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“Empedocles:—Son of Meton, or according to some authorities Archinomus, or as others say, Exaenetus. He was at first a pupil of Parmenides, of whom, if we may believe Porphyrius' History of the Philosphers , he was the bosom-friend. Some writers make him a pupil of Telauges the son of Pythagoras. He was of Acragas, a physical philosopher and epic poet; he flourished in the 79th Olympiad (464-1 B.C.).. He visited the cities of Greece with a gold wreath on his head, bronze Amyclean shoes on his feet, and Delphic garlands in his hands, with the intention of establishing himself in the public mind as a God. When he became old he threw himself by night into a crater, so that his body should never be found, and thus perished, his sandal being cast up by the fire.1 A pupil of his was Gorgias the orator of leontini. He wrote two Books in epic verse On the Nature of Things —these amount to upwards of 2,000 lines2 —a prosework called Medicine, and many others.” Suidas Lexicon “The Purifications of Empedocles were recited at Olympia by the rhapsode Cleomenes, according to Dicaearchus in his Olympic Oration. : .. And such as hold that all things come of four— Of fire, earth, air, and water; now of these Chief is Empedocles of Agrigent, Son of the isle of shores triangular. Which great and anywise marvellous tho' it be, Worthy the traveller's eye, rich in good things, And furnished with a host of dwellers, yet Methinks it ne'er had aught more glorious, More holy, or more wondrous, or more dear, Than him; nay, his divine heart's song So loud and clear is, telling to the world His glorious discoveries, that searce He seems to be of human lineage. Lucretius On the Nature of ThingsSuidas Lexicon

1 this famous story is prob. untrue; the accounts of his death vary (see Diog. L. 8. 67 ff.)

2 The many extant citations from this work and from the other ‘epic’ writings of E. will be found in Diels Vorsokratiker i.p. 223 ff.

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