A Pure Soul pp 25-34 | Cite as

A Pure Soul

  • Andrea Parlangeli


This steely phrase was spoken in the winter of 1953 by the brightest star of Italian mathematics of the time, the genial rebel Renato Caccioppoli, in front of an arena full of colleagues who looked on in astonishment. Caccioppoli had come to Rome to hold a series of seminars on measure theory, the same subject studied by De Giorgi. On that day, Hall A in the basement of the Institute of Mathematics was full. Rake thin, with a ghostly face, Caccioppoli was at the podium and all were silent. His arguments were not easy to follow: “Caccioppoli leaped from one idea to another with great speed, often leaving logical gaps that the listeners had to fill themselves (but his reasoning was always correct)—remembers Fernando Bertolini, who was there—Only those who were most informed could follow him, and no one dared contradict him.”

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Parlangeli
    • 1
  1. 1.MilanItaly

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