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(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    …


(331 words)

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


(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…


(173 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] The quincunx ( quinque unciae; Greek πεντόγκιον/ pentónkion) was a Roman measure equalling 5/12 of a larger unit, also in the sense of 5% in interest or an inheritance. As a measure of weight it corresponds to 5/12 libra = 136,4 g, as one of area to 5/12 iugerum = 1051 m2, as one of volume 5/12 sextarius = 0·23 l. Because of its exceptional position within the usual duodecimal system, weights of this value are extraordinarily rare. Examples from the Roman period bear the value mark IIIII (CIL XIII 10030,36) or V, pieces from the Byzantine period Γ-Ε. The quincunx as a bronze…


(75 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (παρασάγγης; parasángēs). Babylonian-Assyrian and Persian measurement of length, equal to 30 stadia (cf. Hdt. 2,6,3; Xen. An. 5,5,4) or 10,800 royal cubits, the equivalent of c. 5.7km. According to Herodotus, roads as well as those areas of land included in the tax land register were measured in parasangs in the kingdoms of the Ancient Near East (Hdt. 6,42,2). Stadion [1] Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882, 476ff.


(382 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Technical term used in ancient numismatics to describe multiples of a particular denomination or of a larger format minting from precious or non-precious metals. Frequently multiplum is used erroneously as a synonym for the term 'medallion'; the latter, however, excludes any function as a means of payment, whereas multipla are a fundamental part by weight of the current coin system. In the Greek sphere, the oktadrachmon and the dekadrachmon can be spoken of as multipla, as their minting can as a rule be seen in connection with particular events. In Rome we encounter the b…


(109 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] [1] see Gefäße, Gefäßformen/-typen see Skyphos Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) [German version] [2] Dry measure (κοτύλη/ kotýlē; Latin cotula, cotyla). Graeco-Latin name for a measure of volume for liquids equalling 1/144 metretes or 1/12 chous [1], the equivalent of 4 oxybapha or 6 kyathoi. Also the name for a dry measure of a volume of 1/192 medimnos or 1/32 hekteus . According to Hultsch, conversion is c. 0.27 l [1. 108, 703, table X], according to Viedebantt c. 0.22 l [2. 1547f.] with fairly large regional variations. Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliogr…


(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…


(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…


(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.


(129 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Egyptian hollow measure for fluids and dry materials of 1/10 ḥqt ( hekat) in the Old Kingdom or 1/40 jpt ( oipe) in the New Kingdom, corresponding to c. 0.48 l [3. 1201], with minimal differences upwards [1. 1644] and downwards [2. 1152]. The hin is the only remaining unit from the Demotic period, corroborated by extant measuring vessels. Its relations to the  artabe and  choinix are contentious [3. 1210]. Measuring vessels based on the hin have also been handed down from the New Kingdom: mḥt = 1 hin, pg = 1/4 hin, mnḏqt = 50 hin, which seem, however, not to have h…


(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…


(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…

Cardo, kardo

(377 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] The point around which something rotates; technical term in Roman land-surveying ( limitatio); within the rectangular grid of the survey, it refers to the horizontal lines ( limites). Originally, it was a cosmological term, referring to the pivotal point of the uni- verse; later, it was used to describe the north-south axis -- in contrast with the east-west axis of the   decumanus , which divided the world into two halves, one of sunrise and one of sunset, or one of day and one of night [1. 147]. In gromatic theory ( Surve…


(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.


(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…


(294 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] was the Latin term for technical experts who carried out measurements in the broadest sense of the word. Mensores agrarii ( agrimensores, geometrae, gromatici, surveyor) were responsible in both civil and military domains for marking out surfaces, laying out roads, aqueducts, and building camps. This activity gained great importance during the 1st cent. BC, as a consequence of the allocation of land to veterans. According to the representation on the gravestone of L. Aebutius Faustus (CIL V 6786 = ILS 7736), their main instrument was the groma. Mensores aedificiorum


(154 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (also quartuncia = 1/4 uncia ; Greek σικελικός/ sikelikós). Roman unit of 1/48 of a larger whole. As a weight the sicilicus corresponds to 1/48 of a libra [1] = 6,82 g and hence 11/2 sextulae , as a length 1/48 of a pes = c. 6 mm, as an area 1/48 of a iugerum = 52,5 m2, as a time unit 1/48 of an hora (hour) = 11/4 minutes (Plin. HN 18,324). In the imperial monetary system of the Greek East the sicilicus was synonymous with the assárion . In the late Roman and Byzantine systems of weights the sicilicus was equivalent to 6 scripula (value mark VI or Ε; scripulum ) or 11/2 solidi (Solidus). I…


(65 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (σάτον/ sáton, Latin satum; seā) is a Hebrew capacity measure for liquids and dry goods. Its volume varies in time and place between 20 and 24 loghim (Log; Hin; Sextarius) and corresponds to roughly 9.1-13.1 litres. During the Roman period the s. was equated with 1 1/2 Italic modii ( Modius [3]) (Jos. Ant. Iud. 9,85; less often 1 1/4 modii). Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)


(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.
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