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Chemical reactions such as combustion in fire were known since antiquity. Initial theories of transformation of materials were developed by Greek philosophers, such as the Four-Element Theory ofEmpedocles stating that any substance is composed of the four basic elements – fire, water, air and earth. In the Middle Ages, chemical transformations were studied by Alchemists. . Lavoisier is most noted for his discovery of the role oxygen plays in combustion. He recognized and named oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783) in France.