Is there something you love so much that you could spend hours doing it? Maybe you love video games, reading or watching movies. Archimedes was an ancient mathematician who lived 200 years before Christ’s birth. He loved math so much that sometimes he forgot to eat while he was figuring problems.
Archimedes is considered to be one of the most brilliant mathematicians in history. He figured out many complicated mathematical equations. He probably got his love for math from his father, who was an astronomer. Archimedes invented a miniature planetarium, but his main job was to solve problems for the King of Syracuse, which was a part of Sicily in Italy.
Legend has it that the king worried that the royal crown maker might be replacing some of the gold in his crowns with a less valuable material. The king asked Archimedes to find a way to determine if the crowns were 100 percent gold. Archimedes thought of the solution while in his bathtub. He supposedly jumped out of the tub and ran through the streets naked, shouting, “Eureka! Eureka!”
Fun Facts about Archimedes for Kids
- King Hiero called upon Archimedes to design war machines to defend the country against the Romans who were intent on invading. Archimedes is said to have invented the catapult, which could hurl 500 pound boulders at the enemy. He also invented giant claws that could lift warships out of the ocean and crush them. Some tales say he invented giant mirrors that could light the sails of war ships on fire through the heat of the sun.
- Archimedes did figures wherever he was. He often worked on problems in the dirt, using a stick as a pencil.
- The Romans eventually succeeded in invading Syracuse. Archimedes was slain by a Roman soldier.
- Brilliant: exceptionally bright
- Equation: problem
- Astronomer: Scientist who studies the stars and planets
- Valuable: precious, worthwhile
- Slain: killed
Learn More All About Archimedes and His Discoveries
Watch this fun video all about Archimedes:
An animated storytelling video about how taking a bath led to Archimedes’ principle.
Question: Are there any other stories about Archimedes?
Answer: Archimedes seems to have been a colorful character, although we can’t be sure if the stories are true. Legend has it that he once boasted that he could lift the earth if he had a large enough lever. The king asked him to prove his claim. He made a giant lever and used it to raise a ship out of the water.
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