aguilhada [Portuguese]

In Portugal, at least as early as the 17th century – 19th, a unit of land area used for rural land, 60 vara by 1 vara, = 1/12th of a geira. The vara's, however, were special, variously described as 13¾ or 13 1/3 palmos long. Taking the palmo de craveira at 0.22 meter would thus make the aquilhada 549 or 516 square meters, respectively.

It was mainly found in the vicinity of the city of Coimbre. A different aguilhada, 20 vara long, was found elsewhere; we do not know its width.

The word to this day also means goad, as for oxen. The aguilhada was, some say, 18 palmos de craveira¹ (4 meters, or 13 feet). Such a length seems unreasonably unwieldly to lay ears, but such lengths are also found elsewhere among people who plough with teams of oxen: for example the English goad, 9 feet, or the rod used to measure the Welsh erw, as much as 16 feet, and so on.

1. See Moraes Silva, in sources below.

sources

1

A aguilhada tambem é outra medida de superficie, que nos campos de Coimbra tem 60 varas de comprimento, e uma só de largura: estas varas, porém, são de 13 palmos e 3 quartos, a que chamam vara cráveira; e aqui tem a geira dôze aguilhadas. Em outras partes tem a aguilhada 20 varas de comprimento com diversa largura.

The aguilhada is another surface measure, which in the countryside of Coimbra has 60 varas in length, and one in width: these vara, however, are 13¾ palmos, which they call a vara cráveira; and here the geira is 12 aguilhadas. Elsewhere the aguilhada is 20 vara in length with different width.

João Baptista da Silva Lopes.
Memoria sobre a Reforma dos Pezos e Medidas em Portugal…
Lisbon: Imprensa Nacional, 1849.
Page 65.

2

No Campo de Coimbra contaõ-se geiras, cada geira tem 12 aguilhadas, e cada aguilhada he comprida 60 varas, que alli chamaô craveiras, sobre huma só de baze, e a vara tem, dizem elles, treze palmos e hum terço. Esta fórma poderia chamar-se regular, ao menos quanto á do Riba-Tejo. A aguilhada comprehenderia em tal caso palmos quadrados 10,666 2/3, e a geira 128,000.

In the countryside of Coimbra one measures in geiras. Each geira has 12 aguilhadas, and each aguilhada is in length 60 varas, which there they call craveiras, sobre huma só de baze, and the vara has, they say, 13 1/3 palmos. This form could be called standard, at least as far as Riba-Tejo. The aguilhada would in this case comprise 10,666 2/3 square palmos, and the geira 128,000.

Estevaõ Cabral.
Tratado de Agrimensura, no qual se propõe o preciso para hum medidor de campos, lido na Academia Real das Sciencias.
Lisbon: Offic. da mesma Academia, 1795.
Page 81

3

AGUILHÁDA, s. f. Vara com púa, ou ferráo para picar os bois. §. Uma __ de terra: medida antiga ; fig. pouea terra. Ulisipo*, 4. 7. “demanda sobre … morgado … de huma aguilhada de terra: ” sáo 18. palmos de craveira, nos cápos de Coimbra, ou 6. covados.

* Ulisipo, Comedia de Jorge Ferreira dê Vasconcellos: a Edição antiga, e a moderna por B. J. de S. Farinha.

AGUILHÁDA, s. f. Rod with a prick, or a goad to prick the oxen. §. One __ of land : ancient measure; fig. little earth. Ulisipo, 4. 7. “demand on ... an entailed estate ... of one aguilhada de terra”: they are 18 palmos de craveira, in the fields of Coimbra, or 6 covados.

Antonio de Moraes Silva.
Diccionario da Lingua Portuqueza. vol 1.
Lisboa: Typographia Lacerdina, 1813.
Page 72.

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