Augsburg Weights and Measures with their Modern Equivalents

I started my experiments by attempting to follow the English translation prepared by Valoise
Armstrong in 1998. I attempted the recipe for 163, To make Nürnberger Lebkuchen. This resulted in a puddle of spicy bubbling goo when I baked it, not the nice molded cookie that should have resulted based on the text’s instructions on molding the dough.

I then decided that I would go back to the Middle High German (MHG) original text and translate the ingredient amounts from that. This resulted in quite a bit of research on my part as ,to my knowledge, no one had yet done this.
The resulting table of period weights and measures used in Augsburg during this time, and their conversions to metric are here below.


Old Measures for Dry Goods

Divisions

Augsburg Amounts

Metric

1 Viertlein

 

0.200674715 liter

4 Viertlein = 1 Ecklein

 

0.80269886 liter

8 Ecklein = 1 Vierling

0.18227 bushels

6.42159088 liter

4 Vierling = 1 Simri

 

25.68636352 liter

8 Simri = 1 Scheffel

 

205.49090816 liter

 

Old measures of Capacity for Liquids

Divisions

Augsburg Amounts

Metric

1 Quart or Schoppen

 

0.35696335 liter

4 Quarts or Schoppen = 1 Maass

0.37724 gallons

1.4278534 liter

10 Maass = 1 Imi

 

14.278534 liters

16 Imi = 1 Eimer

 

228.456544 liters

6 Eimer = 1 Fuder

 

1370.739264 liters

 

Old Weights

Divisions

Augsburg Amounts

Metric

1 Pfenning

 

0.9220625 g

4 Pfenning =  1 Quentche

 

3.68825 g

4 Quentchen = 1 Loth

0.032527 pounds

14.753 g

32 Loth = 1 Pfund

 

472.096g (0.472096 kg)

100 Pfund = 1 Centner

 

47.2096 kg

 

Old Apothecary Weights

Divisions

Augsburg Amounts

Metric

1 Pfenning

 

1g (actually 0.9375 g)

4 Pfenning =  1 Quentche

 

3.75g

4 Quentchen = 1 Loth

 

15g

2 Loth = 1 Unze

 

30g

1 Vierdung (1/4)

 

90g

12 Unzen = 1 Pfund

0.793652 pounds

360g

 

Notes on Lott, Lot and Loth: Sabina uses two different weights in her recipes, lot and lott. From 151, “5 lot rerlen, 3 lott negellen,4 lott kerner/ gestossen“. At first, I translated both lot and lott as as loth.   After trying the recipe with a “lott” = loth, and it resulting in a unediable cookie, I reviewed the measurements. I was unable to find the word “lott” in any of the MHG dictionaries that I have access to.  In the tables above you can see the various breakdowns of a loth; 4 quentchen = 1 loth; 16 Pfenning = 1 loth.

 

At first I thought that “lott” might equal a quentchen, but as 4 of those equal one loth, why would Sabina write “4 lott kerner/getossen” instead of “1 lot”?  This leads me to believe that  “lott” must be shorthand for a smaller amount than a “lot”, similar to T and t in modern American recipes.  So, I assumed that pfennig = lott as an experiment in recipe 151, and the resulting Lebkuchen is quite ediable. Therefore, in the following recipes, 1 lott = 1 pfenning, or 1g.

 


William Alfred  Browne, The Merchants’ Handbook of Money, Weights and Measures, with Their British Equivalents. London: Edward Stanford, 1879.  187

John Henry Alexander, Universal Dictionary of Weights and Measures, Ancient and Modern, Reduced to the Standards of the United States of America. Baltimore: W. Minifie and Co, 1850. 140

Calculated using a US  Bushel = 35.237 liters, Brown, 313

Brown, 187

Alexander, 63

Calculated using a liquid US Gallon = 3.785, Brown, 313

Brown, 187

Brown, 189. I’ve used the breakdown from Hess-Darmstadt since the Wurtemberg and Bavaria tables stop at loth.

Alexander, 83

Brown, 185

Brown, 189. I’ve used the breakdown from Hess-Darmstadt since the Wurtemberg and Bavaria tables stop at loth.

I’ve added this to the table for a complete list of measurements. See Appendix 1 for translation source

Brown, 185

 

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