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# Re: a query

From: Raymond Brown Sunday, October 1, 2000, 18:34
```At 8:09 am +0100 1/10/00, Raymond Brown wrote:
[.....]
>SQUARE MEASURE
>The basic unit was the _iu:gerum_ (an interesting word in that, tho [snip]
>UK).  It was 28 000 square Roman feet, i.e. 240 pedes * 120 pedes.
>
>Smaller areas were measured in _pede:s quadra:ti:_ (square feet).
OOps!  On checking, I find that the _iu:gerum_ was also divided into 12
_u:nciae_.  Thus an uncia of land was 2400 square Roman feet.

_pede:s quadra:ti:_ would be used for the sort of areas that are
traditionally measured in square feet or square yards now.

[snip]
>
>Hope this helps.  I'm afraid I don't recall the measures of capacity
Got it now   :)

CAPACITY
The basic unit is, of course, the 'pint'  :)

What's more it was only slightly less than the Imperial pint - the Roman
one was about 565 ml, and the Imperial pint is 568 ml or 20 fluid ounces;
the American pint (16 fluid ounces) is 551 ml.  The Roman pint was divided
into 12, but the unit this time was not called unciae, but _cyathi:_ .

however, it wasn't quite so neat because as well borrowing the Greek
_cyathus_, they also borrowed the _he:mina_, i.e. "half pint".  Thus:

6 cyathi: = 1 he:mina
2 he:minae = 1 sexta:rius (pint)

That was the same for both liquid & dry measure; what happened after that
differed, thus:
LIQUID MEASURE                         DRY MEASURE
6 sexta:rii: = 1 congius              16 sextarii: = 1 modius
8 congii: = 1 amphora                  6 modii: = 1 medimnus

(In the above all words ending in -a are 1st. fem, and those in -us 2nd.
masc.   _Modius_ and _medimnus_  were sometimes treated as neuter, i.e.
_modium_ and _medimnum

Ray.

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A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
[J.G. Hamann 1760]
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