Alexander the Great’s Teacher: The Life of Aristotle

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  2. March 24, 2014 5:01 am

Alexander the Great's Teacher: The Life of Aristotle

One of the greatest Greek philosophers, Aristotle was born in Stageir, Chalcidice in 384 BC. The son of a personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon, Aristotle was educated as a member of the aristocracy. Upon turning 18, Aristotle began to study at Plato’s Academy where he studied under Plato for around 20 years. Eventually, Aristotle would to Asia minor where he ended up at the island of Lesbos to study the wildlife and plant life on the island. From there, Aristotle received an invitation from Phillip the II to tutor his son, Alexander the Great.

Aristotle was a unique scholar as he studied nearly everything he possibly could. With an impressive list of subjects studied, including, meteorology, zoology, economics, embryology, geography, physics, geology, and many more. Aristotle is perhaps even more impressive as not only did he study these subjects, but he also made significant contributions to the majority of them.

As Alexander the Great’s teacher, Aristotle tutored Alexander for eight years. According to sources, it seemed that Alexander was very fond of his tutor Aristotle and the two became somewhat close over the years. Aristotle was able to teach Alexander principals of Ancient Wisdom including some of Plato’s teachings.

After the death of Alexander the Great’s father, Aristotle returned to Athens and with Alexander the Great’s permission started his own school which was called the Lyceum. For the remainder of his life, Aristotle spent large chunks of timing working as a teacher at his school in Athens. Upon Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C., the government at the time, which was pro-Macedonian was overthrown and replaced with an anti-Macedonian government. At this time, Aristotle was charged with impiety and in order to avoid prosecution, escaped to Euboea where he would remain until his death.


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