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The Measures of King Sebastião
The Volume Measures for Dry Products
King Sebastião ordered the distribution of standards throughout the “Comarcas” (Districts) , using those of Lisbon as the base, and duly identified with the Coat of Arms of Portugal and his name. The “Law of Almeirim” of 1575 established that “in all of the Cities, Villages, Municipalities and Places of my Realms and Lands, the measures of bread, wine, olive oil and other things they measure, will be equal…>/em> ” The volume measures for dry products (solids) were based on the model approved by King Manuel I. According to the Law of Almeirim of 1575, the main measure “of bread” was the alqueire, with 4 alqueires making one fanga. The submultiples of the alqueire referred to in this law were as follows:
  • meio alqueire (half bushel) – half of the alqueire;
  • quarta (quarter) – 1/4 of the alqueire;
  • oitava (eight) – 1/8 of the alqueire.
Further information​

António Neves: aneves@ipq.pt
Museum of Metrology: museu.metrologia@ipq.pt