[Russian. аршин Plural, arshiny.] In Russia, 16ᵗʰ – 20ᵗʰ centuries, a unit of length. Also romanized as archin, archine, archinne, arschine and arsheen. In the early 18th century, the Tsar Peter the Great issued a ukase redefining the traditional Russian units of length in terms of the English foot. The archin was made equal to 28 English inches (= 71.12 centimeters) or 16 vershki. This legal definition was repeated in later years, for example, in a ukase issued on 11 October 1835.
Later, when the English connection was discarded and prototypes made, the arshin was defined as the distance at 17°C between two lines on the platinum-iridium prototype marked “H 1894”, approximately 0.711200 meter.
In Bulgaria, 19ᵗʰ century, a unit of length, 75.8 centimeters as used by masons, and 68.0 cm as used by tailors.
[Turkish] In Turkey, by a law of 1881 (the new arshin) a unit of length = 1 meter. See arşini.
Among the Turkomen on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, 19th century, a unit of length known both by a Russian-influenced name or the Persian guz,
Another endless source of dispute among the Turcomans is in regard to measure. When any material is sold by measure, calico for instance, the arshun, or gez, is employed. This measure is the distance between the tip of the nose and that of the fingers, the arm being outstretched. Of course its length is entirely dependent upon the dimensions of the arm of the measurer, and interminable are the controversies as to whether the calico shall be measured by the vendor or by the purchaser.
The Merv Oasis. Travels and Adventures East of the Caspian during the Years 1879-80-81 including Five Months' Residence among the Tekkes of Merv.
London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1882.
Vol. I., page 250.
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