Who is Archimedes and What is the Siege on Syracuse?

Let’s start with the artifact, shall we? The real Antikythera is believed to be a hand-powered orrery — a model of the Solar System that shows the positions of the planets and moons and predicts their movements. It is described as the first analog computer, but the mechanism’s true purpose and its inner-workings continue to baffle scientists.

If you don’t know who he was, Archimedes was a Greek engineer, mathematician, inventor, and astronomer from the ancient city of Syracuse, in what is now Sicily. To avoid giving a whole lecture, Archimedes was considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, and a brilliant mind. One of his inventions, the Archimedes screw, continues to be used today to pump water, while his contributions to mathematics, like calculating the area of a circle to the volume of a sphere and were influential in the Renaissance once his surviving work was rediscovered.

Though it is believed that Archimedes did not build the Antikythera, he very much existed and could have created the designs and work that eventually led to the device. Archimedes also aided his home city by creating weapons of war that aided against the invaders from the Roman Republic in 213 and 212 BC. Arguably his best known contribution n battle was his idea for a heat ray (it may or may not have actually worked) that used mirrors to redirect sunlight to incoming ships and burn them down.

Archimedes died during the siege of Syracuse by the Roman Republic in 212 BC, where it is said that the mathematician was so focused on his work that he ignored orders to leave the town and was killed by a Roman soldier who did not recognize the mathematician, despite direct orders not to kill him.

Leave a Comment