Italian units of measurement

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A number of units of measurement were used in Italy to measure length, mass, capacity, etc. Since 1862, the metric system has been compulsory (with the exception of Milan, which had already adopted the metric system by 1803).[1] [2]

Historical Roman measurements[edit]

System of Units Before the Metric Adoption[edit]

Length[edit]

Units varied from one province or city to another.[1] [2][1][2][1][2]

1 piede liprando (foot) = 0.51377m.

1 punto (point) = 1/144 piede liprando

1 oncia (inch) = 1/12 piede liprando

1 canna = 4 piede liprando

1 trabucco = 6 piede liprando

1 miglio (mile) = 4333 1/3 piede liprando

Venice[edit]

1 braccio = 0.683 m

1 piede = 0.348 m.[2]

Milan[edit]

1 braccio = 12 once = 0.595 m

1 brabucco = 6 piedi.[2]

Turin[edit]

1 trabucoo = 6 piedi liprandi = 3.096 m

1 raso = 0.6 m

1 piede = 0.293 m.[2]

Bologna[edit]

1 braccio = 0.64 m

1 piede = 0.38 m.[2]

Florence[edit]

1 braccio = 2 palmi - 0.583 m.[2]

Genoa[edit]

1 palmo = 0.248 m.[2]

Rome[edit]

1 canna = 10 palmi = 2.234 m.[2]

Naples[edit]

Units used in Naples include:[2]

1 canna = 10 palmi (or 8 palmi[3]) = 2.646 m.

1 oncia = 5 minuti [3]

1 palmo = 12 oncie = 10.381 in[3]

1 pertica (a.k.a. passo) = 7 1/2 palmi.

Distance[edit]

1 miglio = 7000 palmo = 1.147 miles.[3]

Palermo[edit]

1 canna = 10 palmi = 2.065 m.[2]

Modena[edit]

1 cavezzo = 6 piede

1 piè = 20.593 in

1 braccio = 22.741 in.[4]

Parma[edit]

1 punto = 12 atomi

1 oncia = 12 punti

1 braccio di legno = 12 oncie

1 pertica = 6 braccia

1 braccio = 21.344 in

1 pie = 22.428 in.[5]

Roman States[edit]

Units used in the Roman State included:[6]

1 commercial palmo = 8.796 in

1 mercer's palmo = 8.347 in

1 architect's palmo = 8.79 in

1 pié = 11.592 in

1 pié (at Ancona) 15.384 in

1 canna = 78.4 in

1 braccio of Rome = 0.732 in

1 braccio of Ancona = 35 1/3 in.

Architects[edit]

1 palmo = 12 oncie of 10 decimi each.[6]

1 canna = 10 palmi[6]

1 catena = 10 stajoli = 25 1/2 palmi[6]

1 architect's pie (foot) = 16 once = 11.72 in.[6]

Sardinia[edit]

Units used in Sardinia include:[7]

1 punto = 12 atomi

1 oncia = 12 punti

1 piè liprando =12 oncie = 20.228 in

1 raso = 14 oncie.

In Turin and Piedmont 6 piede liprando = 1 trabucco, and one pertica was equal to 2 trabucci.[7]

Distance[edit]

Units include:[7]

1 miglio = 4333 1/3 piede liprando = 1.3835 mile.

Genoa[edit]

In Genoa, units include:[7]

1 piè manuale = 2/3 piè liprando

1 palmo = 5 1/3 oncie

1 braccio = 2 1/3 palmi

1 canna = about 9 palmi

Venetian Lombardy[edit]

1 punto = 12 atomi

1 oncia = 12 punti

1 braccio = 12 oncie

1 braccio = 2 piede

1 piè = 15.61 in (at Milan) and 13.69 in (at Venice)[8]

Distance[edit]

1 miglio = 1 kilometre = 0.6214 mile.[8]

Tuscany[edit]

1 soldo = 12 denari

1 palmo = 10 soldi = 11.49 in

1 braccio = 2 palmi

1 canna = 4 braccia

1 architect's canna = 5 braccia[9]

Distance[edit]

1 miglio = 2833 1/3 braccia = 1.0277 mile[9]

Mass[edit]

A number of units were used in Italy to measure mass, varying from one region to another.[1][2]

One libbra (pound) was equal to between 307 and 398 g.[1]

1 grano (grain) = 1/6912 libbra

1 denaro (scruple) = 1/288 libbra

1 ottavo (drachm) = 1/96 libbra

1 oncia (ounce) = 1/12 libbra

1 rubbo = 25 libbra

1 cantaro = 150 libbra[1][2]

Venice[edit]

1 libbra grossa = 12 once = 0.477 kg

1 libbra sottile = 0.301 kg.[2]

Milan[edit]

1 libbra grossa = 28 once = 0.763 kg.[2]

Turin[edit]

1 libbra = 12 once = 0.369 kg.[2]

Bologna[edit]

1 libbra mercantile = 12 once = 0.362 kg.[2]

Florence[edit]

1 libbra = 12 once = 0.3395 kg.[2]

Genoa[edit]

1 libbra = 12 once = 0.317 kg.[2]

Rome[edit]

1 libbra = 12 once = 0.339 kg.[2]

Naples[edit]

1 rotolo = 0.861 kg

1 libbra = 12 once = 0.321 kg.[2]

Gold, silver, silk, spices, drugs and pigments[edit]

1 trapeso = 20 accini

1 dramma = 3 trapesi (a.k.a. scrupoli)

1 oncia = 10 dramme

1 libbra = 12 oncie.[3]


Apothecaries' weights[edit]

1 scrupolo = 20 accini

1 drachma = 3 scrupoli

1 oncia = 10 drachme

1 libbra = 12 oncie.[3]

Palermo[edit]

1 cantaro = 100 rotoli = 79.34 kg

1 libbra = 12 once = 0.317 kg.[2]

Parma[edit]

1 denaro = 24 grani

1 oncia = 24 denari

1 libbra = 12 oncie

1 rubbio = 25 libbre

1 libbra = 0.7197 lb.[5]

Roman States[edit]

1 denaro = 24 grani

1 oncia = 24 denari

1 libbra = 12 oncie.

1 libbra = 0.7477 lb in Rome, 0.7984 in Bologna, 0.7277 in Ancona[6]

In Bologna, 1 carato = 4 grani; 1 ferlino = 10 carati; 1 ottavo = 2 ferlini; 1 oncia 8 ottavi; 1 libbra = 12 oncie.[6]

Genoa[edit]

1 denaro = 24 grani

1 oncia = 24 denari

1 libbra = 12 oncie = 0.70021 lb (in peso grosso it was 1/10 higher)

1 rottolo = 1 1/2 libbre.[7]

Piedmont[edit]

1 grano = 24 granotini

1 denaro = 24 grani

1 ottavo = 3 denai

1 oncia = 8 ottavi

1 libbra = 12 oncie = 0.81332 lb

1 marco (for gold and silver) = 2/3 libbra

1 apothecaries' libbra = 1 1/4 marco.[7]

Venetian Lombardy[edit]

1 denaro = 10 grani

1 grosso = 10 denari

1 oncia = 10 grossi

1 libbra metrica = 10 oncie = 1 kilogramme = 2.2046 lb

1 rubbio = 10 libbre[8]

Gold and silver[edit]

1 denaro = 24 grani

1 oncia = 24 denari

1 marco = 8 oncie = 7.5562 troy ounce.[8]

Tuscany[edit]

1 denaro = 24 grani

1 dramma = 3 denari

1 oncia = 8 dramme

1 libbra = 12 oncie = 0.7486 lb.[9]

Area[edit]

Several units were used in Italy to measure area, varying from one region to another.[1]

One giornata (also known as a quadrao) was equal to 38 m3.[1]

One tavolo was equal to 1/100 giornata.[1]

Modena[edit]

1 cavezzo2 = 36 piede2

1 tavola = cavezzi2

1 biolca = 72 tavole

1 biolca = 7009 acre.[4]

Parma[edit]

1 staro = 12 tavola

1 biolca = 6 stari of 288 pertica2

1 biolca = 75.28 acre[5]

Modena[edit]

1 oncia = 16 ferlini

1 libbra (a.k.a. lira) = 12 oncie

1 libbra = 0.7044 lb.[4]

Roman States[edit]

1 rubbio = 370300 architect's palmi2 4.5658 acres.[citation needed]

Sardinia[edit]

1 giornata (in Piedmont) = 100 pertica2 = 0.9393 acre.[7]

Venetian Lombardy[edit]

1 tornatura = 100 palmi2 = 1 are = 0.0247 acre.

1 campo = 0.6881 acre.[8]

Tuscany[edit]

1 saccato = 16500 braccia2 = 1.389 acre.[9]

Capacity[edit]

Two main systems, dry capacity and wet capacity were used in Italy to measure capacity.

Dry[edit]

Several units were used in Italy to measure dry capacity. These units varied from one province or city to another.[1] One mine varied from 12 to 120 litre.[1]

Modena[edit]

1 sacco = 2 staja

1 stajo = 1.9978 bushels.[4]

Parma[edit]

1 mina = 8 quarteroli

1 stajo (a.k.a. staro) = 2 mine

1 stajo = 1.334 bushels.[5]

Roman States[edit]

1 scorzo = 4 quatucci

1 starello = 1 3/8 scorzi

1 quarta = 4 starelli

1 rubbio = 4 quarta.[6]

In Rome, 1 rubbio = 8.355 bushels; in Ancona, 7.974 bushels. In Bologna, 4 quarticini =1 quarterone; 4 quarterone = 1 stajo; 2 staja = 1 corba; 1 corba = 2.232 bushels (20.7617 gallons, liquid).

Sardinia[edit]
Genoa[edit]

1 quarto = 12 gombette

1 mina = 8 quarti = 2.4804 gallons.[7]

Turin[edit]

1 copello = 20 cucchiari

1 quartière = 4 copelli

1 mina = 2 quartière

1 stajo = 2 mine

1 sacco = 3 staje = 3.2635 bushels.[7]

Tuscany[edit]

1 quartuccio = 2 bussoli

1 mezzetta = 2 quartucci

1 metadella = 2 mezzetta

1 quarto = 4 metadelle

1 mina = 2 quarti

1 stajo = 2 mine

1 sacco = 3 staja

1 moggio = 8 sacci

1 moggio = 16.5904 bushels.[9]

Liquid[edit]

Several units were used in Italy to measure liquid capacity. These units varied from region to region.[1]

One barile da vino was equal to 45.6 l.[1] One barile da olio was equal to 33.4 l.

Modena[edit]

1 fiasco = 2 boccali

1 barile = 20 fiasci

1 fiasco = 0.55028 gallon[4]

Roman States[edit]

1 foglietta = 4 quartucci

1 boccale = 4 fogliette

1 barile = 32 boccale

1 botte = 16 barile

1 barile (wine) = 15.412 gallon

1 barile (oil) = 15.185 gallon

1 soma = 18.49 gallons in Ancona = 43.386 gallons in Rome.[6]

In Bologna, 4 fogliette = 1 boccale, 15 boccale = 1 quarterone, 4 quarterone = 1 corba and boccale = 0.346 gallon.[6]

Genoa[edit]

1 barile = 90 amole = 50 pinte

1 mezzaruòla = 2 barilli

1 barile = 17.084 gallons.[7]

Piedmont[edit]

1 boccale = 2 quartini

1 pinta = 2 boccali

1 rubbio = 6 pinte = 2.4804 gallons

1 brenta = 6 rubbi

1 carro = 10 brente.[7]

Tuscany[edit]
Wine[edit]

1 mezzetta = 2 quartucci

1 boccale = 1 mezzette

1 fiasco = 2 boccale

1 barile = 20 fiasci = 12.0444 gallons = 133 1/3 libbre in weight (barile of spirits weights 120 libbre)[9]

Oil[edit]

1 barile = 16 fiasci = 120 libbre in weight

1 soma = 2 barile.[9]

Venice[edit]

1 moggio = 8 mezzeni = 333.3 litres.[2]

Milan[edit]

1 moggio = 8 stala = 146.2 litres.

1 brenta = 96 boccali = 75.6 litres.[2]

Turin[edit]

1 sacco = 5 mine = 115.3 litres.

1 carro = 10 brente = 493.11 litres.[2]

Bologna[edit]

1 corba = 2 staia = 60 boccali = 78.6 litres.[2]

Florence[edit]

1 monggio = 8 sacca = 584.7 litres.

1 barile(vino) = 20 fiaschi = 45.6 litres.

1 barile(olio) = 16 fiaschi = 33.43 litres.[2]

Genoa[edit]

1 mina = 116.5 litres

1 barile = 70 litres.[2]

Rome[edit]

1 rubblo = 22 socrzi = 294.5 litres.

1 barile = 32 boccali = 75.5 litres.[2]

Naples[edit]

1 botte (vino) = 12 barili = 523.5 litres.

1 tomolo = 55.54 litres.[2]

Liquid[edit]

For oil, wine and spirits:

1 barile = 60 caraffi

1 botta = 12 barile

1 carro = 2 botti

1 caraffa (for wine and spirits) = 0.1929 gallons[3]

For oil:

1 quarto = 6 misurelle

1 stajo = 16 quarti = 20 pignate (sometimes) = 2.61633 gallons

1 salma = 16 staja.[3]

Dry[edit]

1 tomolo = 24 misure = 1.5646 bushels

1 carro = 36 tomoli.[3]

Palermo[edit]

1 salma = 4 bisace = 16 tomoli = 275 litres.[2]

Venetian Lombardy[edit]

1 pinta = 10 coppi = 0.26418 gallon (or French litre).

1 mina = 10 pinte

1 soma = 10 mine[8]

Metric Adoption in Milan[edit]

Length[edit]

Milan adopted metric system as early as 1803, with the following names:[1]

metro = m

palmo = dm

dito = cm

atomo = mm.

Mass[edit]

Milan adopted metric system as early as 1803, with the following names:[1]

libbra nuova = kg

oncia = hg

grosso = dag

denar = g

grano = dg

Capacity[edit]

Milan adopted metric system as early as 1803, with the following names:[1]

soma = hl

mina = dal

pinta = l

coppo = dl

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Washburn, E.W. (1926). International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hil Book Company, Inc. pp. 8 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=zkErAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA417&dq=international%20critical%20tables%201926&pg=PA8#v=onepage&q=international%20critical%20tables%201926&f=false. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. pp. 87,88. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. pp. 53,54. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. p. 52. 
  5. ^ a b c d Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. p. 58. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. pp. 63, 64. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. p. 67. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. pp. 80,81. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. p. 76.