Biography of Empedocles, the Greek Philosopher

Topics: Classical element, Mind, Water Pages: 4 (1416 words) Published: October 8, 2008
Empedocles is a widely known Greek in the world of philosophy. He became famous for his theories, his works on nature and on his wild antics he would preform and preach about thinking that he was a God. Everyone had an opinion about Empedocles, whether as a genious or a kook. Aristotle hailed empedocles as the inventor of the rhetoric. Galen coined him as the founder of Italian medecine. Lucretius admired his hexametric poetry.2 "He has been regarded variously as a materialist physicist, a shamanic magician, a mystical theologian, a healer, a democratic politician, a living god, and a fraud." (Campbell, 2005)

Empedocles was born in 492 BC in Acagras of Sicily. He came from a rich, important, aristocratic family. His father was a Meton, and his grandfather, also named Empedocles, is reported to have been victorious in horse-racing at the Olmpic Games in 496 BC. 1 Empedocles was a diciple of the Greek philosophers Pythagoras and Parmenides. 4 He followed Pythagoas' theories in ethics and psychology. 1 He also took knowledge from Heracleitus, and further develope his love and strife theory. The only writings that remain today of Empedocles' is 400 lines from his poem Peri pyhseos (On Nature) and less then 100 versus from his poem Katharmoi (Purifications). 2 Legend has it that Empedocles, in the mind that he was a God, jumped in a volcano thinking he would survive, thus ending his 60 year run in the Peloponnese, Greece. 2

Empedocles was said to have helped the people of Agrigentum overthrow the ruling oligarchy. But instead of accepting the crown the people offered to him, he instituted a democracy.4
Empedocles claimed to be immortal and a cult was created around him. He thought he was a daimon, a diveine or potentially divine being, who, having been banished from the immortal gods for 'three times countless years" (30,000) for committing the sin of meat-eating and forced to suffer successive reincarnations in an purificatory journey through the different...
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