Sample of Resource Notes

Brief outline of the story

The year is 250 BC and King Hiero is very worried that pirates might attack his wonderful city of Syracuse in Sicily. So he decides to offer the Goddess Athena a gift in order that he will be protected. He calls his loyal goldsmith to the palace and orders a golden crown. He gives the craftsman 10 bags of gold to make the crown. The goldsmith however has to pay off some of her debts and spends some of the gold. She decides to use silver mixed with the gold so that the crown will look and weigh as it should. The gold crown is made and taken back to the palace; the king however doesn’t trust the goldsmith and calls for Archimedes to see if the crown has been made honestly.

Archimedes soon unravels the problem of weighing the crown, by using buoyancy and proves the crown is not pure. The goldsmith is banished from the kingdom.

Our story continues with the King. The taxman has brought his majesty 5 bags of gold, but the King can’t put it away because he has forgotten the combination to his safe. He decides to send this problem to his problem solver Archimedes…Initially only property owners such as farmers could serve in the army, but from the 1st century B.C. onwards anybody could join. These soldiers would have to stay in the army for at least 25 years!


Archimedes was the best mathematician of his times. He was born in Syracuse in 287 BC. Archimedes’ personality has been described as absent minded, self-absorbed and a little eccentric. He studied with famous mathematicians. He mainly studied in Alexandria, Egypt. At the time, this was the centre of Greek learning and this is where he met most of his colleagues. After leaving Alexandria he continued to send his theorems and results to his friends there. On several occasions these "friends" would say that these findings were their own. So the last time that he sent his work he included two false theorems. Not only did he make friends among others with similar interests, but also among royalty. He was friends with the family of King Hiero and helped him in more ways than one. Archimedes was killed in 212 B.C. when the Romans captured Syracuse while he was drawing geometric figures in the sand.

He was a genius. Even today he can be considered one of the greatest inventors in science and mathematics.