Milan18th – 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 0.344mm 4.132mm 49.578mm 594.936mm 1.784809km

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 0.252mm 3.022mm 36.265mm 435.185mm 2.611110m 5.222m

 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 1mm 10mm 100mm 1m 2.5m 10m 1km 10km

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 13.152sq. cm 157.8sq. cm 2.273sq. m 6.818sq. m 27.272sq. m 654.5179sq. 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 2.048sq. cm 24.580sq. cm 294.958sq. cm 0.353949sq. 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.

 braccio d'asse oncia superficiale 12 punto superficiale 12 144 atomo superficiale 12 144 1728 8.193sq. cm 98.319sq. cm 1179.837sq. cm 1.415798sq. m

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

Units of dry capacity

 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 64 512 576 253.879mL 1.016L 4.062L 9.140L 18.279L 146.2343L 194.514L

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.

 stricken heaped moggio staio 8 quartaro 4 32 metà 4 16 128 quartini 4 16 64 512 431.729 1.727 6.908 27.631 221.0453 439.655L 1.759L 7.034L 28.138L 225.1033L

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 64 128 384 196.756L 393.513L 787.025mL 1.574L 6.296L 12.592L 25.185L 75.5544L

The brenta contains 620 cubic once of the Milanese braccio.

Units of mass

 fascio or centinaio libbra grossa 100 peso 10 1000 oncia 2 4/5 28 2800 27.233g 76.252g 762.517g 762.517kg
 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 47.279mg 1.135g 27.233g 326.793g 8.169kg 32.679kg

One libbra grosso = 2 1/3 libbra piccole.

 libbra oncia 12 dramma 8 96 scrupolo 3 24 288 grano 24 72 576 6912 47.279mg 1.135g 3.404g 27.233g 326.793g

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.

 marco di zecca oncia 8 denaro 24 192 grano 24 576 4608 granotto 24 576 13,824 110,592 2.125mg 50.998mg 1.224g 29.375g 234.9973g

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

 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 100mg 1g 10g 100g 1kg 10kg 100kg 1000kg

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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