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One legend, which forms the basis of Matthew Arnold's poem Empedocles on Etna, held the Empedocles, tired of life and wanting people to believe that the gods had taken him with them, committed suicide by leaping into the crater of Mt. Socrates - Greek philosopher; emphasized the study of human nature in relationship to society; influence the growth of science through standards for clear definitions and classifications, for logic and order, and for prudent skepticism.Democritus of Abdera - Greek philosopher; pupil of Leucippus; developed atomic theory; elaborated idea that matter consisted of atoms having physical size and shape which constantly moved in a void and interacted in different ways; Greek word atoma means indivisible.He also played an importqant role in the development of the Western or Sicilian school of Greek medicine.He cured a plague at the Sicilian city of Selinus and claimed he was a god.His theory that the earth exerted a magnetic influence throughout the solar system was a precursor to the modern conception of gravity as an attracting force between masses.Gilbert was among the first to divide substances into electrics (spar, glass, amber) and nonelectrics.Phillippus Aureolus Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombast von Hohemheim) - Swiss physician; controversial figure in medicine and alchemy; promoted the production of chemical medicines for illnesses of the human body; saw the human body as a chemical system monitored by spiritual alchemists; developed many medical remedies; developed theoretical chemistry through sets of metal experiments which produced salt solutions; added salt to mercury and sulphur as components of metals.Georg Bauer - "Agricola" - German educator, city official, and physician Georgius Agricola (Latinized for of George Bauer) is best known as the author of De re metallica (1556), a treatise on mining and metallurgy.
Empedocles presented a kind of biological theory of natural selection in an imaginative poem, On Nature.He printed the 42-line Gutenberg Bible (c.1455) but in the end he lost a suit from one of his creditors, who confiscated the type for the Bible. Aided by Konrad Humery, he was able to set up another press, but little is known of his work thereafter.The impact of printing was enormous - it led to an almost instant mass production of books and truly initiated the information age.Heraclitus - Greek philosopher; first of the Greeks to develop a theory of the human soul; he praised its creative resources and spoke of the importance of self-exploration; he spoke of the logos that is common to all and said that the universe is ruled by logos; he always urged that close attention be given to the polarites and concealed structures emodied in language.His famous claim that an idividual can and cannot step into the same river twice reveals an interest in criteria of unity and identity; even though all material constituents have undergone change, it is still, in a sence, the same river.