From the Arabic cafiz.


In Malta opens maps showing location of Malta, ? – 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of capacity used for cooking oil, about 19.89 liters. Also spelled capso¹.

1. Martin, 1843.


In Ethiopia, ? – 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of dry capacity, 317.47 liters.


In north Africa and Spain in the 15ᵗʰ century, a unit of dry capacity, about 487.2 liters.

Locale Equivalents Liters
(based on a
Venetian staio
of 83.31 L)
Seville = 12 anchi = 16 quarte = 26 Florentine staia = 6 – 6¼ Venetian staia 500
Valencia = 12 barzella = 7½ Florentine staia = ½ Venetian staio  41.66
Tunisia = 1 Venetian staio 83.31

Chafissi 1 di grano di Sibilia fanno in Firenze staia 26. Sappi che uno chafisso sono 12 anchi e anchi 1½ sono 2 quarte. Pesa la quarta libre 45 d'once 21 la libra. [page 39]

One caffiso of grain in Seville makes 26 Florentine staia. Know that 1 caffiso is 12 anchi and 1½ anchi is 2 quarte. The quarta weighs 45 libra of the libra of 21 onces.

Staia 6 in 6¼ di grano di Vinegia fa in Sibilia chafissi 1. [page 85]

Six to 6¼ staia of grain in Venice make 1 caffiso in Seville.

Assuming the 15ᵗʰ-century Florentine staio was 24.36 liters, the caffiso becomes 633 liters. Assuming the 15th-century Venetian staio was 83.31 liters, the caffiso becomes between 500 and 520.7 liters. These are commonly given values, but according to Chiarini, 1 Venetian staio = 3½ to 3¾ Florentine staia (Borlandi, page 28), and 24.36 to 83.31 is a smaller ratio. 

Chafisso 1 di grano di Valenza fa in Firenze staia 7½, e uno chafisso è 12 barzella e pesa detto chafisso libre 350 in 355. [page 41]

One cafisso of grain in Valencia is 7½ statia in Florence, and one cafisso is 2 barzella and the said caffiso weighs 350 to 355 libre.

Staia 2 di grano di Vinegia fanno in Valenza chafissi 1 che pesa libre 350 in 355. [page 87]

Two Venetian staia of grain make 1 cafisso in Valencia, which weighs 350 to 355 libra.

Staia di grano di Vinegia fa in Tunis chafissi 1. [page 82]

A Venetian staia of grain is 1 cafisso in Tunis.

Chiarini, 1481, as quoted in Borlandi (all page references are to Borlandi).


In the city of Gaeta, Italy, a unit of liquid capacity used for oil. Taking the Florentine orcio at 33.4 liters, and using Chiarini's equivalents, a caffiso would have been about 2.9 liters.

Orcia 13 e 3 quarti d'olio di Firenze fanno in Gaeta bot. una; di cafissi clx fa j botte. Sì che caffissi xj 7 undecimi d'olio di Gaeta è un orcio d'olio di Firenze.

13¾ orcia of oil in Florence equal one botta in Gaeta; 160 caffisi make 1 botte. Thus 11 7/11 caffiso of oil in Gaeta is 1 orcio of oil in Florence.

Chiarini, 1481.

Where is Malta?


World map showing the location of Malta.

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