Romanian units of measurement

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„This is the fathom from Craiova of eight palms, Bujorianu”. Inscription on the wooden church in Mănăileşti-Moşteni, Vâlcea county.

The measures of the old Romanian system varied greatly not only between the three Romanian states (Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania), but sometimes also inside the same country. The origin of some of the measures are the Latin (such as iugăr unit), Slavic (such as vadră unit), Greek (such as dram unit) and Turkish (such as palmac unit) systems.

This system is no longer in wide use since the adoption of the metric system in 1864, however some rural communities still use a small subset of these units.

Length

  • Palmă (palm) - 1/8 of a stânjen
  • Stânjen - 2 m (approximately)
  • Palmac - 3.48 cm (Moldavia)
  • Poştă - 8–20 km (depending on the country)
  • Pas mic (small step) - 4 palme (Wallachia) (palme is the plural noun for palmă)
  • Pas mare (large step) - 6 palme (Wallachia; Moldavia)
  • Lat de palmă (palm width) - 1/2 palmă
  • Cot (cubit) - 664 mm (Moldavia); 637 mm (Wallachia)
  • Funie (rope) - 20–120 m (depending on the place)
  • Leghe (league) - 4.444 km;
  • Deget (finger) - the width of a finger
  • Prăjină - 3 stânjeni (stânjeni is the plural noun for stânjen)
  • Verstă - 1067 m (3,500 ft)
  • Picior (foot) - 1/6 of a stânjen

Volume

Unit Value in Moldavia Value in Wallachia Value in Transylvania
Oca 1.5 litres; 1.32 quarts 1.25 litres; 1.1 quarts -
Litră 0.25 litres; 0.22 quarts 0.25 litres; 0.22 quarts 0.25 litres; 0.22 quarts
Baniţă 21.5 litres; 18.3 quarts 33.96 litres; 29.9 quarts -
Chiup 30-40 litres; 26-35 quarts
Câblă unknown
Merţă 110-120 litres; 97-106 quarts - 22.5 litres; 20 Quarts
Feredelă unknown
Obroc mare 66 litres; 58 quarts 55 litres; 48 quarts -
Obroc mic 33 litres; 29 quarts 27.5 litres; 24 quarts -
Giumătate 1200-1500 litres; 264-330 gallons
Vadră 15 litres; 13 quarts 12.88 litres; 11 quarts -
Pintă - - 3.394 litres; 2.988 quarts
Tină - - 15 litres; 13 quarts
Sau 3.22-3.80 millilitres; 0.11-0.13 Fluid ounces - -

Weight

Unit Metric value Imperial value
Dram 3.18 - 3.25 g 50.155 Gr
Font 0.5kg 17.64 Oz

Area

Unit Metric value Imperial value
Feredelă 1.25 11.6128 ft²
Stânjen pătrat 3,59665 m² 38.7140184 ft²
Pogon 5 m² 46.45 ft²
Falce 14.3 m² 132.85 ft²
Prăjină 195 m² 1811.609 ft²
Iugăr 5,700 m² 52954.73 ft²

See also

Notes

  • Iugăr - the area ploughed in one day by two oxen - 7166 m2 (Transylvania in 1517); 5,700 m² (in other states)
  • Stânjen pătrat - Embracing square

References

  • Nicolae, Stoicescu: Cum măsurau strămoşii, metrologia medievală pe teritoriul româniei, Editura Ştiinţifică, Bucureşti, 1971.
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