Archimedes (ca. 287–212 BC) was born in Syracuse, in the Greek colony of Sicily. He studied mathematics at the Museum in Alexandria. Archimedes systematized the design of simple machines and the study of their functions. He was probably the inventor of the compound pulley and developed a rigorous theory of levers and the kinematics of the screw. He is the founder of statics and of hydrostatics, and his machine designs fascinated subsequent writers. Archimedes was both a great engineer and a great inventor, but his books concentrated on applied mathematics and mechanics and rigorous mathematical proofs. Archimedes was also known as an outstanding astronomer; his observations of solstices were used by other astronomers of the era.


Torsion Spring Integral Calculus Simple Machine Latin Translation Spiral Line 
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Web sites

  1. The Archimedes Palimpsest,, 2005.
  2. The History of the Archimedes Palimpsest, at the website of the Walters Art Gallery,
  3. International Committee for the History of Technology, Iowa State University Program in History of Technology

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas G. Chondros
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics DepartmentUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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