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Aristotles (384-322)

Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira in Macedonia. His father, Nichomacus, was the personal physician to the King of Macedonia, Amyntas. In 367, at the age of 17, Aristotle left Stagira to attend school in Athens; he attended the Academy founded by Plato. Recall that the Academy had been set up by Plato as a continuing educational experience, the principles of which were later set out in Plato's major work, the Republic. Aristotle continued at the Academy until the death of Plato in 347, some twenty years. From 347 until 343 Aristotle travelled in the Greek islands and in Asia Minor. From 347-345 Aristotle was centered in Assos, whose ruler was Hermias, a pro-Macedonian leader influenced in part by philosophical ideas of a Platonic bent. It was here that Aristotle met his wife, Pythias, who is described as either a niece or daughter (perhaps both: a niece and adopted daughter) of Hermias, whom he married after the death of this latter at the hands of the Persians in about 341.
From 345 to 343 Aristotle lived on the island of Lesbos, at Mytilene, where he met Theophrastus, who became his scientific collaborator. In 343 Aristotle accepted the invitation of Phillip, King of Macadenia (and son of Nichomacus who had previously employed Aristotle's father) to tutor his son Alexander. The tutoring was intense at the outset, in the years 343-342. Interaction between Aristotle and Alexander declined after 342, and as of 340 Aristotle most probably returned to his home town of Stagira.
In 336 Philip of Macedonia was assassinated, and Alexander succeeded him, launching a series of campaigns that extended his rule from Greece to India in the far east and Egypt in the south. Aristotle, for his part, returned to Athens in 335, where he began to lecture in a gymnasium (place of physical and intellectual culture) known as the Lyceum. He lectured while walking about in one of its covered walkways, earning him the knickname "Peripatetic" (from the Greek for "walking about").
Aristotle lectured and directed the Lyceum for twelve years, producing during this time the treatises (or lecture notes) which now form his works. In 323 Alexander the Great died while on campaign in the East; killed at age 32 either by a microbe or by poison. Aristotle, as in 347, was perceived as an anti-Athenian, pro-Macedonian. Charges of "impeity" (disbelief in the established gods) were made against him; this was the same charge that had been levelled against Socrates in 399BC and ultimately led to his conviction and execution.
Aristotle is said to have declared that he would not let the Athenians "sin twice against philosophy", and to avoid Socrates fate, he left Athens. He went into voluntary exile in the city of Chalcis, accompanied by his companion Herpyllis, with whom he had lived after the death of his wife, and who was likely the mother of his son Nicomachus. Aristotle died of a digestive ailment the next year, 322BC, at the age of 63.

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