Archimedes, Kircher, Buffon, and the Burning-Mirrors

  title={Archimedes, Kircher, Buffon, and the Burning-Mirrors},
  author={W. E. Knowles Middleton},
  pages={533 - 543}
THE TECHNICAL exploits of Archimedes during the siege of Syracuse by Marcellus from 214 to 212 B. C. are well-known. While no one doubts that there is a deep substratum of fact in the narrative of Archimedes' achievements in ballistics and the other more usual forms of military engineering, the story of his setting fire to the Roman ships by means of solar radiation re-directed by mirrors is generally considered to be a work of pure fiction. The subject of this note is the revival of belief in… 

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References to five of Gibbon's footnotes have t I have recently and quite by accident found been omitted. I am indebted to my old friend