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Coloured engraving after a bust of Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287-212BC). Little is known of Archimedes' early life, although he was born into a noble family and was educated in Alexandria. He was undoubtedly the foremost scientist and mathematician of the ancient world. He used geometrical methods to measure curves and the areas and volumes of solids, using a very close approximation of pi(the mean of his values is correct to 3 decimal places). In applied mathematics he developed the compound pulley and the Archimedes screw, and formulated the studies of statics and hydrostatics. He was killed during the Roman invasion of Syracuse.
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