setier [French]

1

In France, at least as early as the 13th century – 19th century, a unit of dry capacity with many regional variations. It comes from the Latin sextarius, meaning a sixth (of a conge). Also spelled cestier, sester, setiere, sextiere, sextier, sextere, sestier, sestiere, sestaire, sesterot, sesterium, septier, septarius, septerium.

In the Système Usuel, early 19th century, the setier = 100 liters.

Several sources from the mid-19th century list Parisian values that differed by commodity chart symbol:

Commodity Value of setier
in boisseaux
Liters Additional Equivalences
grain 12 156.099 = ¹⁄₁₂ muid = 2 mines = 4 minots = 48 quarts = 192 litrons
A setier of wheat was a mass of 240 poids de marc.
salt 16 208.13 = ¹⁄₁₂ muid = 2 mines = 4 minots = 256 litrons
oats 24 312.20 = ¹⁄₁₂ muid = 2 mines = 4 minots = 96 picotins = 384 litrons
charcoal 32 416.27 = 1/10 muid = 2 mines = 4 minots

 

Mainly from Doursther, 1840
Locale Equivalents Value
Abbeville = 10 Parisian boisseaux 130 liters
Agde = ½ émine; 60 poids de marc of wheat 29.4 kg
Albi = 9 Parisian boisseaux 117 liters
Amien = 4 piquets; = 50 – 52 poids de marc of wheat 24.5 - 25.5 kg
Arles = 93 poids de marc of wheat 45.5 kg
Boulogne = 13½ Parisian boisseaux  
Briel 1 setier of oats = 16 boisseaux 384 liters
Calais = 13 Parisian boisseaux;
=
260 poids de marc of wheat
 127.3 kg
Carcassone   84 liters
Castelnaudary   79 liters
Castres = 2 émines = 8 mégères = 32 boisseaux;
= 170 poids de marc of wheat
83.2 kg
Châlons-sur-Marne = 200 poids de marc of wheat;
= 10 Parisian boisseaux
97.9 kg
Chauny = 4 Parisian boisseaux 52 liters
Corbie   44 liters
Doulens = 4 quartiers = 16 boisseaux;
= 208 poids de marc of wheat
101.8 kg 
Fère 71 poids de marc of wheat 45 liters
Gaillac and Lavaur   139 liters
Montauban   218 liters
Montpellier = 2 émines = 4 quartes 52 liters
Nantes = 1/10 tonneau = 12 boisseaux 150 liters
(the older setier) =16 boisseaux 145.68 liters
Narbonne   84 liters
Négrepelisse = 2 sacs 242.44 liters
Noyon 86 poids de marc 56 liters
Péronne 88 poids de marc 57.53 liters
St. Quentin = 2 mencaults 52 liters
Rabasteins   172 liters
Réalmont   128 liters
Rheims 130 poids de marc 85 liters
Rethel 112 poids de marc of wheat 72 liters
Rochelle, Marennes, Brouage,
La Tremblade, ile d'Oleron, ile de Ré,
les Sables, Maraus and others
A very old salt measure, = 1/100 cent;
in the mid-19th c. = 6 ¹⁸⁄₂₅ boisseaux,
weighing about 260- 280 kilograms
336 liters
Rouen = ¹⁄₁₂ muid = 2 mines = 8 boisseaux;
 = 280 poids de marc of wheat
182 liters
Saumur   156.10 liters
Soissons 158 poids de marc 77.3 kg
Toulouse   112 liters
Troyes setier of oats = 16 boisseaux 384 liters
St. Vallery-sur-Somme   156.10 liters

Joseph Petit and Gavrilovitch, Maury and Teodoru.
Essai de restitution de plus anciens mémoriaux de la Chambre des comptes de Paris.
Paris: F. Alcan, 1899.

sources

1

Sestieri uno di grano di Mompolieri fa in Firenze staia due di grano.

One setier of grain of Montpellier makes 2 Florentine staia of grain.

Chiarini, 1481.

2

Sextièr ou setier, sextarius. Cette dernière mesure ne correspond, comme sixième partie, à aucune de celles dont nous nous servons pour les grains, & l'on peut observer la même disconvenance à l'égard de nos mesures pour les liquides. Si nous n'avons pas de sextier pour la pinte, nous avons le demi-sextier, qui, à la vérité, n'est pas la moitié du sixième de la pinte, mais qui a pris évidemment son nom du sextarius des Romains, sixième partie de leur conge, congius. Budé, qui l'avoit remarqué, dit a l'occasion de nos mots sextier, demi-sextier, vulgus sextarios nulla ratione vocat.

Sextier or setier, sextarius. This last measure does not correspond, as the sixth part, to any of those we use for grain, and the same disagreement can be observed with regard to our measures for liquids. If we do not have sextier for the pint, we have the demi-sextier, which, indeed, is not half of the sixth of the pint, but obviously took its name from the sextarius of the Romans, a sixth part of their conge, congius. Bude, who had noticed, said in regard to our words sextier and demi-sextier, vulgus sextarios nulla ratione vocat. [people call them sextarios without any reason]

[Mathieu] Tillet and Abeille.
Observations de la Société Royale d'Agriculture sur l'uniformité des Poids et des Mesures. Paris: l'Imprimerie de Philippe-Denys Pierres, 1790.
Footnote 2, page 40.

2

In France, ? – 19th centuries, a unit of land area. Originally it was a seed measure of land, the amount of land that would be sown with 1 setier of seed. In the 18th century it transitioned to a geometric unit, having a variety of values in different locations:

Depart-
ment
City Value Equivalent
Aisne   48 sq. verges;
2059.9 sq. meters
verge = 22 pieds; pied = 11 pouces 
  50 sq. verges;
2145.7 sq. meters
verge = 22 pieds; pied = 11 pouces 
  52 sq. verges;
2420.8 sq. meters
verge = 24 pieds; pied = 10 pouces, 10 lignes
  60 sq. verges;
2574.9 sq. meters
verge = 22 pieds; pied = 11 pouces
  70 sq. verges;
3791.5 sq. meters
verge = 25 pieds; pied = 10 7/8 pouces
La Fère, Chauny, St. Quentin 80 sq. verges;
3433.2 sq. meters
(setier de Vermandois)
verge = 22 pieds; pied = 11 pouces
Ardennes   80 sq. verges verge = 16 pied, 8 pouces
Eure-et-Loir   80 sq. perches;
3377.2 sq. meters
perche = 20 pieds
  80 sq. perches;
3962.6 sq. meters
perche = 21 pieds, 8 pouces
  80 sq. perches;
4085.7 sq. meters
perche = 22 pieds
  100 sq. perches;
4220.8 sq. meters
perche = 20 pieds
  120 sq. perches;
5943.9 sq. meters
perche = 21 pieds, 8 pouces
  133.33 sq. perches;
5627.7 sq. meters
perche = 20 pieds
Loiret Sermaise 4083.6 sq. meters  
Marne Auberive 80 sq. verges = 16 boisseaux*;
2889.1 sq. meters
verge = 20 pieds, 2 pouces; pied = 11 pouces
Beaumont 106.66 sq. verges = 16 boisseaux*;
3382.6 sq. meters
verge = 20 pieds; pied = 10.4 pouces
Rilly 80 sq. verges = 4 quartels;
3431.1 sq. meters
verge = 22 pieds; pied = 11 pouces
Sommepy 80 sq. verges;
3433.4 sq. meters
verge = 22 pieds; pied = 11 pouces
Louvois 80 sq. verges;
3461.5 sq. meters
verge = 20 pieds, 3 pouces
Vitry-sur-Marne 106.55 sq. verges= 4 quartels;
3780.6 sq. meters
verge = 20 pieds; pied = 10.4 pouces
Oise Attichy 457.7 sq. meters, for vinyards  
Noyon 3791.5 sq. meters  

* The boisseau as a unit of land area, of course.

3

In France, various units of liquid capacity, principally (only?) used for wine:

In Switzerland the setier was identified with the eimer and had values comparable to the larger French values.

The demi-setier, despite its name, = ¼ pinte. It is a single serving, a unit of liquid capacity applied to wine and other spirits at the retail level, at least as early as the 17th century.

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