Which scientist was absurdly far ahead of his time?

Besides Leonardo da Vinci (although he was probably more of a technical draughtsman than someone who actually made the drawings a reality (in fact, most of his drawings of technical equipment have errors due to which these are in reality, when built exactly according to the drawings, would not work)) I would also call Archimedes of Syracuse[1.

In addition to such important mathematical things as an approximation to the number Pi, the buoyancy laws, as well as the lever laws, he also distinguished himself as an inventor.

His best-known invention is probably the archied iced screw, with which water can be pumped (and whose principle is still used in a variety of pumps today)

When the Romans besieged his hometown of Syracuse, he also distinguished himself by all kinds of inventions that served to defend the city.

According to legend, for example, he has developed mirrors with which one could bundle sun rays to set the sails of ships of the Siege Army on fire from a distance (quasi the first radiation cannon).

According to recent studies, however, this is being questioned with the mirrors.Instead, it is suspected that he set fire to the besieging ships with another ingenious invention, using a steam cannon that fired clay balls filled with Greek fire[2

He also designed cranes with claws (taking advantage of his lever laws) which Roman ships could pack and capsize when they came too close to the city walls.

Unfortunately, his whole ingenuity could not prevent the city from being conquered and he himself killed by the soldiers (the besiegers had a great interest in bringing Archimedes alive, but either the order is not to all troop parts or he was not recognized by the Roman soldiers).

According to legend, Archimedes was thinking about a circular problem in his house when the Roman soldiers came in, and Archimedes is said to have called them a “Noli perturbare circulos meos” (Don’t disturb my circles).Probably his last words.

Here is the link to an English translation of the description of the siege of Syracuse in Plutarch’s “Life of Marcellus” (Marcellus was the leader of the Roman Siege Army), in which also many other archicode-inventive inventions in defence of the city the speech is:

The death of Archimedes

Footnotes

[1 Archimedes – Wikipedia

[2 Study: Archimedes Set Roman Ships Afire with Cannons

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