litra [Greek, λίτρα]

See also litrǎ.


A unit of mass used in Greek beginning around the second century bce, about 0.33 kilograms (0.72 pounds). It is the word the Greeks used to translate the Roman “libra”.

In the Byzantine Empire, for gold and coinage opens a new page containing a chart that shows relationships between this unit and other units in its system

English translations of the Bible render the litra as “pound” (John 12:3; 19:39).


The litra also occurs as a unit of capacity. The Roman hemina, a unit of capacity, was divided into 12 unciae, just as the libra was. The similarity led to the hemina sometimes being called a libra, and translated into Greek as litra.


In Greece, 19ᵗʰ century, the royal litra = 1 liter.

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