Part 3 of Chapter 4 from Archimedes of Syracuse, a Historical Novel

A while back I posted a chapter from my first novel, Archimedes of Syracuse. I thought I ‘d do it again. It’s a little long for a blog, so I’ve broken it down in parts. Here is the last part. If you missed Part 1 and 2, scroll down.

 Archimedes is living in Syracuse on the island of Sicily. Many legends about Archimedes stem from his early years working for King Hieron, a tyrant. Many of us know the story about when he yelled “Eureka!” Many of the details are vague, so in my novel, I tried to fill in logical details. Enjoy.

Chapter 4—The Gold Crown (255 BCE, in Syracuse)

 Two days later, King Hieron looks up from his throne as Archimedes enters the throne room.

“Ah, Archimedes. Have you found a way to determine if my crown is solid gold or not?”

“Yes, sire, I have.”

“Well, let’s have it.”

“Well, sire, gold has a different density from silver. That is why gold is so much heavier than silver. I discovered that if I measured the amount of water displaced by the bar of gold, and compare it to the amount of water displaced by the crown and …”

“Archimedes! You do this to me all the time. Do not bore me with the details. Just tell me if the crown is solid gold or not.”

“It is not solid gold. As you suspected, some gold has been replaced with silver.”

“I thought so, but I had to be sure. I had the goldsmith arrested after I gave you the crown. I had to be sure, but I did not want him to escape. He has cheated many people over the years, and made himself wealthy in the process. But now he has cheated his king. Thanks to you, it will be the last time he will cheat anyone.”

“What will you do?”

“I will confiscate his home and all his gold. Then I will order his thumbs cut off.”

“But, sire. If you do that, he will not be able to ply his trade.”

“So be it. He can beg in the streets for all I care. It will serve him right, and be an example for others to be honest with me. I will not allow anyone to take advantage of me. You have rendered me a great service once again. Thank you.”

“Your word is law,” Archimedes bows, and marches out of the room.

 END of Chapter 4

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