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Crown of Syracuse is a 2007 brickfilm by Philip Heinrich.[1] It is based on the legend of the discovery by the Greek scientist Archimedes of a method to measure the volume of irregular shapes. It was created for the Inventions, Discoveries and Extraordinary Achievements Contest and won first place.[2]


In the 3rd Century BC, Hieron II is crowned lord of the province of Syracuse. In a ceremony, he receives a golden crown. Later, he shows it to the scientist Archimedes, who casts doubt on the crown. He observes that the crown seems to be a slightly different colour to the gold which was supplied and believes the smith could have substituted some of the gold to keep some for himself. However, Archimedes does not know how he could prove this.

Archimedes ponders on the crown. He knows that its volume is the key to finding his answer, but is unable to measure it due to the crown's complex shape. He argues with some other scholars and goes for a bath to calm down. When he stands up in his bath, he observes the change in level of the water and realizes that this is the key to measuring the crown. He runs outside in excitement.


Archimedes tests the crown's mettle

Later, Archimedes prepares a test to see if the gold in the crown has been adulterated. He explains to Hieron that, since silver is less dense than gold, a mixture of the two metals will have a greater volume than a volume of pure gold the same weight. He has two barrels filled with the same amount of water. In one, he drops a block of pure gold with the same weight as the crown. The water rises exactly to the brim. He then drops the crown in the other barrel. The water overflows from this barrel. Hieron realizes he has been cheated by the smith, but is not hugely concerned. He remains happy with the crown and with Archimedes' discovery. He casually shows Archimedes his new solid gold statue. Archimedes glares at the statue in suspicion.


  • Philip Heinrich - Hieron II, Archimedes
  • Lucas Heinrich - The scholar