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Plethron

(96 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (πλέθρον/ pléthron). A p. (Latin iugerum) is a Greek unit of length of 100 feet, corresponding to 1/6 στάδιον/ stádion (Stadion). Depending on the underlying length of the foot (Pous), it has a length of c. 27-35 m; an Attic plethron comes to 31 m. In Homeric epic, plethron is synonymous with the length of a furrow; plethron can also be found there as a unit of area for a piece of land 100 feet square (cf. also Hom. Il. 23,164: ἑκατόμπεδον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα). Measures Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882, 28.

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…

Measure of volume

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Measures of volume were used to measure liquids and especially grain and other bulk solids (dates, etc.). Therefore, they were employed in the administration of grain, including the issuing of rations. According to cuneiform sources, ordinary measuring vessels (especially the sea) were made of wood. Special measures for liquids can only be identified locally with a standard ‘vessel’ usually containing 20 or 30 litres. Despite all temporal and local differences, a relatively constant absolute size of the small unit (Sumerian sìla, Akkadian = c.…

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    …

Kypros

(2,178 words)

Author(s): Briese, Christoph (Randers) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
(Cyprus) [German version] [1] [German version] I. Neolithic I (Khirokitia culture, c. 7000-6000 BC) and II (Sotira culture, 4500-3900 BC) The settlement of K. (for the history see also Cyprus II) began relatively late and differed significantly from that of the neighbouring regions Anatolia, Syria, and Palestine. While small groups of hunter-gatherers there gradually became settled farmers around 9000/8000 BC, the earliest inhabitants of the island of K. were, from the beginning, farmers, herders, hunters, and fis…

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.

Measures

(1,991 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) | Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Although the different basic measurement systems (length, measures of volume and weights) were created and defined independently of each other, at least in Mesopotamia relationships between them were established. In the Ancient Orient as elsewhere, the terms for measures of length were based on body parts (cubit, palm and finger widths), however, the foot was not used as a basic measure of length. Regional and temporal differences must be considered. The Babylonian ‘cubit’ (Sumerian kùš, Akkadian ammatu, normally c. 50 cm; in the 1st millenni…

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…
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