Grigorios Empedokles was born in London in 1861, where, alongside his main course of education, he also studied Greek, under the erudite Ioannis Valettas, who was his tutor. At the age of 14, he moved, along with his family, to Greece, where he studied law at Athens University, while taking lessons in history and archaeology. He converted his private finance and credit foundation into the Commercial Bank of Greece in 1909. He bought most of antiquities in his collection at auctions abroad.
In 1950 Empedokles donated 1.919 antiquities to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, including vases, figurines in various materials, bronze mirrors, rings and sculpture. In 1953, two years after his death in Cape Town, his daughters Semiramis Vaphiadaki and Εvanthia Phanouraki-Papatsoni, in accord with their father's wishes, offered the Numismatic Museum at Athens his rich collection of coins, consisting of 3,840 silver, 3,900 bronze and a few gold and Byzantine issues. As a final gift Empedokles' heirs, A. P. Vaphiadakis and Rosalia Phanouraki, donated 119 antiquities to the National Archaeological Museum in 1994.
Bibliography: Νομίσματα και Νομισματική, Athens 1996, 42 (author of entry E. Τsourti)