The palma (meaning palm of the hand) was a unit of length or distance in the old Castilian system of units. Since no actual Castilian standards are definitively known by the present day, the only way of determining the length of any Old Castilian unit would be to measure something in modern terms whose length was given by the Castilians in their units. And because this procedure does not give us any clue to which unit may have been the base unit and which were subsidiary units, this distinction really does not apply to the Old Castilian units here given, so all the units really have equal status. However, most references appear to have treated the vara (Castilian yard) as the base unit, expressing other units in terms of the vara.
Value in terms of the varaEdit
The palma was equal to ¼ vara.
Relation to other Old Castilian unitsEdit
- Simplest ratio:
- 2 cotos = 1 palma
- According to Cardarelli and Woolhouse:
- 12 diedos (Cardarelli) or dedos (so spelled in Woolhouse) = 1 palma (Cardarelli) or palmo (so spelled in Woolhouse).
- According to Cardarelli:
- 2 palmas = 1 codo (spelled "codoc" in Cardarelli) (Old Castilian cubit)
Value in terms of modern unitsEdit
Based on the figure of 0.835905 m for the length of the vara, given by Cardarelli in his tabulation, the palma was 0.208976 m = 8.227411 in. = 0.685618 ft . Other values of the vara have been found in the literature as well, differing slightly from Cardarelli's, which would lead to slightly different values for the length of the palma.
- ↑ Cardarelli, François (1998). Scientific Unit Conversion. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3-540-76022-9.
- ↑ Woolhouse, Wesley Stoker Barker (1864). London, England: Virtue Brothers & Co. (Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing).
- ↑ The variable vara (length of the vara in Spain and various former colonies)