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The Works of Archimedes (Dover Books on Mathematics) Paperback – 28 Mar 2003
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If you want to pass a basic set of classes, then you don't need this; just stick to the textbooks and you'll do fine. However, if you really want to understand what's going on in that math, and why it's going on, this is a great place to start. There's no place like to source for good information.
As for this particular translation, this edition has a surprising amount of explanatory notes and introductory material relating the circumstances under which this writing was made, and the interaction between the author and the other well known thinkers of the time. The first ~150 pages were explanations by Heath, including terminology of Archimedes, which was useful at times.
All in all, the works of Archimedes are definitely worth reading for anyone interested in learning the process of mathematical discovery.
Don't get me wrong, the math is there, and it's good. The other edition from the CreateSpace (2011) even puts it in the title: "The Works of Archimedes: Edited in Modern Notation With Introductory Chapters". So, there you have it, classic math in modern notation. Having read Euclid and Apollonius before Archimedes, this is a disappointment. I want to know how the Greeks wrote it, not how we interpreted it. I don't know if this is the case in the original text, but almost in every proposition there are skipped steps to the demonstration. Sometimes this is good, for if you have read Euclid, the gaps can be filled quite nicely with a little effort and with the added benefit of deepening one's understanding of the matter. But in other cases, even after reading Euclid and Apollonius I still don't have a clue of how he got from step A to step B. Heath always seems to keep some Greek in his text, which doesn't help much either. Can't believe this hasn't been edited in more than 100 years.
All in all, the content is great but the presentation is unsatisfactory in my opinion.
Later edit: This is a facsimile edition of The Works Of Archimedes (Heath, 1897). If you want to have a look over the content before you buy, you can download a free legal copy from Archive_dot_org.
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