“Again, he [Archimedes] used to say, in the Doric speech of Syracuse : “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”
ΕΛΕΓΕ ΔΕ ΚΑΙ ΔΩΡΙΣΤΙ ΦΩΝΗ ΣΥΡΑΚΟΥΣΙΑ, “ΠΑ ΒΩ ΚΑΙ ΧΑΡΙΣΤΙΩΝΙ ΤΑΝ ΓΑΝ ΚΙΝΗΣΩ ΠΑΣΑΝ.”
John Tzetzes (12th century AD)
Book of Histories (Chiliades) 2, 129-130
Translated by Francis R. Walton
Archimedes, however, in writing to King Hiero, whose friend and near relation he was, had stated that given the force, any given weight might be moved, and even boasted, we are told, relying on the strength of demonstration, that if there were another earth, by going into it he could remove this.
ΚΑΙ ΜΕΝΤΟΙ ΚΑΙ ΑΡΧΙΜΗΔΗΣ, ΙΕΡΩΝΙ ΤΩ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙ ΣΥΓΓΕΝΗΣ ΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΦΙΛΟΣ, ΕΓΡΑΨΕΝ ΩΣ ΤΗ ΔΟΘΕΙ ΣΗ ΔΥΝΑΜΕΙ ΤΟ ΔΟΘΕΝ ΒΑΡΟΣ ΚΙΝΗΣΑΙ ΔΥΝΑΤΟΝ ΕΣΤΙ, ΚΑΙ ΝΕΑΝΙΕΥΣΑΜΕΝΟΣ, ΩΣ ΦΑΣΙ, ΡΩΜΗ ΤΗΣ ΑΠΟΔΕΙΞΕΩΣ ΕΙΠΕΝ ΩΣ, ΕΙ ΓΗΝ ΕΙΧΕΝ ΕΤΕΡΑΝ, ΕΚΙΝΗΣΕΝ ΑΝ ΤΑΥΤΗΝ ΜΕΤΑΒΑΣ ΕΙΣ ΕΚΕΙΝΗΝ.
Plutarch (c. 45-120 AD)
Life of Marcellus
Translated by John Dryden (1631-1700)
“Give me whereon to stand”, said Archimedes, “and I will move the earth.” The boast was a pretty safe one, for he knew quite well that the standing place was wanting, and always would be wanting. But suppose he had moved the earth, what then? What benefit would it have been to anybody? The job would never have paid working expenses, let alone dividends, and so what was the use of talking about it? From what astronomers tell us, I should reckon that the earth moved quite fast enough already, and if there happened to be a few cranks who were dissatisfied with its rate of progress, as far as I am concerned, they might push it along for themselves; I would not move a finger or subscribe a penny piece to assist in anything of the kind.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Australian Standard, 1887 (under the pseudonym Twark Main)”