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BOOK OF HISTORIES
When Marcellus withdrew them [his ships] a bow-shot, the old man [Archimedes] constructed a kind of hexagonal mirror, and at an interval proportionate to the size of the mirror he set similar small mirrors with four edges, moved by links and by a form of hinge, and made it the center of the sun's beams--its noon-tide beam, whether in summer or in mid-winter. Afterwards, when the beams were reflected in the mirror, a fearful kindling of fire was raised in the ships, and at the distance of a bow-shot he turned them into ashes. In this way did the old man prevail over Marcellus with his weapons.
ARCHIMEDES: CRANES, CATAPULTS, MIRRORS
Archimedes played a major part in defending his natal city of Syracuse against a protracted Roman siege, as the designer of a host of weapons and machines to repulse the attackers. These fall into three main categories: a) cranes (or 'claws') that lifted enemy ships out of the water and dashed them against the rocks, b) catapults of every size and description that hurled bolts and stones varying distances, and c) the mirrors that focused sunlight on the ships and set them alight. This latter invention has become legendary, and much has been written about whether such a thing could in fact have been possible in the time of Archimedes. Most experts, and particularly foreign experts, were persuaded that the construction of such a system was a myth, despite the weight of literary evidence supporting the story, until engineer Ioannis Sakkas succeeded in demonstrating that it was indeed possible. Sakkas used 70 copper-plated glass lenses, with diameters ranging from 1.70 to 0.70 metres, and his experiment was carried out at the Palaska Training Centre on the island of Salamina on November 6, 1973. Sakkas placed his 70 lenses in a circle, and succeeded in focusing the sun's rays on a small boat, built in the same way as Roman craft and equipped with the same sort of materials, lying 55 metres away. In less than three minutes the boat was ablaze. Sakkas' experiment was reported around the world, and caused quite a stir. Three previous tests had also produced satisfactory results, and together they confirmed that Archimedes did indeed set fire to Roman ships. While we do not know the full effect of this conflagration, the psychological impact on the enemy must have been terrible. That, of course, is why his feat acquired the status of a legend and is still talked about to this day.
Originally posted by Vegemite
Well I doubt the Myth busters can build a death ray in a day.
Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Dont get me wrong Archimedes was a very smart man , but these accounts of the mirrors come from the 12th century over a 1000 years after the fact.
by John Zonaras (circa twelfth century AD)
" At last in an incredible manner he [Archimedes] burned up the whole Roman fleet. "
Dont you think the Romans would have gave up after such a weapon was used wouldnt there be more older accounts of such a weapon? Yet the Romans still sacked the city and nobody writes the story down for over 1000 years. Perhaps he had plans for some type of solar weapon but i doubt anything was ever put into use.
Originally posted by SmokeyTheBear
It is true but he didn't use a mirror, because mirrors dont reflect enough UV to start a fire, instead he used the polished bronze shields from the soldiers.
Creating a mirror effect correct? Yea, thank you for proving yourself wrong. Shattered OUT...