In 214 BC, after a siege that lasted two years, the Roman army stormed the powerful ancient city of Syracuse giving them complete control of the island of Sicily during the Second Punic War.
During the Roman assault one of the most famous ancient Greek people who ever lived and one of the greatest minds in history, Archimedes of Syracuse, was killed by a Roman soldier. Although
the exact details of the incident are unclear it is believed the Roman soldier was angered by Archimedes refusal to come with him to meet the Roman General Marcellus. It is said that
Archimedes told the soldier that he had to complete a mathematical problem he was working on. On this page we list facts about Archimedes including information about his numerous
contributions too many fields of science and information on his many inventions. This page should help both kids and adults understand this famous ancient Greek person better.
Interesting Archimedes Facts
- Archimedes of Syracuse is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world; in fact he is also considered one of the greatest mathematicians that ever lived.
- This famous ancient Greek man made contributions too many disciplines including mathematics, physics, astronomy, and engineering. He also is credited with the creation of numerous
- Many of the details of Archimedes life are uncertain, including exactly when he was born and when he died; he lived from approximately 287 BC up until his murder in 212 BC.
- He was born in the city of Syracuse on the island of Sicily; this Greek city was one of the major powers of the ancient world.
- The famous Italian physicist and mathematician Galileo who was born in the late 1500's called Archimedes superhuman.
- Archimedes made many contributions to mathematics; especially in the field of Geometry.
- This famous Greek man is credited with the invention of integral calculus.
- Archimedes was able to approximate pi which is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.
- He came up with many mathematical formulas for determining relationships among volumes of spheres, cylinders, and paraboloids.
- The Roman General Marcellus, who led the siege of Syracuse, was not happy that Archimedes was killed. In fact he had ordered his soldiers not to harm him. Marcellus realized that
would be a great asset to Rome and that they could use his genius to benefit their civilization.
Facts about Archimedes Inventions
- In 214 BC the ancient Romans laid siege to the powerful Greek city of Syracuse which was Archimedes home. To help protect Syracuse Archimedes invented several weapons to help protect the
city. One of these weapons was the Claw of Archimedes, also called the iron hand. Although its exact design is unknown, ancient descriptions describe a large grappling hook that was moved by
a crane. This weapon would hook on to enemy ships lifting them partially out of the water then dropping them which would either sink or damage them.
- One almost unbelievable weapon said to have been invented by this famous man used angled hexagonal mirrors to direct an intense sun ray at enemy ships setting them on fire. There is
controversy over whether he actually ever invented such a weapon.
- Archimedes is credited with building the largest ship of ancient times; it was named the Syracusia. It served as both a luxury ship, supply ship, and warship. This amazing boat could
carry up to 600 people.
- The Archimedes screw (also called the Archimedean screw) another invention of this great man, was most likely developed to remove the water that leaked into the bottom of Archimede's ship
the Syracusia. This device had a revolving screw housed inside a cylinder which when turned by hand would pull water up threw it from a low-lying area.