# Rome18th – 19th century

The metric system was introduced to the Roman State by a law of 1848, which made use of the system mandatory by 1 January 1850. However, as Martini comments, “ma sta nel fatto che fino al 1 gennaio 1871 si usavano a Roma le antiche Misure ed i Pesi seguenti” (“but the fact is, that until January 1, 1871, the following old weights and measures were used in Rome”).

## Units of length

 miglio romana catena agrimensoria ~116 catena architettonica 133 1/3 canna architettonica 5 5¾ 666 2/3 canna mercantile passo geometrico 1½ 7½ 1000 staiole 10 braccio mercantile 2 braccio or passetto braccio da tessitore pied romano 5 7½ 5000 palmo 1¼ 3 5¾ 10 Tavole, 1877 223.4218mm 297.895mm 636.140mm 670.265mm 995.95mm 1.284675m 1.489m 1.991897m 2.234218m 11.171m 12.846m 1.489479km
 canna architettonica palmo architettonica or romano 10 oncia 12 120 minuto 5 60 600 decimo 2 10 120 1200 1.86mm 3.72mm 18.62mm 223.4218mm 2234.218mm
 canna mercantile braccio mercantile 2 palmo mercantile 4 8 parto 3 12 24 83mm 249.000mm 995.95mm 1.991897mm

Note that though the canna architettonica is larger than the canna mercantile, the palmo mercantile is larger than the palmo architettonica.

 braccio da tessitore palmo da tela 3 212mm 636mm

An additional system was in use in the Church. It was very old; the palmo of this system is 5 ancient Roman unciæ. The braccio d'ara is the Roman gradus or passus minor.

 canna d'ara braccio d'ara 1½ palmo d'ara or palmo sacre 6 9 Doursther, 1840 125 mm 0.75 m 1.125 m

On 6 July 1816 the Congregazione dei Catasti, in a project to metrify the land records of the Roman state, gave the names of existing Italian units to the new metric units, usually a bad idea. The meter was called a canna censuaria, the decimeter a palmo, the centimeter an oncia, and the millimeter a minuto.

## Units of land area

 rubbio quarta 4 scorzo 4 16 quartuccio 4 16 64 staiolo 175 700 2800 11,200 1.65sq. m 288.82sq. m 1155.3sq. m 4,621.1sq. m 18,484.38 sq. m
 pezza quarta 4 ordine 40 160 staiolo 10 400 1600 Tavole, 1877 1.65sq. m 16.504sq. m 660.158sq. m 2,640.63sq. m

Note that the staiolo of area is a square staiolo of length. One square catena agrimensoria = 10 ordini or 100 staioli, and the vineyard quarta = 4 square catena agrimensoria.

In the cadastral project of the Congregazione dei Catasti, described above:

 quadrato tavola censuaria 10 canna quadrata 1000 10,000 square palmo 100 100,000 1,000,000 100sq. cm 1sq. m 1000sq. m 10,000sq. m

## Units of dry capacity

 rubbio quarta 4 scorzo 5½ 22 quartucci 4 22 88 3.346L 13.385L 736.162L 294.46L
 rubbio rubbiatella 2 quarta 2 4 staia 3 6 12 quartuccio delle dodici 4 12 24 48 6.135L 24.539L 73.616L 147.233L 294.46L
 rubbio quarta 4 staio or starello or coppa 4 16 quartuccio delle sedici 4 16 64 4.601L 18.404L 73.616L 294.465L
 rubbio da biada quarta 4 62.365L 249.458L

As is common, this capacity measure tended to turn into a measure of mass:

Fave, ceci, fagiuoli ed altri prodotti si misuravano come la biada o si vendevano a peso, calcolando il Rubbio per 720 Libbre romane = chilogr. 244,131732. Ultimamentè biada, fave, ceci, fagiuoli, ecc. misuravansi a. Quarta del grano, calcolando 5 di dette Quarte rase per un Rubbio.

Broad beans, chickpeas, beans and other products were measured as fodder was, or sold by weight, reckoning the rubbio as 720 libbre romane = 244.131732 kilograms. Lately fodder, broad beans, chickpeas, beans, etc. have been measured in grain quartas, calculating 5 of the said quarta, stricken, for a rubbio.

Martini, 1883 (page 598).

 rubbio quarta 2 scorzo 6 12 quartuccio 4 24 48 3.429L 13.717L 82.299L 164.598L

Salt also came to be sold by weight, reckoning a rubbio as 600 libbre romane (203.443110 kilograms).

Some special units:

• balla di carbone, about 501.868 liters
• sacco di carbone, about 278.815 liters.

## Units of liquid capacity

 botte soma 8 barile 2 16 quartarolo 4 8 64 boccale 8 32 64 128 mezzo 2 16 64 128 256 foglietta 2 4 32 128 256 2048 quartuccio 4 8 16 128 512 1024 8192 113.948mL 455.794mL 911.587mL 1.823L 14.585L 58.342L 116.6832L 933.465L
 soma mastello 2 barile 1 3/7 2 6/7 cognatella 7 10 20 boccale 4 28 40 80 foglietta 4 16 112 160 320 quartuccia 4 16 64 448 6400 12,800 128.305mL 513.220mL 2.053L 8.212L 57.481L 82.115L 164.230L

## Units of mass

 migliaio centinaio or quintale 10 decina 10 100 libbra 10 100 1000 oncia 12 120 1200 12,000 ottava 8 96 960 9600 96,000 scrupolo or denaro 3 24 288 2880 28,800 288,000 grano 24 72 576 6912 69,210 692,100 6,921,000 49.056mg 1.177g 3.532g 28.256g 339.072g 3.391kg 33.907kg 339.07185kg
 libbra oncia 12 dramma 8 96 scrupolo 8 64 768 grano 24 192 1536 18,432 parti or ventiquattresimo 24 576 4608 36,864 442,368 2.044mg 49.056mg 1.177g 3.532g 28.256g 399.071850g
 libbra oncia 12 denaro 24 288 grano 24 576 6912 parti or ventiquattresimi 24 576 13,824 165,888 2.044mg 49.055mg 1.177g 28.256g 339.071850g
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