The Sand Reckoner is a moving, human account of Archimedes, one of the most innocent and intriguing thinkers of the ancient world: a young, brilliant man who was blessed by all the Muses, whose incredible mind could never quite understand the mundane world-and whose incredible mind the mundane world could never quite accept.
The yound Archimedes has had the best three years of his life at Ptolemy's Museum at Alexandria. To be able to talk and think all day, every day, sharing ideas and information with the world's greatest minds, is heaven to Archimedes. But heaven must be forsaken when he learns that his father is ailing and his home city of Syracuse is at war with the Romans.
Reluctant by resigned, Archimedes takes himself home to find a job building catapults as a royal engineer. Though Syracuse is no alexandria, Archimedes also finds that life at home isn't as boring or confining as he originally thought. He finds fame and loss, love and war, wealth and betrayal-none of which affe cts him nearly as much as the divine beauty of mathematics.
Armed with just a few antique facts, Bradshaw ably recreates the extraordinary life of Archimedes, the great mathematician and engineer who built sophisticated weapons during the first Punic War. Archimedes lived in the Greek city of Syracuse from 287 to 212 B.C., except for a brief but glorious youthful stint in Alexandria, the hub of intellectual life in the classical age. Surrounded by men who share his genius for geometry, the absentminded Archimedes becomes intoxicated by numbers, often scribbling diagrams on tablecloths and staring for hours into a box of sand to calculate grains. After three years, he begrudgingly returns to his hometown with his slave, Marcus, to find his father dying and his city at war with the Romans. Putting his engineering skills to use for the army, Archimedes builds bigger and better catapults, and he is soon being courted for his talent by the good King Hieron. Jealous co-workers and an unexpected betrayal shadow Archimedes's rise to fame as the Archimechanic. But Syracuse is winning the war because of his inventions, and King Hieron gives him the royal treatment in an effort to keep him from accepting a job offer from King Ptolemy of Egypt. Archimedes sets his sights on Delia, King Hieron's half-sister, with whom he shares a love of music, but he must choose between her and the fair city of Alexandria, between a career as a simple engineer and the siren call of pure mathematics. Bradshaw (Island of Ghosts) is skilled at bringing historical figures to life, and this intriguing and entertaining novel of the boyish dreamer who possessed one of the ancient world's most brilliant minds demonstrates her vivid imagination. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|