Archimedes was one of the greatest scientists, mathematicians and an inventor who contributed greatly to this world through his findings. Some of his greatest inventions were the Archimedes principle and the Archimedes screw.
Archimedes was born in 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily. The city was a part of the Greek empire. His year of birth is an approximate and based on John Tzetzes, a Byzantine Greek historian, who noted that Archimedes lived for 75 years. His father's name was Phidias, and he was an astronomer. Nothing much is known about Archimedes' father.
Heracleides wrote a biography on Archimedes life, but it has been lost. So, not much is known about Archimedes and his life. It is not known whether Archimedes was married or whether he had children. However, it is known that Archimedes studied in Alexandria in Egypt along with Conon of Samos and Eratosthene of Cyrene.
In his lifetime, Archimedes invented many machines and tools that were used both by the Romans and Greeks. In fact, many things he invented are still being used even today. For instance, the Archimedes screw is used in the coal industry and for irrigation in some developing countries.
It is believed that Archimedes died in 212 BC when the Second Punic War was going on at Syracuse. According to the writings of Plutarch, Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier even though the General Marcus Claudius Marcellus had specifically ordered that Archimedes should not be harmed.
In 75BC, Cicero, the Roman orator was in Sicily. He had heard a lot about Archimedes and was curious to visit his tomb. However, the local people were unable to tell him the location of Archimedes' tomb. Finally Cicero found Archimedes' tomb near the Agrigentine gate. The tomb was completely neglected. So, Cicero had it cleaned, and this allowed him to see the carving and inscription on the tomb.
Most accounts of Archimedes and his life were written well after his death. So, all information is secondhand and passed down. For instance, Universal History by Polybius gives an account of the sack of Syracuse. This was written 70 years after Archimedes death, and the same was used by Plutarch. Most works concentrate more on Archimedes' inventions rather than what type of person he was.
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