Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.

Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BCc. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, philosopher, scientist and engineer.


I have found it!
  • εὕρηκα [eureka]
    • I have found it! or I have got it!
    • What he exclaimed as he ran naked from his bath, realizing that by measuring the displacement of water an object produced, compared to its weight, he could measure its density (and thus determine the proportion of gold that was used in making a king's crown); as quoted by Vitruvius Pollio in De Architectura, ix.215;
  • δῶς μοι πᾶ στῶ καὶ τὰν γᾶν κινάσω [dos moi pa sto, kai tan gan kinaso]
    • Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth.
      • Said to be his assertion in demonstrating the principle of the lever; as quoted by Pappus of Alexandria, Synagoge, Book VIII, c. AD 340.
    • Variant translations:
    • Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.
    • Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world.
    • Give me a stick long enough and a pivot and I shall move the world.
    • Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.
    • Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.
  • μὴ μου τοὺς κύκλους τάραττε [me mou tous kyklous taratte]
    • Noli turbare circulos meos. or Noli tangere circulos meos. (Latin translations)
    • Do not disturb my circles!
      • Reportedly his last words, said to a Roman soldier who, despite being given orders not to, killed Archimedes during the conquest of Syracuse; as quoted in World Literature : An Anthology of Human Experience (1947) by Arthur Christy, p. 655

Quotes about ArchimedesEdit

  • The treatises are, without exception, monuments of mathematical exposition; the gradual revelation of the plan of attack, the masterly ordering of the propositions, the stern elimination of everything not immediately relevant to the purpose, the finish of the whole, are so impressive in their perfection as to create a feeling akin to awe in the mind of the reader.
    • T. L. Heath, in A History of Greek Mathematics II (1931)

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Last modified on 9 April 2014, at 07:56