Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212): Greek engineer, discoverer of the Law of Archimedes.
Archimedes was also interested in engineering and invented a hydraulic organ and a planetarium (which implies that he thought that the motions of heaven could be described as if they were mechanical). The invention of a machine to lever ships from a dock to the sea made him boast that if he only had a point to stand on, he would move the earth.
When the Roman general Marcus Claudius Marcellus besieged Syracuse in 212, he invented war machines. During the sack of the city, Archimedes was killed (text). The famous story that Archimedes was able to destroy ships by using giant burning mirrors, is untrue; his true genius can be seen in the fortifications at Euryalos.
- E.J. Dijksterhuis, Archimedes (1938)
- Archimedes' Heat Ray