The Rhetoric of Medicine by Dr Nigel Nicholson;Dr Nathan Selden;

The Rhetoric of Medicine by Dr Nigel Nicholson;Dr Nathan Selden;

Author:Dr Nigel Nicholson;Dr Nathan Selden;
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: OUP Premium
Published: 2019-05-15T00:00:00+00:00


Empedocles was active around the middle of the fifth century. Although active in other cities, he lived most of his life in Acragas, modern Agrigento on the south coast of Sicily. Acragas was fabled for its wealth and luxury. Its extensive territories and convenient trade links with the Carthaginian empire generated massive private fortunes and supported a volume of public projects that only the wealthiest cities could hope to effect, including a sewage system, a large ornamental lake, and an unusual number of beautifully decorated temples, the remains of many of which still impress tourists today (Figure 4.8).36 Empedocles is said to have reflected that his fellow citizens “indulged themselves as if they were about to die tomorrow, but constructed their houses as if they would live forever.”37 What made him famous in antiquity was, however, his natural philosophy; he argued that all matter represented combinations of four basic “roots”—earth, air, fire and water—which separate and unite as part of an endless cycle.38


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