A number of different units of measurement were historically used in Cyprus to measure quantities like length, mass, area and capacity. Before the Metric system, the Imperial system was used. In between 1986-1988, metric system was adopted in Cyprus.[1]

Units used alongside the Imperial system

A number of units were used alongside the Imperial system.

Length

One pic was equal to 2 feet (0.6096 m).[2][3] Prior to the adoption of the metric system for units of length in 1986, this was the base unit for length. Other units used were the following:

1 inch = 2.54 cm or 112 foot, 124 pic, or 136 yard

1 foot = 30.48 cm or 12 inches, ½ pic, or ⅓ yard

1 yard = 0.9144 m or 3 feet, or 1½ pics

1 chain = 20.1168 m or 66 feet, 33 pics, or 22 yards

1 mile = 1.609344 km or 5280 feet, 2640 pics, 1760 yards, or 80 chains

Area

One donum was equal to 1337.803776 m² and was divided into 4 evleks, each of them covering 3600 sq. feet or 400 sq. yards; in Imperial units, a donum is equivalent to 40121 acre. The Greek name for donum is σκάλα.[2][3] Prior to the adoption of the metric system for units of area in 1986, this was the base unit for area. Other units used were the following:

1 square inch = 6.4516 cm² or 1144 sq. feet

1 square foot = 0.09290304 m² or ⅑ sq. yards, or 144 sq. inches

1 square yard = 0.83612736 m² or 1400 evleks, 11600 donums, or 9 square feet

1 evlek = 334.450944 m² or ¼ donum, 400 square yards, or 3600 square feet

1 square mile = 2.589988110336 km² or 640 acres, or 1936 donums

Mass

One oke was equal to exactly 2.8 pounds avoirdupois (1.270058636 kg) and was divided into 4 onjas, each of them weighing 100 drams. [2][3] Prior to the adoption of the metric system for units of mass in 1986, this was the base unit for mass. Other units used were the following: [2][3]

1 dram = 3.17514659 g or 1400 oke; in Imperial units, it was equivalent to 49 grains

1 Cyprus litre = 2.2861055448 kg or 1⅘ okes or 720 drams; in Imperial units, it was equivalent to 5125 pounds

1 kantar = 55,882579984 kg or 44 okes, or 2449 Cyprus litres [2][3][4]; in Imperial units, it was equivalent to 123⅕ pounds

1 Aleppo kantar (used for carobs) = 228.61055448 kg or 180 okes, 100 Cyprus litres, or 1145 kantar; in Imperial units, it was equivalent to 504 pounds

1 ton = 1016,0469088 kg or 800 okes, 44449 Cyprus litres, 18211 kantars, or 449 Aleppo kantars; in Imperial units, it is equivalent to 20 long cwt or 2240 pounds

Capacity

One kilé was equal to 1 Imperial bushel or 8 gallons, i.e. 36.368735032 l. Prior to the adoption of the metric system for units of capacity in 1986 (1988 for milk), this was the base unit for capacity [2][3] Other units used were the following:

1 pint = 568.261484875 ml or 20 fluid ounces

1 quart = 1.13652296975 l or 2 pints, or 1325 Cyprus litres

1 Cyprus oke = 1.27290572612 l or 2625 Cyprus litres

1 Cyprus litre = 3.1822643153 l or 2½ Cyprus okes

1 gallon = 4.546091879 l or 4 quarts, or 8 pints (Please note that the legal definition of the gallon and derived units in Cyprus was not the same as in the UK; in fact, the 1965 definition was used)

1 kartos = 5.09162290448 l or 4 Cyprus okes, 1.6 Cyprus litres, or 1325 gallons

1 kouza = 8 oke

1 gomari = 128 oke (used for grain too[4]).

References

  1. ^ Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Washburn, E.W. (1926). International Critical Tables of Numerical Data, Physics, Chemistry and Technology. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. pp. 5. international critical tables 1926.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Cardarelli, F. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Scientific Units, Weights and Measures. Their SI Equivalences and Origins. London: Springer. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4471-1122-1.
  4. ^ a b Clarke, F.W. (1891). Weights Measures and Money of All Nations. New York: D. Appleton & Company. pp. 25, 26.