with a volume of 6 hekteis ( Hekteus), equivalent to 48 choinikes ( Choinix) and 192 kotylai ( Kotyle [2]). According to Hultsch, it equals c. 52.5 l, according to Nissen c. 51.8 l with considerable regional differences. Measures of volume Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882, 108, 703 tab. X 2 M. Lang, M. Crosby, Weights, Measures and Tokens (The Athenian Agora 10), 1964, 41ff. 3 H. Nissen, Griechische und römische M…

Quadrantal

(177 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] The quadrantal (cubic foot) was the basic Roman unit of volume (Measure of volume) for liquids, identical in measurement to the amphora [2], equal to 2 urnae, 8 congii, 48 sextarii, 96 heminae, 192 quartarii etc. (cf. table). Calibrated to water, the quadrantal was equal to 80 librae (1 libra = 327.45 g), i.e. 26.2 litres. The quadrantal was probably standardized in the late 3rd cent. BC by a lex Silia de mensuris et ponderibus (Fest. 288). The Roman measures of volume and their relationships     Unit of volume    acetabulum     quartarius     hemina     sextarius    …

Sextula

(144 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] ('A small sixth' = 1/6 of the u ncia ; cf. Varro Ling. 5,171: aeris minima pars sextula, quod sexta pars unciae). Roman unit of measurement constituting 1/72 of a bigger whole. As unit of weight, the sextula corresponds to 1/72 of the libra [1] = 4,55 g, as unit of area to 1/72 of the iugerum = 35 m2. In the Late Roman and Byzantine weight system, the sextula was equivalent to four scripula (value symbol Δ; scripulum ) or one solidus (value symbol N). Sextula also appears as part of the declared weight on silver crockery from Late Antiquity (CIL XIII 3100,5; 10026,25; 29a). Schulzki…

Iugerum

(232 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Latin name for a square measure comprising a rectangle of 120 × 240 feet = 35,52 × 71,04 m = 2523 m2 = 1/4 ha, made up of two squares ( Actus [2]) [1. 84f.; 3. 9f.], according to Plin. HN 18,3,9 the area which could be ploughed in one day by one yoke of oxen, in a figurative sense a ‘day's work’. Division according to the duodecimal system into 2 actus, 12 unciae, 288   scripula , with 1 scripulum corresponding to 100 square feet. A full calculation of the sub-units is given by Columella 5,1,4-5,2,10 [2. 627]. Varro, Rust. 1,10,2 mentions   heredium (2 I.), centuria (200 I.) and   sa…

Kados

(128 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (κάδος; kádos, Latin cadus, ‘jug, pail’). Graeco-Latin term for a vessel, usually earthen, for storing fluids. In Athens, kados was also the term for the biggest unit in the measure of volume, synonymous with metretes, equal to 39,4 l. [1. 101-102; 703 table X A]. In Rome, kados was the measure of Greek wines, as opposed to Italian wines, which were measured by the amphora [2]. In Roman literature, kados is a technical term for wine jug, often used metonymically for wine by the poets of the Augustan period. Records show that satirists also used the…

Hekte

(190 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (ἕκτη; héktē). Greek term for the sixth of a unit. Nominal term for the electrum staters ( Stater) of Cyzicus (inscription IG I2 199; 203), Mytilene and Phocaea made of a gold-silver alloy. In addition, series from the 7th to the 5th cents. BC have been found from indeterminate minting sites of Asia Minor that were launched according to the Milesian, Phocaean and Samian-Euboean standard [3. 7-17]. The coins of Mytilene and Phocaea made in the gold-silver ratio of 1:131/3 [1. 55] as joint mintings according to the coinage agreement of 394 BC [2. 29] corresp…

Hemina

(166 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] ( emina). Latin term adopted from the Greek (ἡμίνα; hēmína) for a measure of volume for liquids and dry goods in the volume of 1/96  amphora, 1/32  modius, 1/2  sextarius, corresponding to 2  quartarii, 4  acetabula, 6  cyathi. It corresponds to 0.273 l; calibrated in relation to water, there are 10 ounces to 1 hemina. Widespread as a measurement for drinks - comparable with ‘half a pint’ in comedy and in other writers [1. 2602-2604] as well as a quantity indicator in recipes in Caelius Apicius [2. 99-100; 3. 143]. As an oil measure, hemina describes by the name λιτραῖ…

Konche

(81 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (κόγχη; kónchē; Lat. concha; ‘mussel, small bowl’); technical term for a minimum measure, used mostly by doctors to specify a quantity of ointment. In this system, the ‘large konche’ (μεγάλη κόγχη/ megálē konche) is equivalent to an oxybaphon and corresponds to c. 0.06 l, the ‘small konche’ (ἐλάττων κόγχη, eláttōn konche) equivalent to 1/2 cyathus [2] and corresponds to c. 0.02 l [1. 636]. Measures of volume Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882.

Groma

(227 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (Greek γνώμων; gnṓmōn). Name of the Roman  surveyors' device for determining straight lines and right angles when surveying a terrain. It consists of a pole about the height of a man ( ferramentum) and a rotatable cross of four horizontal rods ( stella) attached to it at right angles. On the four ends were attached plumb-lines ( perpendicula) almost down to the ground. The plumb attached to the centre point of the rotary cross ( umbilicus soli) was aligned above the measurement point by a slight slanting of the ferramentum [3]. The application is known through Heron o…

Metretes

(110 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (μετρητής; metrētḗs) is the Greek name for the largest unit of measurement for fluids, synonymous with kados , a volume of 12 chóai ( Chous [1]), corresponding to 144 kotýlai ( Kotyle [2]). It is equivalent to approximately 39,4 litres, according to Hultsch, whereas Nissen puts it at approximately 38,9 litres. Measures of Volume Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882 (reprint 1971), 101f., 703 table X A 2 M. Lang, M. Crosby, Weights, Measures and Tokens (The Athenian Agora 10), 1964, 56ff. 3 H. Nissen, G…

Kyathos

(159 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] [1] See Pottery, shapes and types of see  Pottery, shapes and types of Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) [German version] [2] Measure of volume for fluids (κύαθος/ kýathos, Latin cyathus; 'cup'); Graeco-Latin term for a measure of volume for fluids amounting to 1/6 kotyle [2] or 1/72 chous [1] in the Greek system [1. 104] and 1/12 sextarius or 1/576 amphora [2] [1. 117] in the Roman, equivalent to approx. 0.045 l. In the Roman system, the cyathus was also a unit of measure for the ladle used to serve wine from the krater into the drinking-cup [1. 118], the volume of …

Ro

(44 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] ( r­, literally 'cup') is an Egyptian measure of capacity for fluids and dry goods at 1/32 Hin ( c. 0,48 l) and corresponds to c. 0,015 l. Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 W. Helck, S. Vleming, s. v. Maße u. Gewichte, LÄ 3, 1201 f.

Palaiste

(115 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (παλαιστή/ palaist ). Greek unit of length (a 'hand's width', cf. Latin palmus ) of 4 δάκτυλοι ( dáktyloi), corresponding to 1/4 foot. Extrapolating from the length of the underlying measurement, the foot (πούς/ pous ), the palaiste is between 68 and 87 mm long. This unit of measure, the dáktylos ('finger's width'), the σπιθαμή ( spithamḗ /'span') and the πῆχυς ( pêchys /'cubit') draw on the proportions of the human body. According to Herodotus 1 foot corresponds to 4 hands and a cubit to 6 hands (Hdt. 2,149,3). Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsc…

Passus

(113 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Roman measure of length (two paces; Greek βῆμα διπλοῦν/ bêma diploûn) of 5 feet, corresponding to c. 1.48 m. The passus formed the basic unit for measuring mileage, the Roman road surveys providing distance data on the basis of 1,000 times the passus, i.e. the mille passus (plural milia passuum, abbreviated as MP and corresponding to 1.48 km) (cf. for instance ILS 23: milestone of Polla). In military terminology, milia passuum was also used by way of asserting feats of marching (cf. for instance Veg. Mil. 1,27). Milestones Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliograp…

Spithame

(112 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (σπιθαμή/ spithamḗ, handspan). Greek unit of length taken from the proportions of the human body, extending between the tips of the thumb and little finger, equal to 1/2 pchys , i.e. 3 palaistaí ( palaist ) or 12 dáktyloi dáktylos [1]. Depending on the underlying foot size ( pous ), its length was c. 20-26 cm. According to a metrological relief from the island Salamis [1], the Attic spithame was 24,3 cm long. There was no unit of length corresponding to spithame in the Roman measurement system. Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 K. W. Beinhauer (ed.),…

Sextarius

(163 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[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      Unit:     cyathus  …

Leuga

(360 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Gallo-Roman unit of measurement of Celtic origin for measuring and displaying distances on roads in Aquitania from the 2nd cent. AD and in the other Gaulish as well the two German provinces from the beginning of the 3rd cent. One leuga is equivalent to 1.5 Roman miles and corresponds to c. 2,200 m. Whilst in the 1st and 2nd cents. in these provinces the distance indications on the miliaria ( Milestones) were provided exclusively in Roman miles (abbreviation M P = milia passuum), the measures generally appeared in leugae (abbreviation L) from the time of Septimius Sev…
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