). A measure of length used by the Greeks, Romans,
and other nations, was originally the length of the human arm from the elbow to the wrist, or
to the tip of the middle finger; the latter was its signification among the Greeks and Romans.
It was equal to a foot and a half; and therefore the Roman cubit was a little less, and the
Greek cubit a little more, than a foot and a half English—the respective lengths of
the foot being, in millimetres, Greek 308.3, English 304.7, Roman 295.7. The Greek cubit was,
millimetres 462.4, the Roman 443.6. The cubit was divided by the Greeks into 2 spans (σπιθαμαί
), 6 handbreadths (παλαισταί
), and 24 finger-breadths (δάκτυλοι
and by the Romans into 1 1/2 feet, 6 breadths (palmi
), and 24
). See Hultsch, Metrol.
62, and tables.