Ancient Soldiers & Early Statistics

“In ancient times, the Athenian general and historian Thucydides described an attempt by soldiers to estimate the height of a wall before a siege. The calculation was made by  counting rows of bricks. Though “some [soldiers] might miss the right calculation,” he wrote, “most would hit upon it”. Making siege ladders based on the most often-arrived-at number, the soldiers showed an intuitive grasp of the statistical average now known as the mode.” (Keats, 2016, p.43).


Keats, J. (2016) Of Monarchs and Measurement. New Scientist. 21 May 2016, pp.43.


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