Mark (unit)

The Mark (from Middle High German: Marc, march, brand) is originally a medieval weight or mass unit, which supplanted the pound weight as a precious metals and coinage weight from the 11th century. The Mark is traditionally a half pound weight and was usually divided into 8 ounces or 16 Lot. The significance of the Cologne Mark (Kölner Mark) in the German-speaking areas corresponded to about 234 gram.

Like the German systems, the French poids de marc weight system considered one “Marc” equal to half-a-pound (8 ounces).

Like the pound of 12 troy ounces (373 g), the mark was also used as a unit of currency, e.g. in the 1087 poem “The Rime of King William” (“marks of gold”), in many Shakespearean plays set in medieval England, and in various incarnations in Germany and Finland until the adoption of the euro in 1999.

See also

  • Mark (currency)

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