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Archimedes was born around 287 BC in Syracuse, Sicily. Syracuse at the time belonged to Greece, and Archimedes was a Greek mathematician and scientist. He died in 212 or 211 BC in the same town being assassinated by a Roman soldier of the advancing Roman army. Archimedes was apparently so involved in his work on mathematics that he did not run even when the solder came to him.

An ancient mosaic showing the slaying of Archimedes by a Roman soldier

It is believed that Archimedes learnt his mathematical art in Egypt, Alexandria, from the followers of Euclid. He came from an aristocratic family and during his long life invented a number of war devices. He is generally thought of as one of the most important mathematicians/scientists of the antiquity.

See here how he approximated the value of Pi.




Click on the Archimedes' image above to find about the place where he lived and worked all his life.

One of his major achievements was related to calculations of areas and volumes of geometrical shapes. To do this - and especially for the circular shapes - he needed to know what Pi was. So he invented a very good way of approximating Pi's value.

Discuss this image of Archimedes. What problem do you think he is working on? What are the objects behind him representative of?

To get some help with this, see the web site entirely dedicated to Archimedes to find more about his inventions.

Click on the number man to download the worksheet on Archimedes and the big numbers.


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