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 6.4 pints (3.6 liters).
- ‘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).’
- ‘During the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth months let them have a sextarius [about a pint] per day or five congii per month.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In the nineteenth century, the congius was used in British medicine and pharmacology as a name for the British Imperial gallon.’
- ‘Some amphoras seem to be multiples of the choe, equivalent to the Roman congius.’
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