The Italian Almanac

Archimedes and his lever

Italian News - July 21

A major new show in Naples highlights the extraordinary universe of science and technology created by ancient Greek masters.

The show, "Eureka! The Genius of the Ancients", displays fully functional models of intricate machines like water clocks and musical and astronomical instruments which are carbon copies of those used in ancient times. Among the most impressive models on show is a recreation of one of the wonders of the ancient world, the Lighthouse at Alexandria.

'Eureka!' ("I have found it!") is the famed cry that great mathematician and engineer Archimedes uttered as splashed out of his bath and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse after cracking the theory of buoyancy. Archimedes also conceived a theory for calculating the number of grains of sand in the world, giant mirrors that could set fire to enemy sails, the water screw for raising water and giant pulleys that could hoist the biggest ships. "Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I'll move the world," he also famously said.

Eureka runs until January 9 at the famous Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples.