Empedocles of Acragas - Research Article from Science and Its Times

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Empedocles. (Archivo Iconigrafico, S.A./Corbis. Reproduced with permission.) Empedocles. (Archivo Iconigrafico, S.A./Corbis. Reproduced with permission.)

Empedocles of Acragas

c.492-c.432 B.C.

Sicilian Philosopher, Poet, and Physician

Empedocles is considered, perhaps incorrectly, the originator of the four-element theory of matter that dominated natural philosophy and greatly influenced Western medical thought until the time of the Renaissance.

The facts of Empedocles's life are obscure. He was born at Acragas (later known as Agrigentum, modern Agrigento), on Sicily's southern coast, around 492 B.C. Though born into a wealthy aristocratic family, he championed democratic principles and instigated the overthrow of the tyrannical oligarchy of Acragas known as "the thousand." He was offered the kingship but refused it, preferring instead to continue his study of nature and philosophy. While traveling abroad, his enemies at home raised sufficient support to oppose his return. He spent his remaining years in exile, dying on...


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This section contains 622 words
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Buy the Empedocles of Acragas Encyclopedia Article
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