Burning mirrors

    • Costruttore:
      Opera Laboratori Fiorentini – Civita Group
    • Data:
  • Burning mirrors

This is the most famous and controversial device traditionally attributed to Archimedes. Some authors of Antiquity (Silius Italicus, Lucian and Galen) state that Archimedes destroyed Roman ships with fire, but offer no other indications, while Apuleius says Archimedes wrote a text on the properties of the mirrors. The version of the use of burning mirrors gained favour in the Byzantine Middle Ages. Anthemius of Tralles claims the existence of a tradition to which Archimedes seemingly referred. The historians Tzetzes and Zonaras record Archimedes' use of burning mirrors to set fire to enemy ships. The burning properties of glass were known to the Ancients and Diocles wrote a treatise on the subject in the late 3rd century BC.