Archimedes’ mathematical writings were not widely known in antiquity, but he has been the subject of many legends through the ages. Many mathematicians who worked at the Library of Alexandria read and frequently cited his works. Roman historians reported numerous events that were attributed to Archimedes, according to tradition or legend. Archimedes made original contributions to the mathematics of his time in many of the subjects he studied. He is credited with ten works on various subjects such as the equilibrium of geometric figures, the quadrature of the parabola, the sphere, the cylinder, etc.
His contributions also include works dealing with circles, accurate approximations of π, studies on conics (in particular parabolas) and his revolutionary approach to the calculation of area and volume.
Archimedes is believed to have said: “Mathematics reveals its secrets only to those who approach it with pure love for its own beauty.”
The exclamation “Eurêka!” which means “I have found it,” is also attributed to Archimedes. He is believed to have shouted “Eurêka!” upon finding a solution to a metal density problem while he was taking a bath.
This Italian stamp, issued in 1983, shows a bust of Archimedes from the National Museum of Naples in Italy.