), 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
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.
32.133, compared with § 203 (Hultsch, Metrol.