Empedocles of Acragas
(c. 490 bc–c. 430 bc) Greek philosopher
Empedocles was a poet and a physician as well as a philosopher. Born at Acragas in Greece, he was probably a pupil of Parmenides. Much legend surrounds what is known of his life. Styling himself as a god, he reputedly brought about his own death in an attempt to persuade his followers of his divinity by throwing himself into the volcanic crater of Mount Etna. Fragments of two poems by Empedocles survive: On Nature and Purifications. There is some difficulty in reconciling the two because the first is purely physical while the second deals with the progress of the soul from fall to redemption.
Empedocles is best known as the originator of the four-element theory of matter (earth, fire, air, and water), which had a persuasive influence until the beginning of modern chemistry in the 18th century. He was noted for his keen observation and was the first to demonstrate that air has weight.

Scientists. . 2011.

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