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Reference:

To Count the Absent (or the Problem of the Total Number of Genoese Merchants in Byzantium)

Shpirko Sergey

Associate Professor, Moscow State Historical Archives Institute, Russian State University for the Humanities

119313, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Leninskii Prospekt, 88 korpus 3, kv. 122

shpirkos@mail.ru
Другие публикации этого автора
 

 

DOI:

10.7256/2585-7797.2021.2.36061

Review date:

04-07-2021


Publish date:

13-07-2021


Abstract: The author develops a mathematical-statistical approach to the problem of estimating the size of Genoese medieval population in Byzantium. The data source is notarial acts covering commercial partnerships, freightage, wills, purchase and sale of houses, goods and people drawn up in the Genoese colony of Constantinople at the end of the 13th century. The will form has a fairly uniform structure. In addition to the mandatory record of names of the contracting parties and witnesses of the transaction, it may also register names of the third parties. Thus, these data on the clientele of Genoese notaries represent a dataset which may indirectly indicate the size of the entire trading Genoese community of Byzantium. This approach is based on a constructed formalized model that describes the behavior of merchants when visiting and concluding a transaction attested by a notary. This makes it possible to pass in a natural way from the initial to the statistical problem of estimating the size of a finite aggregate and use this mathematical theory for its calculation. In this case, the author applies the approach associated with the use of the maximum likelihood function that is a novelty. The resulting formula allows (with a certain degree of probability) one to estimate the required size of the Genoese population. It is interesting that this estimate, on the whole, coincides with the result of A.L. Ponomarev obtained earlier for the same problem using Zipf's empirical law.


Keywords: size of a finite population, sample, statistical estimation, ranged series, notarial acts, Genoese, Constantinople, multinomial distribution, maximum likelihood estimation, Zipf’s law
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

References
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Actes des notaires genoise de Pera et de Caffa de la fin de la treizieme siècle (1281-1290)/publies par Bratianu G.I. – Bucarest, 1927.– 381 P.;
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Karpov S.P. Kontrakt kommendy v ital'yanskoi torgovle v Yuzhnom Prichernomor'e (XIII-XV vv.)// Vizantiiskii vremennik.– M., 1987. –Tom 48(73). –S.23-32;
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Ivchenko G.I., Medvedev Yu.I. Vvedenie v matematicheskuyu statistiku.–.M., 2009. –S.577
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