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D̲h̲irāʿ

(1,013 words)

Author(s): Hinz, W.
, originally the part of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, then the measure of the cubit, and at the same time the name given to the instrument for measuring it. The legal cubit is four handsbreadths ( ḳabḍa = index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger put together), each of six fingerbreadths ( aṣbaʿ = middle joint of the middle finger) each the width of six barley corns ( s̲h̲aʿīra ) laid side by side. A considerable number of different cubits were in common use in Islam. Roughly speaking they can be grouped ar…

Farsak̲h̲

(276 words)

Author(s): Hinz, W.
, Persian measure of distance on a time basis, from the Parthian word * frasak̲h̲ , which came into Armenian as hrasak̲h̲ , into Syrian as pars e ḥā , to continue in both Arabic and modern Persian as farsak̲h̲ . Beside this, there is also the modern Persian farsang , derived from the Middle Persian frasang , the Old Persian * parāt̲h̲anga , to be found in Herodotus and Xenophon as παρασάγγης. Originally the distance which could be covered on foot in an hour, or ‘marching mile’, this developed (presumably as early as Sāsānid times) into a standard measure of distance. Herodotus takes the parasang