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the four elements
According to the Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, scientist and healer who lived in Sicily in the fifth century B.C., all matter is comprised of four "roots" or elements of earth, air, fire and water. Fire and air are outwardly reaching elements, reaching up and out, whereas earth and water turn inward and downward. Empedocles described these elements not only as physical manifestations or material substances, but also as spiritual essences. He associated these elements with four Greek gods and goddesses - air with Zeus, earth with Hera, fire with Hades, and water with Nestis (believed to be Persephone).