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The Archimedes Palimpsest

The Archimedes Palimpsest

The subject of this website is a manuscript of extraordinary importance to the history of science, the Archimedes Palimpsest. This tenth century manuscript is the unique source for two of Archimedes Treatises, The Method and Stomachion, and it is the unique source for the Greek text of On Floating Bodies. Discovered in 1906 by J.L. Heiberg, it plays a prominent role in his 1910-15 edition of the works of Archimedes, upon which all subsequent work on Archimedes has been based. The manuscript was in private hands throughout much of the twentieth century, and was sold at auction to a private collector on the 29th October 1998. The owner deposited the manuscript at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, a few months later. Since that date the manuscript has been the subject of conservation, imaging and scholarship. The Archimedes Palimpsest project, as it is called, has generated a great deal of public curiosity, as well as the interest of scholars throughout the world. This website attempts to give information on the Palimpsest, and on the progress of the project in general. It is designed to be of interest to a wide range of audiences, and many people have contributed to it. I do hope that you find answers to some of the questions you may have concerning the manuscript and the progress of the project on this site. -- William Noel, Curator of Manuscripts, Walters Art Museum

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