amma [Greek, ἄμμα]


A unit of length used in measuring land, belonging to the chain family of units. The Greeks understood it as = 60 pous, about 18 - 19 meters, depending on the pous in use. But the amma is actually an Egyptian measure, understood as 40 meh, about 21 meters.


A unit of land area, a square one ἄμμα (def. 1) on a side.



Ἄμμα, wahrscheinlich Bezeichnung der Messschnur, war ein ägyptisches Mass von 40 königlichen Ellen, und wurde später unter der Benennung σχοινἰον in das Ptolemäische System übertragen. Aus diesem Längenmass leitete sich ein gleichnamiges quadratisches Feldmass ab (§ 41, 5).

Ἄμμα, probably the name of the measuring cord, was a Egyptian measure of 40 royal ells [see meh], and later became transferred to the Ptolemaic system under the name σχοινἰον. A square field measure of the same name was derived from this measure of length (§ 41, 5).

Friedrich Otto Hultsch, 1882, page 38.


AMMA (Ἄμμα). — Mesure de longueur qui n'est pas proprement grecque, mais égyptienne. Son nom paraît être celui du cordeau qui servait à l'arpentage. On n'en trouve la mention que dans les fragments de Hiéron et de Didyme. Elle valait 40 coudées ou 60 pieds.

AMMA (Ἄμμα). — Measure of length that is not properly Greek, but Egyptian. Its name appears to be that of the cord which was used for surveying. One finds it mentioned only in the fragments of Hero and Didymus. It was equivalent to 40 meh or 60 pous.

Ch. Morel in the entry on amma in:
Ch. Daremberg and Edm. Saglio.
Dictionnaire des Antiquitiés Grecques et Romaines d'après les Textes et les Monuments, vol. one, page 230.
Paris: Libraire Hachette et Cie, 1877.

Didyme is Didymus of Alexandria, author of the fragment μέτρα μαρμάρων καὶ παντοίωv ξύλων, which is earlier than the hieronic fragments.