287 BC Greek mathematician and astronomer is Archimedes of Syracuse Rare Photos. Archimedes was born c. 287 BC in the seaport city of Syracuse, Sicily, which was then a colony of Magna Graecia.

The date of his birth is based on an assertion by the Byzantine Greek historian John Tzetzes that he lived for seventy-five years. In The Sand Reckoner Archimedes gives his father’s name as Phidias, an astronomer about whom nothing is known. Plutarch wrote that Archimedes was related to King Hieron II, the ruler of Syracuse.

A biography of Archimedes was written by his friend Heracleides but this work has been lost, leaving the details of his life obscure. It is unknown, for instance, whether he ever married or had children. Archimedes is believed to have spent part of his youth being educated in Alexandria, Egypt where he was a contemporary of Conon of Samos and Eratosthenes. Some of Archimedes’ mathematical works were written in the form of letters to Eratosthenes, who was the chief librarian in Alexandria.

Archimedes died c. 212 BC during the Second Punic War, when Roman forces under General Marcus Claudius Marcellus captured the city of Syracuse after a two year long siege. According to the popular account given by Plutarch in his Parallel Lives , Archimedes was contemplating a mathematical diagram when the city was captured.

A Roman soldier commanded him to come and meet General Marcellus but he declined, saying that he had to finish working on the problem. The soldier was enraged by this, and killed Archimedes with his sword. Plutarch also gives a lesser-known account of the death of Archimedes which suggests that he may have been killed while attempting to surrender to a Roman soldier.

According to this story, Archimedes was carrying mathematical instruments, and was killed because the soldier thought that they were valuable items. General Marcellus was reportedly angered by the death of Archimedes, as he had ordered him not to be harmed.

The last words attributed to Archimedes are “Do not disturb my circles”. This quote is often given in Latin as “Noli turbare circulos meos”, but there is no reliable evidence that Archimedes uttered these words, and they do not appear in the account given by Plutarch.

Archimedes’ tomb had a carving of his favorite mathematical diagram, which was a sphere inside a cylinder of the same height and diameter. Archimedes had proved that the volume and surface area of the sphere would be two thirds that of the cylinder.

In 75 BC, 137 years after his death, the Roman orator Cicero visited the tomb in Syracuse which had become overgrown with scrub. Cicero had the tomb cleaned up, and was able to see the carving and read some of the verses that had been added as an inscription.

The account of the siege of Syracuse given by Polybius in his Universal History was written some seventy years after the death of Archimedes, and was used as a source by Plutarch and Livy.

It sheds little light on Archimedes as a person, and focuses on the war machines that he is said to have built in order to defend the city.

Archimedes of Syracuse (c.287 BC – c. 212 BC) was an ancient Greek mathematician, physicist and engineer. Although little is known about his life, he is regarded as one of the most important scientists in classical antiquity.

In addition to making important discoveries in the field of mathematics and geometry, he is credited with producing machines that were well ahead of their time.

The Ancient Roman historians showed a strong interest in Archimedes and wrote several biographies relating to his life and works, while the few copies of his treatises that survived through the Middle Ages were a major influence on scientists during the Renaissance.

Archimedes produced the first known summation of an infinite series with a method that is still used in the area of calculus today.

Archimedes was a famous mathematician whose theorems and philosophies became world known. He gained a reputation in his own time which few other mathematicians of this period achieved.

He is considered by most historians of mathematics as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. One favor? Would you throw a link somewhere back to http://www.funyarn.com ? Pretty please? Thanks

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