After Archimedes death, 2000 years would pass
before a comparable mathematical figure arises.
In quick succession came Descartes (1596 -
1650), Fermat (1601 - 1665), Pascal (1623 - 1662), Newton (1642 - 1727),
Leibniz (1646 - 1716), and Euler (1707 - 1789).
What happened between Archimedes and
Descartes?
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), An Introduction to Mathematics --
"The death of Archimedes by the hands of a Roman soldier is symbolical of a world-change of the first magnitude: the Greeks, with their love of abstract science, were superseded in the leadership of the European world by the practical Romans. The Romans were a great race, but they were cursed with the sterility which waits upon practicality. They did not improve upon the knowledge of their forefathers, and all their advances were confined to the minor technical details of engineering. They were not dreamers enough to arrive at new points of view, which could give a more fundamental control over the forces of nature. No Roman lost his life because he was absorbed in the contemplation of a mathematical diagram."