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490 BC - 430 BC

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Empedocles (; Greek: Ἐμπεδοκλῆς; c. 494 – c. 434 BC, fl. 444–443 BC) was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a native citizen of Akragas, a Greek city in Sicily. Empedocles' philosophy is best known for originating the cosmogonic theory of the four classical elements. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Empedocles has received more than 1,235,168 page views. His biography is available in 77 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 72 in 2019). Empedocles is the 50th most popular philosopher (up from 56th in 2019), the 56th most popular biography from Italy (up from 89th in 2019) and the 6th most popular Italian Philosopher.

Empedocles is most famous for his theory of the four elements. He believed that everything was made up of four elements: earth, water, air, and fire.

Memorability Metrics

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  • 79.37

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 77

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 12.69

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.98

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among philosophers, Empedocles ranks 50 out of 1,081Before him are Michel de Montaigne, Origen, Al-Farabi, Ludwig Wittgenstein, John Amos Comenius, and Zeno of Elea. After him are Karl Popper, Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Lucretius, Plotinus, and Henri Bergson.

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Among people born in 490 BC, Empedocles ranks 3Before him are Phidias and Zeno of Elea. After him are Nehemiah, Bacchylides, Archelaus I of Macedon, Agis II, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Ion of Chios, Nepherites I, Oenopides, and Crateuas of Macedon. Among people deceased in 430 BC, Empedocles ranks 2Before him is Phidias. After him are Melissus of Samos, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, and Archelaus.

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In Italy

Among people born in Italy, Empedocles ranks 56 out of 4,668Before him are Pope Gregory I (540), Zeno of Elea (-490), Pope Pius XII (1876), Evangelista Torricelli (1608), Claudio Monteverdi (1567), and Sophia Loren (1934). After him are Federico Fellini (1920), Fibonacci (1170), Lucretius (-94), Pope Clement VII (1478), Umberto Eco (1932), and Guglielmo Marconi (1874).


Among philosophers born in Italy, Empedocles ranks 6Before him are Niccolò Machiavelli (1469), Thomas Aquinas (1225), Parmenides (-501), Maria Montessori (1870), and Zeno of Elea (-490). After him are Lucretius (-94), Pliny the Elder (23), Antonio Gramsci (1891), Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463), Boethius (480), and Tommaso Campanella (1568).