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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A stands for Archimedes

Archimedes was born c.287 B.C. in Syracuse Sicily. He was an ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer inventor and astronomer.

Little is known of his early life and it is not known whether he married or had children. His father's name was Phidias and was an astronomer, little is known of him and his life.

An amusing anecdote about Archimedes tells of how he invented a method for determining the volume of an object with an irregular shape.

A votive crown for King Hiero, who had supplied the pure gold to be used and Archimedes was asked to determine whether some silver had been substituted by the dishonest goldsmith. Archimedes had to solve the problem without damaging the crown so he could not melt it down into a regular shaped body in order to calculate it's density.

Whilst taking a bath he noticed that the level of the water rose when he got in, and realised that this effect could be used to determine the volume of the crown. His theory was proved that the density was lower and cheaper that less dense metals had been added.

He was so excited that he jumped out of the bath and forgetting to get dressed he ran through the streets naked crying 'Eureka'- Greek meaning,  " I have found it". 

Amongst many of his theories and inventions he  invented the hydraulic screw.

This was used to pump bilge (water) out of the hull of a ship that he designed called the Syracusia.

This ship could carry six hundred passengers along with a large cargo.

The hydraulic screw has many uses particularly in irrigation by transporting water along channels.


137 years after Archimedes death the Roman Orator Cicero embarked upon a search for Archimedes tomb. It was eventually discovered near the Agrigentine Gate in Syracuse


Cicero discovering the tomb.

There is so much more to write about this remarkable man, and as I've long had a deep admiration of his works, I hope to write more as we proceed with ABCW ROUND 16.

 My favourite yarn is his 'Eureka' moment. This is  something I learned in primary school during science lessons. I can remember sniggering, with the rest of my class mates, at the thought of a wrinkly old man running through the streets stark naked !

  EUREKA ! indeed.

My thanks to the AMAZING Denise for devising ABCW and the much ADMIRED Roger for keeping us all together, in our quest to write about whatever captures our imagination.                                              


  1. Amazing man indeed!
    Was astounded when I first read about him in Science book in School :)
    Have a great week!

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  3. Remarkable man indeed. I knew he was a scholar of mathematics and such but had no idea how many things he invented.

  4. Thank you for this story about Archmedes. At school we had to learn Archimedes' principle. I still know it by heart!
    Thanks for your visit and comment . Have a great week.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  5. Eureka and a streaker (ah) kinda rhymes!


  6. Terrific post...but I am fascinated by the animated bilge screw you have perpetually running♪

  7. A super post Diane , well done. Very interesting information. My husband would know all about this , more his subect. Mine would be Syracuse , such a fabulous place. I love the word "Eureka" :-) take care and thank you for your lovely comments too , I must get round to answering them. xox

  8. You have done some great research to share with us. It seems the older I get the more I have to refresh my memory on things I've learned in the past and this was refreshing. Thank you.

  9. Great information on a great man!

  10. He must be one of the few famous people we remember from junior secondary school.

  11. Great man indeed.Grew reading his principles.

  12. Love this post! So interesting! Glad you shared Archimedes with us today.

  13. Thanks for my history lesson Di! xx

  14. His "Eureka" is the most famous phrase, I believe every kid in the school is familiar.

  15. Thanks for all the kind and constructive comments. This time I'm not able to reply on an individual basis just to say that Everybody who's Anybody seems to remember Archimedes and in particular his 'Eureka' moment

    Best wishes to you all
    ABCW team.

  16. If we can only keep making science interesting for kids. - Margy

  17. very informative post... thanks for sharing us the history

  18. Well, we've all been carried away with the moment, haven't we?

  19. What a fun post, Trubes! It occurred to me that I know very little about Archimedes. I had heard and remember giggling at the "Eureka" story, but loved the reminder and had no inkling, for example,about the bilge screw. Looking forward to whatever you find Amusing to share with us in the future :)


I usually like to reply to your comments but for some reason when i do post a reply it just diappears, any advice would be most welcome,Thanks Di x

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