Steelyards from the Roman Collection of the Hungarian National Museum


This paper describes 14 steelyards which belong to the Roman Collection of the Hungarian National Museum. The museum’s inventory books mention a total number of 97 weights and 52 balances. A previous study examined 9 weights and 28 balances, out of which 14 were steelyards. Steelyards appeared in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BC. This new type of balance did not require standard weights for use and allowed a more rapid weighting process, but was not as accurate as the equal armed balances. This paper gives a short review of the research history of steelyards and a description of their function, followed by the presentation of the 14 steelyards mentioned above categorized using Norbert Franken’s typology.