Aristotle accepted the position of tutoring the son of Philip of Macedonia and for five years he taught the boy. In this article, we will briefly touch upon the relationship he shared with the boy and his father, as well as his connection with the family almost cost him his life in Athens and more.
Numerous tales surround the relationship that both Philip and Alexander shared with Aristotle (to the point where some seem quite ridiculous). While it seems that Aristotle took in monetary compensation for the time he spent tutoring, he was also repaid in different ways. One of the stories states that the Macedonian court gave him the use of thousands of slaves that supposedly collected natural science examples for his studies. It is unknown if this particular tale is true, yet it would most likely be a bit far from the truth when we hear he was given the use of thousands of men.
After Philip died, Alexander took over as king and began to plan out all of the juicy conquests we have heard so much about. As Aristotle’s role grew less and less important about the court, he finally returned to Athens, which he had left behind ever since Plato passed away. Many changes were made since his absence. The Platonic school was booming with students and thought. Under the direction of Xenocrates, it was clear to see that Platonism had solidified its position as the dominant philosophy around town.
Aristotle then decided to establish his own school and once it was erected, he called it the Lyceum. He taught his students at the school and for the following thirteen years, he put all of his energy into the teaching and developing a wealth of philosophical treatises.
About his school, Aristotle was known for delivering two different types of lectures. The first was filled with more detail and took place in the morning. These were reserved for a choice few that he deemed his most advanced students. The second kind of lectures he was known for included a few popular exchanges that would please those who truly had a thirst and love for learning.
Throughout his life, Aristotle saw many changes. Another significant blow to his life came when Alexander suddenly lost his life in 323 BC. This event led to the overthrowing of the pro-Macedonian government within Athens. Anything Macedonian was considered a threat and received the a general rejection from the people. Residents began to turn on Aristotle and to avoid prosecution; he was forced to flee to Chalcis in Euboea. He feared a fate similar to that of Socrates.
Sadly, Aristole did not last long after leaving Athens. During his first year in the city, he told those around him that his stomach was failing him. He then died in March of 322 BC.
Throughout his life, Aristotle was also a great writer. He wrote several pieces that spanned a variety of topics, including logic, politics, rhetoric, government, and ethics. He also dabbled in tackling an assortment of science subjects, such as physics, biology, and zoology. The philosopher even touched upon poetry, including drawing up a few theater pieces.