One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An ancient Roman liquid measure of one eighth of an amphora, equal in modern terms to about 6 imperial pints.
- ‘Some amphoras seem to be multiples of the choe, equivalent to the Roman congius.’
- ‘During the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth months let them have a sextarius [about a pint] per day or five congii per month.’
- ‘In the nineteenth century, the congius was used in British medicine and pharmacology as a name for the British Imperial gallon.’
- ‘In Roman times the amphora was used as a unit of liquid measure containing 2 urnae, 8 congii, or 48 sextarii (the latter, equivalent to a pint).’
- ‘But just when I thought it was going to get good and circular it turns out that a congius is roughly equal to six pints, and so a sextarius is one pint.’
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