I Will Move The Earth

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

Archimedes

The Ocean

The Syracusia, a luxurious ship weighing in at 4,064 tons, sat uselessly on shore, a beached monstrosity. “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Archimedes boldly proclaimed to King Heiron II of Syracuse in Sicily around 260 BC.  Impervious to the pressures that an impatient king and a skeptical crowd could bring to bear, Archimedes single-handedly launched the Syracusia, one of the largest vessels of the ancient world. His ingenious arrangement of levers and pulleys did what huge teams of men pulling ropes could not accomplish.

Archimedes was a legend in his own life and is considered, in our age, to be the greatest inventor of ancient times. Sir Isaac Newton was known to be in awe of him.  The inventor of the pulleys and levers that could launch a ship also designed the first water pump, called an Archimedes screw which is still used today. He created a planetarium to show the motions of all the planets.  When Syracuse was besieged by the Roman fleet, Archimedes used his skill to protect his beloved city. He constructed catapults to bombard the ships with boulders, grappling devices to throw down scaling ladders, and even a hook and crane to lift massive enemy boats out of the water and tip them over.  Even so, in many respects, his inventions were the least of his achievements.

Archimedes was the world’s first great Scientist.  He went beyond the study of scientific subjects by thinking about problems in the scientific way that we now take for granted. But that is for another post…

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing up the shoulders of giants.”

Sir Isaac Newton

16 Comments

  1. billgncs says:

    He’s one of my favorites! Eureka! 🙂

    In a way, his ideas did move the earth.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      I love that story!!! 🙂 “Move the Earth” – he knew how to dream big and act even bigger!!!

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      1. billgncs says:

        think of it, with pure levers and fulcrums he invented machines to overturn a war galley. He was da vinci before da vinci!

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      2. Clanmother says:

        Well said – I’m certain da Vinci would agree!!! 🙂

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  2. Gallivanta says:

    Love the quote from Sir Isaac Newton.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      I do too! And to think that Sir Isaac Newton was a rather cranky sort of individual.

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  3. adinparadise says:

    Archimedes Principle is something which has stuck in my mind for all these years since my school day. 🙂

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    1. Clanmother says:

      There are some things in life that should never be forgotten. Archimedes would be very proud of you, no doubt!!!

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  4. I am loving your latest posts Rebecca!

    I will sit down this weekend and read them al over again!

    Nigel 🙂

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    1. Clanmother says:

      I am so glad that you are enjoying this series! I am learning as I go along, which is exactly what I wanted my blogging experience to be – all about learning! There is always something to discover “out there.” It is more fun when you have kindred spirits along the way…

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  5. supernova says:

    Hi Rebecca, I would like to present you with a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, you may find further info at:

    http://detectingblackpool.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/very-inspiring-blogger-award-thank-you-dear-kitty-some-blog/

    Congratulations, well deserved. My best regards, James 🙂

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Thank you so much for your kind consideration! I am glad that we are connected over the blogger miles – that is the very best award of all!!

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  6. What a cool guy he was. Archimedes, a master in his own time.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      He was – and the more I read about him, the more interesting he becomes. I wonder what they will say about our generation a couple of centuries from now?

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  7. Ms Frances says:

    Hmmm~I don’t need the example of Sir Isaac Newton to be in awe of this great man.

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    1. Clanmother says:

      Very true!!! His gifts of knowledge are enough…

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