Other than coming from a noble family, little is known of the life of Empedocles. He is said to have been a gifted orator, scientist, philosopher, magician and healer. He is referenced by many classical authors including Plato and Aristotle. Gorgias is mentioned as having been one of his students. The only extant works of Empedocles consist of fragments of verse on Nature and Purifications. He is also credited with establishing air, fire, water and earth as the four constituent elements of the world. Numerous fragments of his works were discovered in an Egyptian papyrus in 1999.
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The Fragments (Verse)
Fragments and Commentary (Prose)
Note: An Asterisk (*) after an author´s name signifies that this is a Pseudonym