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ULNA

ULNA (ὠλένη), properly the fore-arm from the shoulder to the wrist, is also used for the whole arm, and even for the whole span of both arms; and hence, as a measure of length, it appears to be used with different significations. In most of the passages in which it occurs (Verg. G. 3.355; Ovid, Metam. 8.750; Hor. Epod. 4.8) there is nothing to determine its length, but Hultsch is probably right in taking it to be one-third of the ὀργυιὰ or arm-stretch of nearly 6 feet, and therefore one-third of the human body. Hence in Verg. Ecl. 3.105 three ulnae = the size of the body, and so the size of the grave of Caelius. Pliny, however, uses it as equivalent to the ὀργυιὰ, as may be seen from H. N. 16.202, 32.133, compared with § 203 (Hultsch, Metrol. p. 78).

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