In the summer of 1499 Leonardo di Vinci is hired by Cesare Borga as a military engineer. Leonardo begins to work on a steam canon that had originally been an idea of Archimedes of Syracuse some 1500 years earlier. Cesare invites Leonardo to his headquarters for diner to learn more about Archimedes. He soon discovers that Leonardo seems to know a great deal about Archimedes. Leonardo has in his possession a wooden chest filled with drawings and ideas from Archimedes. In the course of the evening, Leonardo tells Cesare all about the life of Archimedes. With the help of documents from the chest, Leonardo tells the story of Archimedes of Syracuse, and how he made many discoveries in mathematics and science. Archimedes determined the true value of pi (3.14159) before the concept of a zero was understood. He discovered the laws of levers, equilibrium, and bouyancy. He invented many machines including war machines that held the might of the Roman army at bay for a year. At the request of his king, Archimedes visits Alexandria and the great library there. He had corresponded with many of the great scholars who resided at the nearby museum. While in Alexandria he falls in love with Princess Helena, and inspite of their age difference, they marry and return to Syracuse. Soon Helena gives birth to their only child, a daughter they name Arsinoe. For nearly fifty years, Syracuse experiences peace, and avoids being drawn directly into the frequent conflicts between Rome and Carthage. However, eventually war comes to Syracuse, and Archimedes must use all his vast knowledge to defend Syracuse and his very family from the Romans invaders. As Leonardo concludes his story, Cesare offers to purchase the chest of ideas from Leonardo. Leonardo declines the offer and leaves Cesare’s headquarters, taking the chest and its secrets with him. Who know which of Leonardo de Vinci’s inventions were really the brainchild of Archimedes of Syracuse?