According to Pope Boniface VIII's bull Unam sanctam (1302),

Indeed, at the time of the flood there was one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, made complete in one cubit [Una nempe fuit diluvii tempore arca Noe, unam Ecclesiam praefigurans, quae in uno cubito consummata] (Denzinger-Hünermann 870)

What does it mean that the arc was "made complete in one cubit"?

  • I added a link to one version of Unam sanctam, but the translation is a bit different. Is the quote in OP your translation or someone else's (can you provide a source)? Does the linked text give a different meaning that changes your understanding?
    – depperm
    Commented Mar 28, 2022 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


It means that it was made perfectly, according to God's specifications / will.

"In uno cubito consummata" means accomplished/completed/finished/perfected exactly, to a single cubit, "to a tee."

  • 3
    The absence of the article in Latin causes ambiguities of language. 'Fasihioned to the cubit' is how both Greek and English might say it. Latin has to bring in a number, which then becomes a problem.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 2:54
  • Was there no smaller unit? 'Perfect to half-a-metre' does not sound impressive
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 8:59
  • 1
    @bukwyrm it was specified to the cubit. So perfect to the specifications sounds good to me.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 10:50
  • 1
    @bukwyrm It would have been pretty impressive with the technology of the day. Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 20:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .