This exhibition presents Archimedes - a key figure of universal culture - to the wider public for the very first time. The staggering significance of his writings matched by his phenomenal intuition in the field of mechanical technology made Archimedes the precursor of the genius and inventor. His name is still synonymous with invention and innovation in industrial production and design.

This prompted the idea for an exhibition that would offer concrete testimony not only of his studies but of the city where he lived and of the technical and scientific civilisation that gained ground in the Mediterranean area in the 3rd century BC - and of which Syracuse was a splendid example. In the background are the relations between Syracuse and Alexandria in Egypt, a city visited by Archimedes and many learned figures in the 3rd century BC.

Archimedes' death at the hand of a Roman soldier during the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC was an epoch-making moment for the Ancient world and, paradoxically, marked Archimedes' rebirth, as the Romans started the process that turned him into a legend and celebrated the "divine genius" behind the concept of machines never previously seen.

The exhibition then narrates the second rebirth of Archimedes, commenced in the 13th century with the gradual rediscovery of his writings. After catalysing scholars, artists and scientists, Archimedes became a point of reference for the leading lights of the Scientific Revolution, who employed Archimedes' writings to lay the bases for the new science popularised in the 17th century.