“And after this I saw four angels standing on the fourcorners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth.” Rev. 7:1.
Whether Empedocles, the proud philosopher of Agrigentum, leaving his brazen sandals on the crest of the mountain, cast himself into the crater of Etna, despairing of any solution of the problem of the universe, or whether, as the first of a long line of scientific martyrs, he fell a victim to his zeal for knowledge while searching at the fountain-head to know of the pyriphlegethon—that, μɛσθν πυρ or πυρ ɛν κɛντρω that central fire of his master, Pythagoras—we may be sure that the volcanic fires of the Mediterranean illuminated the esoteric doctrine of the schools at the very dawn of Greek philosophy. The imagery of religious exaltation has from the beginning borrowed its grandest symbolism . . .