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Pondo

(45 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Fossilised ablative of limitation of Latin pondus, -i, 'in weight'. Often used instead of libra [1] as a basic Roman unit of weight in the sense 'at a weight of 1 pound'. Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882.

Ulna

(111 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (ὠλένη/ ōlénē, literally 'elbow'). A measure of length based on one of the proportions of the human body which appears primarily in poetry (cf. e.g. Hor. Epod. 4,8; Verg. Ecl. 4,105; Verg. G. 3,355); its extent is inconsistent. Whereas the term is occasionally used as a synonym for cubitus (ell = 11/2 feet), it is also found in Plinius [1] the Elder as a translation of ὄργυια/ órgyia (fathom = 6 feet; cf. Plin. HN 36,87 with Hdt. 2,148,7), the length a human can span with both arms (Plin. HN 16,133; 16,202). Use as an official measure of length is improbable. Schulzki, Heinz-Jo…

Libra

(249 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] [1] Unit of weight (also pondus, ‘pound’, metonymic ‘what has been weighted’; Greek equivalent: λίτρα/ lítra). Terminus technicus for the unit of weight of 327,45 g of the Roman measuring system; a libra corresponds to the as , which in the duodecimal system was divided into 12 unciae of 27,28g [2. 706 fig. XIII]. The standard very likely remained unchanged until early Byzantine times, as evidenced by weighing coins of precious metals and silver implements. [3. 222]. As weights, we find librae of bronze and of lead, also of stone. They are to be differentiated…

Pechys

(137 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (πῆχυς; pêchys). Greek measure of length derived from the proportions of the human body, from the tip of the longest finger to the elbow ('ell' or 'cubit', Latin Cubitus), equal to 2 σπιθαμαί ( spithamaí/'handspans' ), 6 παλαισταί ( palaistaí/'handbreadths'; cf. Latin Palmus) as well as 24 δάκτυλοι ( dáktyloi/'fingerbreadths'; cf. Latin digitus), corresponding to 1 1/2 feet (cf. Vitr. De arch. 3,1,8). Depending on the foot measure (Pous) that was used, its length was c. 40-52 cm. According to a metrological relief from the island of Salamis, the Attic pechys measured …

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…
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