EMPEDOCLESAcragantas, approx. 490 B.C.
Great philosopher from Acragantas in Sicily. He advocated, like Anaxagoras and Heraclitus, the evolutionary origin of beings and thus became a forerunner of the Darwinian theory. He studied the phenomenal universe and nature and his views approach those of the latest physical and astronomical science. Many legends are told about his life. He is a sorcerer, charmer, taming winds, healing the sick and raising the dead. Also that he was taken up to return to God, and that he performed this ascension in front of a crowd.
Another legend has him having fallen into the abyss of the crater of Etna, in his attempt to approach the mysteries of the volcano. Son of the ruler Meton, after the death of his father, he established a democratic government. His contemporaries glorified and honored him and the important city of Akraganta, which believed in the divine origin of Empedocles, erected a magnificent temple to him. He wrote treatises on politics, medicine, history. But his main work is "On Nature", of 5,000 verses, where he poetically develops his theories about the creation of the universe and the origin of beings. 450 verses were saved from this work.