A Legal Tangle in Rome !!

Ancient  Roman mathematical works were utilitarian. Here is a Roman inheritance problem:

A dying Roman, knowing his wife was pregnant, left a will saying that if she had a son, he would inherit two-thirds of the estate and the widow one third; but if she had a daughter, the daughter would get one third and the widow two-thirds.

Soon after his death, his widow had twins — a boy and a girl. This is a possibility that the will maker had not foreseen. What division of the estate keeps as close as possible to the terms of the will?

(Ref: The Moscow Puzzles by Boris A. Kordemsky; Dover Publications).


Nalin Pithwa

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