Portugal
pre-metric units of dry capacity

The law required all units to be striken.

           

moio

             

saio

10

           

fanga

15

       

alqueire

4

6

60

       

meios

2

8

12

120

     

quarta

2

4

16

24

240

   

oitava

2

4

8

32

48

480

maquia or meias-outava

16 

64 

96 

960

selamin

2

4

8

16

32

128

192

1920

17th c

848
mL

1.70
L

3.39
L

6.78
L

13.567
L

54.266
L

81.4
L

814
L

19th c- Lopes group A¹

821

1.64

3.29

6.57

13.141

52.56

78.85

788.46

Group B

872

1.74

3.49

6.97

13.948

55.79

83.69

836.88

Group C

933

1.87

3.73

7.465

14.929

59.72

89.57

895.74

Group D

982

1.96

3.93

7.86

15.717

62.87

94.30

943.02

Group E

1066

2.13

4.26

8.525

17.049

68.20

102.29

1022.94

Group F

1092

2.18

4.37

8.738

17.475

69.90

104.85

1048.50

Group G

1206

2.41

4.37

8.738

19.298

77.19

115.79

1157.88

Lisbon, Doursther (1840) ²

note 2

845

1.69

3.38

6.76

13.52

54.08

81.2

811.23

Nelkenbrecher (1890)

note 2

865

1.73

3.46

6.92

13.841

55.365

83.04

830.45

Notes

1. Luis Seabra Lopes did a statistical study of reported values for the alqueire in the 19th century, and found they fell into 7 groups. They are not necessarily province-specific; that is, in some provinces several different standards were in use. Group A includes the equivalence determined by the Academia das Ciências de Lisboa, 13.197 liters for the alqueire. According to Professor Seabra Lopes, the most frequently encountered values fell into groups B (24.3%) and D (24.9%).

Luis Seabra Lopes.
Medidas Portuguesas de Capacidade: Origem e Difusão dos Principais Alqueires usados até ao Século XIX.
Revista Portuguesa de História, vol 36, pages 345-360 (2002-2003).

2. The equivalences reported by Doursther and Nelkenbracher are provided as examples of 19th-century commercial values. Doursther (page 493) says the Portuguese “selamim” is also called “meia-outava” or “maquia”, half of an “outava” or a sixteenth of an alquiere. Nelkenbrecher (page 545) treats selamin as a synonym for oitava. Other sources, for example Botelho (page 185) say “a quarta = 2 oitavas = 4 maquias = 8 selamins”.

José Nicolau Raposo Botelho.
Diccionário das modedas, pesos, medidas e informações commerciaes de todos os paizes.
Lisbon: Antonio Maria Pereira, 1895.

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