Seminario delle Meccaniche

Dating Hypatias’s birth: a probabilistic approach

by Lucio Russo (Università di Tor Vergata), Stefano Isola (Università di Camerino)


In this talk we discuss a probabilistic approach to deal with the
problem of dating the birth of a historical figure when, on that
event, one disposes of a set of indirect information, such as
testimonials about various aspects of his/her life.  In
particular, after having translated each testimony, if considered
reliable, into a probability distribution on the year of birth,
we discuss how to obtain an overall probability distribution that
takes into account the possibility that some of the testimonies
are false.
The method is applied to the controversial birth date of the
Alexandrian scientist Hypatia, proving to be surprisingly

Organized by

Giovanni Gallavotti