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Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences    •    New York University
Archimedes Painting

  Detail of a painting by
  Jusepe de Ribera
  (Spanish 1591-1652)
  in the Museo del Prado
  (Madrid, Spain)
  125 x 81 cm

   352 x 480 pixels, 30K
   1457 x 1985 pixels, 269K

  Spanish postage stamp:
   March 24, 1963
   Scott Catalogue
     Number 1159
   378 x 430 pixels, 56K
   757 x 861 pixels, 208K

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Greek Text
Contents . . .
Timeline Archimedes Screw Coins of Syracuse
Siege of Syracuse Stomachion Books on Archimedes
Archimedes’ Claw  The Cattle Problem Archimedes Crater
Death of Archimedes Archimedean Solids Stamps of Archimedes
Tomb of Archimedes Spheres and Planetaria Pictures of Archimedes
Burning Mirrors The Lever
On Floating Bodies
The Golden Crown Royal Family of Syracuse Archimedes in the 21st Century

Quick facts about Archimedes . . .
Born About 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily. At the time Syracuse was an independent Greek city-state with a 500-year history.
Died 212 or 211 BC in Syracuse when it was being sacked by a Roman army. He was killed by a Roman soldier who did not know who he was.
Education Probably studied in Alexandria, Egypt, under the followers of Euclid.
Family His father was an astronomer named Phidias and he was probably related to Hieron II, the king of Syracuse. It is not known whether he was married or had any children.
Inventions Many war machines used in the defense of Syracuse, compound pulley systems, planetarium, water screw (possibly), water organ (possibly), burning mirrors (very unlikely).
Fields of
Hydrostatics, static mechanics, pycnometry (the measurement of the volume or density of an object). He is called the “father of integral calculus” and also the “father of mathematical physics”.
On plane equilibriums, Quadrature of the parabola, On the sphere and cylinder, On spirals, On conoids and spheroids, On floating bodies, Measurement of a circle, The Sandreckoner, On the method of mechanical problems.
Place in
Generally regarded as the greatest mathematician and scientist of antiquity and one of the three greatest mathematicians of all time (together with Isaac Newton (English 1643-1727) and Carl Friedrich Gauss (German 1777-1855)).
Archidamos III Bust

A statue in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples (Naples, Italy) widely claimed to represent Archimedes. It actually is a bust of Archidamos III, a
fourth-century BC king of Sparta.

About this site . . .
This site is a virtual book about Archimedes, who is widely regarded as the greatest mathematician and scientist in antiquity. Here I have compiled knowledge about Archimedes’ inventions, the numerous fields of science and mathematics he created, discussions of many of his finished works—and my own research that extends and applies Archimedean principles to 21st century problems. I created this site in 1995, and it has been under continual development and expansion since then.

 Chris Rorres
email address

A one-hour talk given in 2009 by the Webmaster of this site at the Beckman Center in Irving, California, as part of the Distinctive Voices program of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. The talk describes Archimedes’ formative role in our quest for a Theory of Everything and where that quest remains today.
• View the talk on YouTube.
• View the talk at the Beckman Center site.
Distinctive Voices