Archimedes, born nearly 2,300 years ago, is a man of legacy within the mathematical and scientific world. Known for his work in the field of hydrostatics, mathematical calculus, and geometry, Archimedes’ mathematical advancements went unrivaled for 2,000 years until the time of Isaac Newton . Archimedes’ Cattle Problem is equally a test of mathematical prowess in modern history as it was during its inception. Born in Syracuse, many scholars believe that Archimedes studied in Alexandria as a young man. It was there that he was taught by the followers of Euclid and grew to know many of his life-long contemporaries such as Eratosthenes of Cyrene and Conon of Samos . It is Eratosthenes, alongside other Alexandrian mathematicians, to whom he posed his famous “Cattle Problem”: “If thou art diligent and wise, O stranger, compute the number of cattle of the Sun, who once upon a time grazed on the fields of the Thrinacian isle of Sicily, divided into four herds of different colours, one milk white, another a glossy black, a third yellow and the last dappled. In each herd were bulls, mighty in number according to these proportions..."
"Archimedes' Cattle Problem,"
Occam's Razor: Vol. 4
, Article 4.
Available at: http://cedar.wwu.edu/orwwu/vol4/iss1/4