QUERN, the primitive form of hand-mill for grinding corn, consisting of two flat circular stones; the lower stone, often shaped with a rim; has a wooden or metal pin in the centre which passes through a hole in the upper stone; the worker pours the grain through the hole with one hand, revolving the upper stone with the other by means of a peg fixed to one side.
The old hand-mill was known as a " quern," a word which appears in this sense in many Indo-European languages; the ultimate root is gar-, to grind.
This indubitable use of the pastorals in Polycarp 8 throws the terminus ad quern of their composition back into the first decade of the 2nd century, 'and additional confirmation of this would be forthcoming were the evidence for their use in Ignatius more 6 The drawback was that, if Paul was soon to see his colleagues again (Titus i.
There can be little doubt that before the AngloSaxons came to Britain they possessed no instrument for grinding corn except the quern (cweorn), and in remote districts this continued in use until quite late times.
We may notice also the introduction of the mill in place of the quern which hitherto had been in universal use.
The quern with rotary motion is late Roman,, and still used by Arabs.
22, but the terminus ad quern is more difficult to fix.