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How did Archimedes die?

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Quick Answer

Archimedes was killed during the sack of the city of Syracuse after its fall to Roman forces during the Second Punic War. He died in 212 B.C. at the age of 75 years old.

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Full Answer

The Roman biographer Plutarch relates a number of stories of Archimedes' death, though the exact circumstances are unknown. One states that Archimedes was working on mathematical theories when Syracuse fell to the Roman army. When a Roman soldier came upon him drawing circles in the dust, the scholar said, "Do not disturb my circles!" Enraged at the mathematician's lack of deference, the soldier killed the old man. Other sources indicate that Archimedes was killed while attempting to surrender, and others say he was killed by soldiers who believed his mathematical instruments to be valuable items.

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