Empedocles, a Greek philosopher and poet, born in Sicily in 460 B.C. He was greatly reverenced by his fellow-citizens, who wished to make him king, but were persuaded by him to adopt a democracy. He was looked on as a prophet, a magician, and the apostle of liberty, and his life was rendered more interesting by the manner of his death, since tradition represented him to have fallen into the crater of Mount Mtna. As a philosopher he held almost Pythagorean views, taking as the foundation of existence the four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - and the antagonistic principles of love and hatred. His philosophic views were embodied in vigorous verse, in a style imitated at a later period by the Latin Lucretius.