What is Syracuse Defense and What Does It Mean?June 26, 2021
B.C. In 216, Archimedes was over 70, and Hieron, king of Syracuse, who was said to be one of his relatives, died. At the end of the Second Bhon War, the city was defeated and agreed to unite with the Carthaginians. Thereupon, the Romans sent one of their famous consuls, Claudius Marcellus, to Syracuse with an army.
Elderly Archimedes led a quiet and calm life, devoted to his work, away from the field of politics, which he had never participated in. But his fellow countrymen, who admired his wisdom and intelligence, sought his help to defend the city. Archimedes accepted this call almost reluctantly.
The Romans were quick to learn of his creative ability as an inventor and engineer. One day, a Roman warship, penetrating the coastal city walls, suddenly encountered a gigantic monstrous pincer. This tool, which came out from behind the walls, caught the ship by the bow and smashed it between its jaws. The working principles of this tool, which works with the help of lever arms and rotating pulleys, were revealed by Archimedes. Thus, a lever mechanism was realized for the first time.
Meanwhile, huge catapults placed behind the walls rained heavy arrows and stones on the enemy. The masts of the ships, whose deck and side were full of holes, were falling apart, falling on those on the ship, and the enemy was inflicting heavy losses.
It is also said that Archimedes reflected the sun’s rays on the enemy through a large mirror and set the ships on fire. But this story, which is very hard to believe, is perhaps nothing more than a legend.
However, the machines invented by Archimedes so intimidated the Romans that when they saw a rope or a stick on the walls, they thought it was his machine and they ran away screaming. Claudius Marcellus realized that his own engineers would not be able to deal with this enemy he inevitably admired. “Why should we fight this math giant? He’s sitting on the shore and destroying our navy like he’s mocking us!” He completely blockaded Syracuse. He became a very famous person.