cantaro

See also cántara.

Various units all derived from the Latin centarius, meaning “hundred.” The Arabic kintar (qinṭār ) is one of these.

1

A pan-Mediterranean unit of mass = 100 ruotoli or rotoli (the Arabic ratl), which varied with time and locality.

In Grenada and North Africa, 15th century, about 50.9 kilograms (source 1).

In Rhodes, 15th century, about 226 kilograms (source 2).

In Genoa, chart symbol

sources

1

Libbre cl di Firenze fanno in Tunizi cantare uno e in Granata cantare uno.

One hundred fifty Florentine libbre make 1 cantaro in Tunis and in Grenada.

Chiarini, 1481.

Assuming a 15th-century Florentine libbra of 339.5 grams, this cantaro would have been about 50.9 kilograms.

2

Libbre setecentocinquanta in septecencinquantaquattro soctile di Vinegia fanno in Rhodi cantare uno.

Between 750 and 754 of the Venetian libbre sottile make 1 cantaro in Rhodes.

Chiarini, 1481.

Assuming a 15th-century Venetian libbra sottile of 301.25 grams, this cantaro would have been about 226 to 227 kilograms.

2

In Tana [near present-day Azov], 15th century, a unit of dry capacity used for grain, about 122 liters.

Staia cinque di grano di Vinegia fanno alla Thana una misura che si chiama cantare.

Five Venetian staia of grain make in Tana a measure which they call a cantaro.

Chiarini, 1481.

Assuming the Venetian staia was 24.4 liters in the 15th century, the cantaro of Tana would have been about 122 liters. Compare with the cascito.

3

The cantaro barbaresco: In Majorca and Valencia, a unit of mass = 150 Florentine libbre in the 14th century (about 50.9 kilograms) and 144 libbre (about 48.9 kilograms) in the 15th century.

El cantare grosso di Valenza che si dice cantare barberesco è libbre cxliiij d'once xij per libbra e a questo peso si pesa ferro, lana, formaggio e tucte grasce e altre cose grosse e ciò che si vende a cantare si pesa a questo peso.

The large cantaro of Valencia which they call the cantaro barberesco is 144 libbre (the libbre of 12 once per libbra) and by this weight they sell iron, wool, cheese and all fats and other heavy goods and that which is sold by the cantaro is weighed by this weight.

Chiarini, 1481.

4

In Christian Acre, two units of mass:

In Acri si ha 2 catars, cioè il catars della fonda e il catars della catena, ed è maggior il catars della catena che il catars della fonda, ruotoli 5 per catars; e chi compera si dice, tu mel derai al peso della catena, e se no llo dicesse sì gliele conviene pigliare al peso della fonda.

In Acre they have two cantaros, the cantaro della fonda and the cantaro della catena, the cantaro della catena is larger than the cantaro della fonda by 5 ruotoli per cantaro; and one must state if the sale is to be made by the “della catena” weight, and if there is no discussion the sale will be made by the “della fonda” weight.

Pegolotti, 1340.

cantaro 1 d'Acri di spazieria fae in Vinegia libre 670 e di cotone 685 in 775 sottile.

Pegolotti, chap 13. borl p 75, but diff no's on page 34!!!!!!

Cantare 1 d'Acri di spezie fa in Firenze libre 650.

Cantare 1 d'Acri di chottone fa in Firenze libre 670.

One cantaro of spices in Acre is 650 Florentine libbre.

One cantaro of cotton in Acre is 670 Florentine libbre.

Chiarini, 1481, as quoted in Borlandi, page 34.

Assuming a 15th-century Florentine libbra of 339.5 grams, a cantaro of Acre of spices weighed 220.7 kilograms and a cantaro of Acre of cotton, 227.5 kilograms.

5

In Alexandria, Egypt, at least three cantaros were in use in trade with the Italian cities during the Middle Ages.

The cantaro forfori was the lightest. From the Arabic, qinṭār folfolī , = 100 raṭl folfolī . Folfolī means “pepper,” so this was the “pepper cantar.” It was used for weighing precious metals, spices and precious stones, and in medieval times was about 43.4 kilograms. In the 20th century the qinṭār folfolī was about 44.928 kg.

The cantaro gervi (qinṭār ǧarwī = 100 raṭl ǧarwī , each of 312 dirhams) or cantaro zeroi was the everyday cantaro. About 95.8 kilograms.

The cantaro levedi or cantaro laundi for linen (qinṭār laiṯī = 100 raṭl laiṯī, each of 200 dirhams). About 62 kilograms.

Hinz, page 25.

sources

1

In Alessandria si ha di più maniere pesi, come diviserà qui appresso; cantare forfori, cantare gervi, cantare levedi...

In Alexandria they have types of weights, which are divided as follows: cantare forfori, cantare gervi, cantare levedi

Pegolotti, 1340.

2

Cantare uno forfori d'Alexandria fa in Vinegia libbre novantadua once septe al grosso e al soctile libbre centoquarantazei e un septimo.

One Alexandrian cantaro forfori equals in Venice 92 libbre, 7 once and in the libbre sottile, 146 and 1/7.

Chiarini, 1481.

Assuming a 15th-century Venetian libbra sottile of 301.25 grams makes the cantaro forfori about 44.03 kilograms.

3

Rame, stangno, e ottone duro e dolcie in filo e in foglia, mastichi, setole di chavallo e di porcho, manna biancha, ciera, gara (d) rossa intera e macinata e altre simile cose si vendeno a chantare zervi, che chantare 5 fanno in Vinegia libre 1000 grosse al quale si vende merchantia grossa.

Copper, tin, and brass hard and soft in wire and in sheets, mastic, bristles of goats and hogs, white bread (?), wax, red gravel (?) whole and broken, and other similar things are sold by the cantaro zeroi, five of such cantaros make 1000 Venetian libbre grossa as used in the wholesale trade.

Chiarini, 1481, as quoted in Borlandi, page 80.

Assuming a 15th-century Venetian libbra grossa of 476.0 grams makes the Alexandrian cantaro zeroi 95.2 kilograms.

4

Cantaro uno laundi d'Alexandria fa in Vinegia libbre cxxviij e dieci ventinoesimi al grosso, e al soctile libbre dugentocinque.

One Alexandrian cantaro laundi makes 128 10/20 Venetian libbre grossa, and in Venetian libbre sottile, 205.

Chiarini, 1481.

Assuming a 15th-century Venetian libbra grossa of 476.0 grams makes the Alexandrian cantaro laundi of 61.2 kilograms and a 301.25 libbra sottile makes a 61.75-kilogram cantaro laundi.

6

cántaro. A unit of liquid capacity in Spain. Please see the table in the entry cántara for 19th century values and the provinces in which this spelling was used.

According to Stampa, a unit of liquid capacity in use “throughout New Spain.” He gives no liter equivalent.

Manuel Carrera Stampa.
The evolution of weights and measures in New Spain.
The Hispanic American Historical Review, vol. 29, no. 1, pages 2 - 24 (February 1949).

Page 15.

In Bolivia, ? – 20th century, various units of liquid capacity:

Department Town Volume
in liters
Commodity
La Paz Chulumani 16 warapo
Cochabamba Arque 83 chicha (beer made from maize)
Oruro Corque 60 chicha
Tarija San Lorenzo 72 chicha
Tarija 162 chicha
Pando Las Piedras 75 not given

[Bolivia] Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganaderia y Colonizacion. Dirección General de Economia Rural.
Resumen General de Medidas típicas de la República de Bolivia.
Corrected and revised by the Departamento de Muestreos y Padrones.
[La Paz]: Departamento de Muestreos y Padrones, 1956.

Pages 13, 19, 34, 41 and 47. (Page numbering is not continuous.)

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