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Article: Archimedes's iron hand or claw - a new interpretation of an old mystery

TitleArchimedes's iron hand or claw - a new interpretation of an old mystery
Authors
Issue Date2004
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0008-8994&site=1
Citation
Centaurus: an international journal of the history of science and its cultural aspects, 2004, v. 46 n. 3, p. 189-207 How to Cite?
AbstractWhen Roman forces attempted to storm Syracuse by land and sea in B.C.E.213, they were repelled by an array of ingenious machines, including one thatpowered Archimedes’s iron ‘‘hand’’ or ‘‘claw’’ – a device said to have stoodRoman warships upon their sterns by raising their prows out of the water.In the absence of any surviving technical description of this device, mostattempts at an explanation have been based on translations of the only threesurviving classical works that briefly mention the claw. However, we find thesetranslations to be extremely misleading in places. In this paper, we (1) brieflyreview existing interpretations of the claw, (2) demonstrate quantitatively thatthey are very far from practical, (3) propose a new but simpler explanationby which 75-t vessels could be raised with great ease and speed, and (4)demonstrate that the original Greek and Latin texts are more consistent withthis new scenario than existing ones.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222892
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.387
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.126

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYoung, CK-
dc.date.accessioned2016-02-11T00:43:27Z-
dc.date.available2016-02-11T00:43:27Z-
dc.date.issued2004-
dc.identifier.citationCentaurus: an international journal of the history of science and its cultural aspects, 2004, v. 46 n. 3, p. 189-207-
dc.identifier.issn0008-8994-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222892-
dc.description.abstractWhen Roman forces attempted to storm Syracuse by land and sea in B.C.E.213, they were repelled by an array of ingenious machines, including one thatpowered Archimedes’s iron ‘‘hand’’ or ‘‘claw’’ – a device said to have stoodRoman warships upon their sterns by raising their prows out of the water.In the absence of any surviving technical description of this device, mostattempts at an explanation have been based on translations of the only threesurviving classical works that briefly mention the claw. However, we find thesetranslations to be extremely misleading in places. In this paper, we (1) brieflyreview existing interpretations of the claw, (2) demonstrate quantitatively thatthey are very far from practical, (3) propose a new but simpler explanationby which 75-t vessels could be raised with great ease and speed, and (4)demonstrate that the original Greek and Latin texts are more consistent withthis new scenario than existing ones.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0008-8994&site=1-
dc.relation.ispartofCentaurus: an international journal of the history of science and its cultural aspects-
dc.rightsPreprint This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: [FULL CITE], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article]. Authors are not required to remove preprints posted prior to acceptance of the submitted version. Postprint This is the accepted version of the following article: [full citation], which has been published in final form at [Link to final article]. -
dc.titleArchimedes's iron hand or claw - a new interpretation of an old mystery-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1600-0498.2004.00009.x-
dc.identifier.hkuros97620-
dc.identifier.volume46-
dc.identifier.issue3-
dc.identifier.spage189-
dc.identifier.epage207-
dc.publisher.placeUnited States-

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