Born in Syracuse
and educated in Alexandria, Archimedes was one of the most important mathematicians
and inventors of the ancient world.
He is best known for his phrase "eureka" (I have found it). The story goes that king Hieron of Syracusae suspected that the crown he had ordered from a goldsmith was not of pure gold. He then asked the genius Archimedes to find a way to measure the crown.
The solution came to him when he stepped into his bath and saw the water overflowing. By measuring the water that runs over when an object is put into it, one can measure the objects weight, he concluded.
According to the legend, Archimedes ran naked through the streets shouting the famous phrase.
When the Romans conquered Sicily, he gave them many inventions used for the defence of Syracuse, for example the catapult and maybe a system of mirrors focusing the sunrays on boats and igniting them.
Archimedes was killed by a Roman soldier who was offended when the scientist asked him not to disturb the diagrams he was drawing in the sand. Surviving works are Floating Bodies, The Sand Reckoner, Measurement of the Circle, Spirals and Sphere and Cylinder.