So this is an image from William Musgrave's account of the Southbroom Hoard discovered outside Devizes, Wiltshire, in England in 1714. They seem to be some local's cache hidden away around the reign of Severus Alexander and a mix of Roman (Venus, Bacchus, &c.), Gallo-Roman (Sucellus), and Romanized Celtic ("Mars", "Vulcan", &c.) gods. The British Museum got 6 of the 19ish pieces in 1811 and the rest are lost and/or forgotten about in some aristocrat's storage rooms.

The important bit for this forum: What's going on with the weights (Pondo) here? Obviously the lengths (Long) are written in Latin (Uncias) but actually talking about English inches. Obviously the dotted w is just an unhelpful version of iv. Presumably these small figurines were weighed in ounces (also, unhelpfully, uncias). Is that weird cursive Z before most of the weights just an abbreviation for ounces? a stylized number? or something completely different?

Bonus points for whatever the ss is really talking about. From context, I'd guess it's some Latin equivalent to even or ~.0 but it could be something completely different.

enter image description here

  • 3
    I'm not certain enough to make this an answer, but I suspect it's ℨ, a symbol for drams (fractions of an ounce).
    – Draconis
    Jun 5, 2023 at 2:28
  • If the density makes any difference, the British Museum says the remaining copies are copper alloy and 5-10 cm tall. A 4 inch tall (10 cm) copper statue shouldn't only weigh 4/16 oz. (7 grams), should it?
    – lly
    Jun 5, 2023 at 3:16

1 Answer 1


Ok, thanks to Draconis's helpful comment above, I was able to find that the main thing I was looking for was , which—yeah—is a weird old apothecary symbol for ounces. I'll still give a tick mark and thanks to anyone who repeats that and can help explain what the long S ⟨ſſ⟩s are doing up there.

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