Everingham Family History Record Reprint... (c)July 2000

Understanding Old World &
Medieval era Measurements

information gathered from many different sources.

AMBER: A measure of four bushels.

AMPHORA: A measure of five gallons.

ARATHRA: The amount of land that could be ploughed by a plough in a year.

ARDABB or IRDABB: A measure of capacity of varying value, in medieval times usually about 90 liters.

ARPENT: Two and a quarter perches; roughly 121 feet. As a measure of area it was equal to about five perches or from 0.84 to 1.28 acres.

BONNIER: Approximately ten arpents.

CAFICIUM: A kind of measure used in Spain.

CARICA: A measure of weight.

CARUCATE: A measurement of land, equal to a hide (used in the Danelaw), fixed at 100 acres in England in the year 1194.

CENTENUM: The number 100.

CRANNOCK: A measure equal to a Bristol barrel.

CROFT: A small piece of arable land, sometimes, but not always, next to a house.

CUBIT: A unit of length equal to 0.443 meters or 18 inches.

DANIQ: A coin or weight, one-sixth of a dirham or, more frequently, of a dinar.

DHIRA': The cubit, or arm's length, subdivided into 24 digits. The length of the cubit varies in different regions and for different purposes. It is usually in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 centimeters

DIGIT: A measure of length equal to 10.48 mm.

DIRHAM: used to designate a weight, which varied greatly at different times and places and for different commodities.

DOLIUM: A cask of about 208 gallons.

DYKKER: A bundle or last.

FARSAKH: A measure of distance, based on the ancient Persian parasang and used in the eastern provinces of the Caliphate. It was regarded as the equivalent of three miles, as used in the ex-Byzantine provinces. The mile, of 4000 cubits, is estimated at about 2 kilometers.

HAUTBAN: A measure of wine.

HAVOTUS: A measure of grain among the Belgians.

HEMINA: Medieval measure equal to about 10 fluid ounces.

HIDE: A unit of measurement for assessment of tax, theoretically 120 acres, although it may vary between 60 and 240 acres. It is by custom the amount of land that can be cultivated by one eight-ox plow-team in one year.

HODIUM: A measure of grain among the Belgians.

KILDERKIN: A cask of from 16 to 18 gallons.

LEET: The term used for a subdivision of land in Kent equivalent to a hundred.

MEDIMNUM: A Greek measure of about six pecks.

MESA: A measure larger than a cupa; a doliolum.

MIGERIA: A liquid or dry measure.

MILLENUM:. The number 1000.

MITHQAL: Unit of weight, particularly for precious metals, based on the Byzantine solidus. The dinar weighed one mithqal of an average standard weight of 4.231 grams.

MUDD: Measure of capacity in early Islam, probably a little over a liter.

MUID: Approximately 52 liters; 16 setiers.

PICTURA: A portion of a field or vineyard.

PISA: A weight of approximately one pound.

PONDERA: Measures used for wool and cheese.

QIST: Measure of capacity, variously assessed at from 1.2 to 2.5 liters.

QUINTAL: A hundred-weight.

QUINTARIUM: A measure of weight; a fifth of various measures.

RATL: Unit of weight, varying greatly with time, place, and the material weighed and ranging from under a pound to more than 4 pounds.

ROTA: A measure, less than a quintarium.

SAUMA: A measure of capacity varying with locality.

SCEAT or SCAET: Four sceats equal one penny.

SCHEPEL: A bushel.

SCIPPOND: A measure; possibly "schippond," a unit of weight in Baltic trade varying from 300 to 400 pounds.

SESTER: A measure of four gallons.

SETIER: About three and a quarter liters.

SICLA or SIGLA: Liquid measure.

SITULAE: Measures containing eight setiers.

STICA: A bundle of 20 eels.

SULUNG: A measurement of land in Kent. Equal to two hides.

TIMMERA: A measure; a quantity of small skins, 40-120 according to the skin, packed between two boards.

TONNA: A measure (ton-a measure of capacity for wine; also a weight measure for cheese).

TORSELLUS: A bundle, exact size unknown.

TWELFHYNDEMAN: One whose wergeld is 1200 shillings.

TWYHYNDEMAN: A man whose wergild was 200 shillings.

UNCUS: A measure of land among the Danes, Prussians, and Poles.

VIRGATE: A unit of arable land, varying in size from 18-40 acres, though the "average" virgate was a 30-acre unit of land.

WAPENTAKE: In northern England and the Midlands, a subdivision of a shire; the equivalent of a Hundred.

WERGILD: In Anglo-Saxon times, all society was graded according to blood-price or wergild- the sum of money reckoned as proper compensation in case of homicide. Thus the compensation value of a life.

WEY: A measure of weight equal to a pondus.

YOKE: A measurement of land in Kent equal to one quarter of a sulung.

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