Roman Measurements & Units – A Complete Guide

The Roman measurements and units did not follow a decimal system. Instead, the Romans based length measurements on the proportions of the human body. The units for weight and volume were based on a system of twelve, the smallest unit of which was the ounce (0,27 grams or 0,27 liters).

1 pound = 12 ounces; 1 cup = 12 ounces

Ancient Rome used also a different currency system. But that is a story for another time. Let`s now look at the different Roman measurements and units for length and volume!

Roman Meassurements for Lenght

1 Mile (mille passuum)1000 Double steps4858,8 ft / 1481 m
1 Double step (passus)5 Roman feet4,85 ft / 1,48 m
1 Foot (pes)4 Hands11,64 in / 29,57 cm
1 Hand (palmus)4 Fingers2,9 in / 7,39 cm
1 Finger (digitus)——–0,72 in / 1,84 cm
Roman Meassurements for Lenght

Roman Volume Units

1 Bag160 Bowls138,4 gal / 524 l
1 Bowl12 Cups10,38 gal / 39,29 l
1 Cup12 Ounces0,86 gal / 3,27 l
1 Ounce———-0,07 gal / 0,27 l
Roman Volume Units

Do you also want to learn about the prices and wages in Ancient Rome? Then please check out my article here!

Take care of yourself because you deserve it. You really do.

Until next time

Yours truly

Luke Reitzer


Paul Erdkamp: The Cambridge companion to ancient Rome.*

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