During the first two weeks of January, we followed ancient humans through time as they discovered/invented fire, tools, housing, agriculture, clothing, weapons, laws, transportation, and art. With few exceptions, the identities of the inventors/discoverers are unknown. As prehistory became history, the identities of those who made discoveries/inventions are known. For the rest of the month, we will feature the progress of science and inventions by scientists and inventors—in no particular order.
Archimedes was born c. 287 BC in the seaport city of Syracuse, Sicily which was part of Greece. He may have studied in Alexandria, Egypt which was known as a center of learning. Archimedes was killed circa 212 BC when the city was captured by Rome after a two-year-long siege. Archimedes was one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity and one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.
His advances in physics include the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an explanation of the principle of the lever. He invented innovative machines, including siege engines, a planetarium, the screw pump still used today (see pic) and machines capable of lifting attacking ships out of the water and setting ships on fire using an array of mirrors. He also designed the largest ship of the time, the Syracusia, which could be used for luxury travel (it could accommodate 600), carrying supplies, and as a naval warship. Until Tomorrow, Rita Bay
Panakeia, The All Healing
Many English words have their origins in older languages. Check out the following:
||A cure for all ills. In Greek mythology, Asclepius (the god of medicine) had a daughter named Panakeia which meant “the all-healing.”
||A mild and agrreable expression for a disagreeable thing. Ex-“went to his reward” is a euphemism for “died.” Origin: “eu” in Greek means “well” and “phemi” means speak
||A messenger who announces the coming of someone or something. Origin: in German “heri” meant army and “berga” meant shelter. A harbinger would go before the army and prepare a place for it to stay or announce its impending arrival
||A person whose laws are made and executed by himself. Origin: In Greek, “auto” means “self” and “kratos” means “power.”
||Originally referred to people or citizens but later referred to an agitator. Origin: From the Greek, “demagogus” meant a leader of the people.
|Dead man’s switch
||A dead man’s switch is a switch that acts as a fail-safe which is automatically operated in case the human operator becomes incapacitated. For example, by death, loss of consciousness or falling asleep.
||A saying of the greatest importance. In Latin, “magnus” or “maximus” meant “great”
||A person who doesn’t know whether or not God exists. Origin: In Greek, “agnosto” meant “unknowable.”
||To persuade by deception, beguiling or blinding. Origin: In French “aveugler” means to blind or delude
||In medieval times, knights on Crusade called those who didn’t share their beliefs “miscreante” which means not believing or infidel. Now refers to a general rascal. Origin: In French, “miscreant” meant “not believing.”
|“I found it.” Origin: Greek mathematician Archimedes was asked by the King of Syracuse to discover if his crown was really gold. While stepping into his bath, Archimedes caused water to be displaced and realized he could measure the displacement of real gold in water and then do the same for the crown. He yelled out “Eureka” at his discovery.Tomorrow: Churchhill’s “Call to War”