Scrupulum: a tiny stone (from scrupus sharp stone), indicates a weight of 1/24 of an ounce or, by extension, of other measures. Metaphorically, the stone is thought to be sharp and pricking, like a thorn.

  • As a weight or a coin, 1/24th of an uncia, or 1/288th of an as CIC. Att. 4, 16, 13; VITR. 7, 8; COL. 12, 28, 1
  • As a measure of land, 1/288th of a jugerum, VARR. R. 1, 10, 2; COL. 5, 1, 8
  • As a measure of time, 1/24th part of an hour, M. AUREL. d.; FRONT. Caes. 2, 9

The forms scripulum, scriptulum, scriplus and scriptulus can be found; scriptulum being also associated with the lines on a draughtboard.


Félix Gaffiot: Dictionnaire Illustré Latin Français, Hachette 1934

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