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


Augsburg Amounts


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


Augsburg Amounts


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


Augsburg Amounts


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


Augsburg Amounts


1 Pfenning


1g (actually 0.9375 g)

4 Pfenning =  1 Quentche



4 Quentchen = 1 Loth



2 Loth = 1 Unze



1 Vierdung (1/4)



12 Unzen = 1 Pfund

0.793652 pounds



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


One Comment

  1. Hallo, ich möchte helfen, Lot, Loth, Lott. Die Maßeinheit war Lot (Loooot) man schrieb auch Loth. Lott ist falsch. In alten Schriften gab es viele Fehler. Maßeinheiten im Mittelalter waren nicht einheitlich. Augsburg ist in Bayern. Bayern hatte andere Maße als Preußen oder Österreich. Basis für Lot ist Pfund, Bayern hatte 1 Phunt=560 g. 1 Lot in Bayern=17,6 Gramm.

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