Roman Bronze Steelyard Balance


Roman Bronze Steelyard Balance

An ancient Roman bronze steelyard balance consisting of a beam incised with two different calibrations, corresponding to two adjustable fulcrum positions, with suspension hooks for weighing goods.

Ca. 1st - 2nd century AD.
Length: 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm).

Steelyard balances of different sizes were used to weigh loads ranging from ounces to tons. The counterweight was moved along the beam until the two arms balanced at the fulcrum, at which time the weight of the load was indicated by the position of the counterweight on the calibrated beam. They are described by the ancient Roman engineer, Vitruvius, in his De Architectura, Book X, 3-4.

Formerly in an Israeli private collection.

Inv#: 5770


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