), the name of [p. 1.942]
Greek and Roman measure, the half of the standard measure of
capacity, the ξέστης,
equivalent to κοτύλη.
The word is
originally Sicilian; see the quotations from Epicharmus and Sophron, ap.
Ath. xi. p. 479 a, b, xiv. p. 648 d; in the latter passage one of the
speakers declares that it is not good Greek. It is obviously connected with
), and some have thought that it was merely a dialectic
form; it may, however, have been softened from ἡμίμνα,
“half a pound.” The long penultima favours this derivation; and
the saying “a pint is a pound” is approximately true of ancient
as well as modern measures. The ἡμίνα
passed into the Roman metrical system, where it is used with exactly the
same force; namely, for a measure which is half the SEXTARIUS
and equal to the
Greek COTYLE (Plaut. Mil. Glor.
3.2, 18; pers. Sat.
1.130; Auct. Carm.
67, 68). It is sometimes found as a dry measure (Plin. Nat. 18.9
; Cels. 4.10 and 15). (Cf.
Boeckh, Metrol. Untersuch.
pp. 17, 200, 203; Hultsch,
p. 91 ff.)