Archimedes in Ancient Roman World

  • Mario Geymonat
Conference paper
Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 11)


Cicero’s rediscovery of Archimedes’ tomb shows the interest for the Sicilian scientist in Rome, even if in Italy Archimedes’ geometry was put into practice only by architects and by Gromatici, a sort of practical technicians who worked primarily in military and agricultural fields (we have some clear information about their work in a wonderful manuscript of the sixth century now in Wolfenbüttel). Some poets of the classical period were interested in the combination of numbers (like Catullus’ 5 or 7 and Virgil’s Georgics 2), but they never did open references to Archimedes, for metrical difficulties and embarrassed by his astonishing killing during the Roman occupation of Syracuse. Archimedes’ life and death had an important part on the confluence of eastern and western culture in the third and second centuries B.C., but a good image of the scientist received serious obstacles by the difficulties of his theoretical works (Cicero also didn’t read and understand the mathematical and physical ones) and by his strong and open struggle against the Romans.


Intellectual Capital Sixth Century Open Reference Roman Supremacy Arab Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professor of Latin Literature in University Ca’ FoscariVeneziaItaly

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