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13. Relative Weights

If we accept the uqīyah as equal to our troy ounce of 480 grain (see page 166), then this dirham would weigh 43.2 grains, which is near enough—for the practical calculations of archery—to the 45 grain dirham which we have already used. If anyone wishes to refine the results still further, for his own satisfaction, he must bear in mind that all those old weights showed minor variations.

We believe that the barley mentioned by the author was the barley seed still in its husk. To test his text, we weighed fifty-on American barleycorns of local growth—using samples from two farms. When dry, they weighed only twenty-four grains and, even after swelling them up by soaking in water overnight, the most we could get was a weight of thirty-seven grains.

There are many strains of barley in the world and it is possible—though we have no evidence one way or the other—that the barley of ancient Morocco may have been larger than ours and that fifty and two-fifths corns did, in fact, weigh from forty-three to forty-five grains. if they did not weigh that much, the dirham of our translation may be heavier than the one the author had in mind.

Here are some of the relative weights of bows, arrows, and parts of arrows as they are given in this section (the pounds being avoirdupois):

Table 4

The last line gives the "first ratio." For the second and third ratios the author seems to be exhibiting a tendency toward excessive meticulosity.

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