Folding Measure Stick from Aschaffenburg

Roman folding measure. This one is made after a find at the Stiftsmuseum Aschaffenburg. It is 1 mm short of what is ordinarily considered the pes Romanus: 296mm. Shorter folding measures have also been found which may represent different definitions of the "foot", e.g. the Punic foot at ca. 294mm.
The Aschaffenburg example is marked on 3 sides into various subdivisions of the foot: four "palmi" (hand palm width), twelve "unciae" (ounce (length) or thumb width), and 16 "digiti" (finger width). As with most of the measures especially the smaller subdivisions are not very even or exact - there are examples where the digiti vary by as much as 16% on one and the same folding measure.


  • Heinz, Werner: Der Vindonissa-Fuss. Zu den römischen Fussmassen des Vindonissa-Museums, in: Gesellschaft pro Vindonissa. Jahresbericht 1991 (1992), 65-79.
  • Gostenčnik, Kordula. Römische Fussmassstäbe vom Magdalensberg. Carinthia I, 188 (1998).
  • M. Marquart, Die archäologische Sammlung, in: I. Jenderko u.a. (Hrsg.), Stiftsmuseum Aschaffenburg, 1994.