The most famous wizard of all time is Merlin. There are very few who have not heard or read of this man, famous for his companionship with Arthur and the knights of the round table.
He was a man believed to be fatherless but later taken on as court wizard to King Uther of Britain. This became strained when the king forced Merlin to conspire against the lord of Tintagel to gain the bed of his wife, Egraine. He went on to father the legendary Arthur, who drew the famous sword, Excalibar, from the stone and become king after his father's death. But then Arthur's own son, Mordred put an end to this reign and with it, the kingdom of Camelot.
Merlin is believed to be buried at Glastonbury.
Whether this story is true or not remains to be seen, but many a movie has been made of his famous exploits, and one must wonder, where would we be without him ... the greatest wizard ever known.
2 - Archimedes of Syracuse
c.287 - 212 B.C.
Archimedes - mathematician, philosopher and pioneer of mechanics - could easily be considered the first recorded case of streaking, while naked, through a public place. But is this really what he's famous for?
Apparently not ... but this is not to say that the event is a myth.
It was while Archimedes was working on a problem supplied, by the then Greek king, Hiero, that in a moment of excitement and discovery the strange event occurred. Charged with finding the amount of gold in the royal crown, Archimedes was at a loss as to discover a means to an end. But as he lay in his daily bath the fundamental law of hydrostatics came to him (this law states that any pressure applied to the surface of a fluid is transmitted uniformly throughout the fluid in all directions, in such a way that initial variations in pressure are not changed).
Overjoyed, he quickly jumped from his bath, to run through the streets of Syracuse, shouting, 'Eureka! Eureka!' without the benefit of his clothes. The general population of the streets, stared on aghast, tapping their heads to indicate that this person must be mad, not realising his amazing discovery. And so, the Archimedes screw was invented.
Famous for this device that is still used today, he also wrote many books on mathematics, geometry and theoretical mechanics. Unfortunately, he came to an untimely end when, in his absent-minded way, he defied a military order and was killed on the spot.