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Semuncia

(188 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Roman unit, 1/24 of a larger whole. As a weight a semuncia corresponds to half an ounce/ uncia ( “semuncia, quod dimidia pars unciae”, Varro Ling. 5,171) and hence to 1/24 of a libra [1] = 13·64 g (value indicator S or Σ), as a measure of length to 1/24 of a pes = 12·3 mm, as a unit of square measure to 1/24 of a iugerum = 105.1 m2, as a measure of time to 1/24 of an hour, as an interest rate to 1/24 of a centesima (1 % a month, 12 % a year) = 1/2 %. In the late Roman and Byzantine system of weights a semuncia corresponds to 12 scripula (value indicator  XII, IB; s cripulum ) or 3 solidi

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…

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 …

Palmus

(84 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] Roman measure of length ('palm'; cf. the Greek palaistḗ) of 4 digiti, corresponding to 1/4 foot and a length of c. 74 mm (cf. Vitr. De arch. 3,1,8: "relinquitur pes quattuor palmorum, palmus autem habet quattuor digitos."). Like digitus ('finger width') and pes ('foot') this unit of length is based on the proportions of the human body. Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 F. Hultsch, Griechische und römische Metrologie, 21882, 74f. 2 H. Nissen, Griechische und römische Metrologie (Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft 1), 21892, 842f.

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…

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.

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…

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.

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…

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…

Decumanus

(282 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] is a technical term from Roman surveying ( Limitatio), and denotes the perpendicular lines ( limites) in a rectangular surveying system; originally it was a term from cosmology, for the east-west axis as sighting line for the apparent movement of the heavens [1. 199]: counterpart of the   cardo , which as north-south axis divides the world into the hemisphere of the sunrise and that of the sunset, or diurnal and nocturnal hemispheres [2. 147]. In the practise of land-surveying the decumanus maximus was established as an axis of orientation on the basis of to…

Xestes

(129 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (ξέστης/ xéstēs). From the turn from the 3rd cent. BC to the 2nd onwards, the term xestes is recorded as a Greek term for the Roman sextarius , a fluid and dry measure of capacity (=  c. 0.546 l) corresponding to 1/48 of an amphora [2], 1/6 of a congius or 2 heminae , 4 quartarii and 12 cyathi . In late Antiquity Egypt, 72 xestai/ sextarii corresponded to an artábē, which was subdivided into 48 choínikes. Hence a choínix can be equated with 11/2 xestai/ sextarii. Sextarius (with table) Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim) Bibliography 1 H. Chantraine, s. v. X., RE 9 A, 210…

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…

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.),…

Pous

(195 words)

Author(s): Schulzki, Heinz-Joachim (Mannheim)
[German version] (πούς/ poús, 'foot', Lat. pes ). A poús is a Greek unit of length, taken from the proportions of the human body, of 4 παλαισταί ( palaistaí; p alaistḗ ; 'hand width', Lat. palmus ) or 16 δάκτυλοι ( dáktyloi; d áktylos ; 'finger width', Lat. digitus). Owing to differing regional calculations its length varied between c. 270 and 350 mm; an Attic foot was c. 300 mm. The poús is a subunit of larger units; 100 pódes correspond to a  πλέθρον ( pléthron ), 600 pódes to a  στάδιον ( st ádion ); cf. table. Greek units of length and the relationships between them     Unit of length     δάκτυλος …

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…

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.

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…

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…
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