It was the Greeks who first wondered what the world was made of. Thales, seeing an abundance of it declared that it must be water. Heraclitus concluded it was fire and Anaxagoras thought it must be air. It was not until the 6th BCE that Empedocles concluded that it must be all four elements of Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. Neoplatonists, in the 3rd Century CE, then reasoned that these elements would have spirits associated with them. It was not until the 16th Century that these spirits were given the names that we know today.
May 19, 2012