According to Plutarch, Archimedes would
"... forget his food and neglect his person, to the degree that when he was occasionally carried by absolute violence to bathe or have his body anointed, he used to trace geometrical figures in the ashes of the fire. and diagrams in the oil on his body, being in a state of entire preoccupation and, in the truest sense, divine possession with his love and delight in science."
Although Archimedes was famous for the military applications of his mathematics and science, he valued these studies for their own sakes. He sometimes carried a tray of sand about with him so he could sketch his ideas. Plutarch writes
"Archimedes possessed so high a spirit, so profound a soul, and such treasures of scientific knowledge, that though these inventions had now obtained him the renown of more than human sagacity, he yet would not deign to leave behind him any commentary or writing on such subjects; but, repudiating as sordid and ignoble the whole trade of engineering, and every sort of art that lends itself to mere use and profit; he placed his whole affection and ambition in those purer speculations where there can be no reference to the vulgar needs of life."
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