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Exploring the Life of Aristotle


Bust of AristotleAristotle is known as one of the greatest philosophers in Greece, being tied to a wide-range of characters in history. For starters, he was a student of Plato and later went on to teach great minds, such as that of Alexander the Great. In this article, we will take a look at other facts and information regarding Aristotle (384 BC- 322 BC).

 

When it comes to great thinkers throughout history, Aristotle is right up there with Socrates and Plato. He is known as one of the most influential of his kind within the realm of ancient Greek philosophers. Together with other like minds, he took part in shaping some of the way ancient Greeks thought during his time, as well as helped build the basis of Western philosophy. Before we deal with the accomplishments during his life, we will first take a look at the beginnings of Aristotle.

 

Born in 384 BC, Aristotle came into the world while his parents resided in a Greek colony located on a seaport off of the coast of Thrace. During his early years, it was his father’s position within the court of King Amyntas of Macedonia, which significantly affected his life. As court physician, Nichomachus connected Aristotle to the Macedonian Court at a very young age.

 

Unfortunately, while Aristotle was quite young, his father passed away. It was then that at the age of 17, his guardian, Proxenus, he was sent to Athens, which was known for filling minds with intellect and wonder. This is where Aristotle was to finish his education. When he reached Athens, he attended the Academy and learned under none other than Plato, who became the focus of his study for about twenty years. It was said that during his encounters with his professor, he attended many years of his lectures. Soon, in his later years, he began to hold lectures on his own, offering words of wisdom regarding rhetoric.

 

When Plato passed on in 347, many looked towards Aristotle to take over the leadership regarding the Academy. Throughout the years, it was known that he had diverted from many of Plato’s teachings to the point that he would have not made a proper successor for this position. Instead, it was Plato’s nephew, Speusippus who took over the running of the school. At this same time, a different opportunity was made possible.

 

A friend named Hermeas, who ruled Atarneus and Assos in Mysia, asked Aristotle to come to his court, which he happily accepted. He remained at the court for a period of three years, where he fell in love and married the King’s niece, whose name was Pythias. After the three years had passed, the Persians took over Hermeas’ rule, which prompted Aristotle’s move to Mytilene. This is when he received yet another invitation; this time from Philip of Macedonia. Philip urged Aristotle to come to the city so that he may tutor his 13-year-old boy, Alexander. Later we learn that this bright lad would eventually grow up to become the great conqueror we read about in history books.