chous [Greek, χοϋς ]

(Plural, choes χόες ). In ancient Greece, a unit of liquid capacity, = 12 kotylai, about 2.8 to 3.2 liters. opens a new page containing a chart that shows relationships between this unit and other units in its system

The chous was also used in Egypt, 3rd century bce – 3rd century ce. Records of it have survived in papyri bearing contracts with potters for the manufacture of jars of specified sizes.



In Archiv f. Papyrusforschung 45.1 (1999), 96-127, we attempt to demonstrate that from the 4th century A.D. onwards in Egypt the chous, standing as a metrological unit in between the kotyle and the metretes (144 kotylai = 12 choes = 1 metretes), disappears completely from the Greek documents from Egypt (likewise, the kotyle and the metretes also disappear).

N. Kruit and K. A. Worp.
Mnemosyne, vol 53, fasc. 3 (2000).
The authors question the translation quoted in their title, of a potter's contract in P. Oxy. LVIII 3942.

further reading

V. R. Grace and M. Savvatianou-Petropoulakou.
Les timbres amphoriques grecs.
Philippe Bruneau, Jean Audiat, editors.
Exploration archéologique de Délos, v1 (fasc. 27): L'ilot de la Maison des Comédiens.
Paris: E. de Boccard, 1970.
Page 360. On the Attic chous.

Oscar Broneer.
Excavations on the north slope of the Acropolis, 1937.
Hesperia, v7, no.2. 1938, pp. 222-224

Suzanne Young.
An Athenian Clepsydra.
Hesperia, v8, no.3 (July-Sept 1939), pages. 274-284

M. Lang.
A new inscription from Thanos: Specifications for a measure.
Bulletin de correspondence hellénique, vol 76, 1952.
, pp. 24-25.


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