Milan
18th – 19th centuries

Units of length

In 1781 the braccio of Milan replaced all other bracci than in use in Lombardy. It was later said to be 594.936 448 1 millimeters (which is, of course, an absurd precision for the time).

     

miglio lombardo

   

braccio mercantile

3000

   

oncia

12

36,000

 

punto

12

144

432,000

atomo

12

144

1728

5,184,000

0.344
mm

4.132
mm

49.578
mm

594.936
mm

1.784809
km

A Milanese statute of 1773 made the piede = 8 once, 9 punti and 4 atomi of the braccio's subdivisions, which works out to 435.184994 millimeters. The units below were used in measuring land. Notice that Milan had two distinct sets of oncia, punto and atomo, with different values.

         

gettata

       

trabucco

2

     

piede

6

12

   

oncia

12

72

144

 

punto

12

144

864

1728

atomo

12

144

1728

10,368

20736

0.252
mm

3.022
mm

36.265
mm

435.185
mm

2.611110
m

5.222
m

The Law of 1803
           

lega metrica

           

miglio

10

       

decametro

100

1000

     

trabucco

4

400

4000

   

metro

2.5

10

1000

10,000

 

palmo

10

25

100

10,000

100,000

 

dito

10

100

250

1000

100,000

1,000,000

atomo

10

100

1000

2500

10,000

1,000,000

10,000,000

1
mm

10
mm

100
mm

1
m

2.5
m

10
m

1
km

10
km

Units of area

         

pertica agraria

       

tavola

24

   

square trabucco

4

96

piedi di tavola or gettata-piede

3

12

288

oncia di tavola or gettata-oncia

12

36

144

3456

punto di tavola or gettata-punto

12

144

432

1728

41,472

atomo di tavola

12

144

1728

5184

20736

497,664

 

13.152
sq. cm

157.8
sq. cm

2.273
sq. m

6.818
sq. m

27.272
sq. m

654.5179
sq. m

By the decree of 1803, the tornatura = 100 tavole = 100 are, and the tavola = 100 square meters.

 

square braccio or quadretto

 

braccia-oncia

12

braccia-punto

12

144

braccia-atomo

12

144

1728

2.048
sq. cm

24.580
sq. cm

294.958
sq. cm

0.353949
sq. m

The units of length could be squared in the usual way, that is, a square braccio (braccio quadrato) consisted of 144 once quadrate, an oncia quadrata of 144 punti quadrati, and a punto quadrato of 144 atomi quadrato.

For boards (wood)
   

braccio d'asse

 

oncia superficiale

12

punto superficiale

12

144

atomo superficiale

12

144

1728

8.193
sq. cm

98.319
sq. cm

1179.837
sq. cm

1.415798
sq. m

The braccio d'asse was the surface area of a board 4 braccia long and 1 braccio wide.

Units of dry capacity

For grain
           

soma

         

moggio

1⅛

       

staio

8

9

     

mina

2

16

18

   

quartaro

2

4

32

36

 

metà

4

8

16

128

144

quartini

4

16

32

64

512

576

253.879
mL

1.016
L

4.062
L

9.140
L

18.279
L

146.2343
L

194.514
L

The soma is used only for measuring oats. The moggio of grain is 1200 cubic once of the Milanese braccio.

By the decree of 1803, 1 soma = 10 mine = 0.1 cubic meter. 1 mina = 10 pinte; 1 pinta = 10 coppi.

For coal
         

moggio

       

staio

8

   

quartaro

4

32

   

metà

4

16

128

 

quartini

4

16

64

512

stricken

431.729

1.727

6.908

27.631

221.0453

heaped

439.655
L

1.759
L

7.034
L

28.138
L

225.1033
L

Firewood was sold by the carro = 16 cubic braccia, about 3.369232 cubic meters.

Units of liquid capacity

             

brenta

           

staia

3

       

mina or secchi

2

6

     

quartari

2

4

12

     

pinta

4

8

16

48

   

boccali

2

8

16

32

96

 

mezzo

2

4

16

32

64

192

zaina or biccchiere

2

4

8

32

64

128

384

196.756
L

393.513
L

787.025
mL

1.574
L

6.296
L

12.592
L

25.185
L

75.5544
L

The brenta contains 620 cubic once of the Milanese braccio.

Units of mass

Peso Grosso
   

fascio or centinaio

 

libbra grossa

100

 

peso

10

1000

oncia

2 4/5

28

2800

27.233
g

76.252
g

762.517
g

762.517
kg

Peso Piccolo or Peso Sottile
         

quintale

rubbo

4

   

libbra piccole

25

100

   

oncia

12

300

1200

denaro

24

288

7200

28,800

grano

24

576

6912

172,800

691,200

47.279
mg

1.135
g

27.233
g

326.793
g

8.169
kg

32.679
kg

One libbra grosso = 2 1/3 libbra piccole.

Apothecaries' Weight
       

libbra

     

oncia

12

 

dramma

8

96

scrupolo

3

24

288

grano

24

72

576

6912

47.279
mg

1.135
g

3.404
g

27.233
g

326.793
g

The metrication decree of 1803 did not affect apothecaries' weight, but during the Austrian occupation (1814 - 1859), the medicinal pound of Vienna (about 420.00768 grams) was supposed to be used.

For precious metals
     

marco di zecca

     

oncia

8

   

denaro

24

192

 

grano

24

576

4608

granotto

24

576

13,824

110,592

2.125
mg

50.998
mg

1.224
g

29.375
g

234.9973
g

For gems, the carato d'Olanda = 4 grani = 205.670 milligrams. Each grano was thus 51.417 milligrams. 

Law of 1803
         

tonnellata or migliaio

           

quintale

10

         

rubbo

10

100

     

libra metriche

10

100

1000

     

oncia

10

100

1000

10,000

 

grosso

10

100

1000

10,000

100,000

denaro

10

100

1000

10,000

100,000

1,000,000

grano

10

100

1000

10,000

100,000

1,000,000

10,000,000

100
mg

1
g

10
g

100
g

1
kg

10
kg

100
kg

1000
kg

For earlier values, see

Luciana Frangioni.
Milano e sue misure: Appunti di metrologia lombarda fra Tre e Quattrocento.
Pubblicazioni dell'Università degli Studi del Molise, Sezione 'Studi storici.'
Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 1992.

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