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Aristotle (Greek :ρριστοτέλης) was an ancient Greek philosopher who was the first to create a system of philosophy that covered all areas of human development: sociology, physics, mathematics, logic, philosophy and politics. He was a student of Plato. In the period 343-340 BC he was a pupil and teacher Alexander the Great. In 335-334 BC, he founded the first Lycee (Greek: ΛύΚειον Lyceum, or peripatetic school). Aristotle was the founder of formal logic and a naturalist of the classical period, and was also the most influential of the ancient philosophers. He created a conceptual framework that is still an integral part of the philosophical lexicon and style of scientific thinking. Thus, it can be argued that Aristotle laid the foundations of modern natural sciences. His views on ontology had an impressive influence on the subsequent development of human thought. Aristotle's metaphysical teaching was adopted by Thomas Aquinas and developed by the scholastic method. Karl Marx called Aristotle the greatest thinker of antiquity.

Born: 384 BC, Stagira, Thrace

Died: 322 BC, Chalcis, Euboea

Bust of Aristotle. Palazzo Altemps, Italy. Inv. 8575. Roman copy of the Greek original (later 330 BC). The author of the original, made of bronze-Lysippus.

Aristotle was born in the city of Stagira, a Greek colony in Chalkidiki, which was located near Mount Athos. The exact date of his birth is unknown, but it is assumed that it was between July 384 and October 383 BC. It is well known that according to the ancient chronology, his birth occurred in the first year of the 99th Olympiad. Because of his place of birth, he received the nickname Stagirite (Σριστοτέλης σταγειρίτης).

According to Hesychius of Miletus, Stagira was located in Thrace. About this he wrote in "the compendium of biographies of the philosophers" that Aristotle "some Σταγείρων πόλεως τῆς Θρᾷκης" which means "from the city of Stagira, a city of Thrace". A similar reference is found mentioned in the Byzantine dictionary "the Courts of the X century": "υἱὸς καὶ Ἀριστοτέλης Νικομάχου Φαιστιάδος some Σταγείρων πόλεως τῆς Θρᾴκης", which means "Aristotle, the son Nicomachi and Vestiary, from Stagira, city in Thrace". Around 349-348 BC, Stagira was captured and destroyed by the Macedonian King Philip II. Aristotle was at this time in Athens, attending the school of his teacher Plato, who soon died. After a short time, Aristotle asked Philip to restore Stagira and himself wrote laws for its citizens. The belonging of Stagira to Macedonia is mentioned by Stephen of Byzantium in his "Ethnica", where it is mentioned: "Στάγειρα, πόλις μακεδονίας", which means "Stagira, the city of Macedon".

Much is also known about the origin of Aristotle's family. His father, Nicomachus, was originally from the island of Andros. Festis ' mother was born in Chalcis of Euboea. This place will still play a role in Aristotle's life, as after his exile from Athens, he will go there, as he probably still had family ties there. From the origin of the parents, it follows that Aristotle was a full-blooded Greek both on his father and mother. Nicomachus, Aristotle's father, was descended from Asclepiades and descended from the Homeric hero Machaon, son of Asclepius. The philosopher's father was a court physician and friend of Amyntas III, father of Philip II and grandfather of Alexander the Great. The dictionary also mentions that Aristotle's father was the author of an essay on natural philosophy and six books on medicine. He was Aristotle's first mentor, as the Asclepiades had a tradition of teaching their children from an early age. This means that Aristotle probably helped his father when he was still a boy. Most likely, this is where his interest in biology began.

Aristotle's parents died before he reached adulthood. Therefore, his upbringing was taken over by Proxenus, the husband of the philosopher's older sister, Arimnesta, who was originally from Atarnea, a city in Asia Minor. Proxenus took care of the training of his ward.

In 367 or 366, at the age of seventeen, Aristotle arrived in Athens. At the time of his arrival, Plato was not at the Academy. Prior to the academy, he studied public speaking under the rhetorician Isocrates. This version is supported by the fact that Aristotle had a special interest in rhetoric, which was later embodied in such works as:" Rhetoric"," Topic"," First Analyst"," Second Analyst","On Interpretation". In them, the philosopher considers not only the types of speech and the social positions of the "rhetorician — audience", but also the" beginnings " of speech, namely: sound, syllable, verb, etc. Aristotle laid the foundation for the first logical principles of reasoning and formulated the rules for composing syllogical figures. Aristotle stayed at Plato's Academy for 20 years, until the death of his teacher.

In their relationship, there are not only positive, but also negative moments, among which biographers like to highlight the biographies of Elian:

"One day, when Xenocrates had left Athens for a while to visit his native city, Aristotle, accompanied by his disciples, the Phocian Mnason and others, approached Plato and began to press him. Speusippus was ill that day and could not accompany the teacher, an old man of eighty with a memory already weakened by age. Aristotle attacked him in anger and began to ask questions with arrogance, wanting to somehow expose him, and behaved boldly and very disrespectfully. From that time on, Plato stopped going outside of his garden and strolled with his students only in its fence.

Three months later, Xenocrates returned and found Aristotle walking where Plato usually walked. Noticing that he and his companions were not going to Plato's house after a walk, but to the city, he asked one of Aristotle's interlocutors where Plato was, because he thought that he did not go out because of indisposition. "He is healthy," was the reply, " but because Aristotle has offended him, he has stopped walking here and talks to his students in his garden." When Xenocrates heard this, he immediately went to Plato and found him in a circle of listeners (there were a lot of them, and all were worthy and famous people). At the end of the interview, Plato greeted Xenocrates with his usual cordiality, and Xenocrates greeted him with equal cordiality. Then Xenocrates gathered Plato's disciples together and angrily reprimanded Speusippus for giving up their usual place of walking, then attacked Aristotle and acted so decisively that he drove him out and returned Plato to the place where he used to teach"

Despite their differences, Aristotle remained in Plato's school until the death of his teacher and became close to Xenocrates, who also treated his teacher with respect. In addition, Aristotle, although in many respects he did not agree with Plato's teaching, spoke positively about it. In the Ethics of Nicomachus, Aristotle writes about Plato: "The doctrine of ideas was introduced by people close to us." In the original, the word "φίλοι" is used, which can also be translated as "friends".

"Plato and Aristotle, or Philosophy", Luca Della Robbia. Bas-relief of the 15th century.

After Plato's death in 347 BC, Aristotle, along with Xenocrates, Erastus and Coriscus (Plato mentions them in the 6th letter, in which he recommends them to make peace with the tyrant Hermias, the ruler of their native poleis-Atarnea and Assos), goes to Assos, a coastal city in Asia Minor, located near the island of Lesbos. During his stay in Assos, Aristotle received the support of Hermias. The tyrant respected the philosopher and willingly listened to all his lectures. Their budding closeness led Aristotle to marry his adopted daughter and niece Pythias, who bore him a baby girl named after his mother. After the death of Pythias, Aristotle illegally married a maidservant, Herpellis, who bore him a son, named, according to ancient Greek tradition, after Nicomachus ' father.

Education of Alexander the Great

After a three-year stay in Assos, Aristotle traveled to the island of Lesbos, following his pupil Theophrastus, and stayed in the town of Miteleni, where he taught until 343-342 BC, when he received an invitation from Philip II to become the tutor of the king's son Alexandra. The reason for choosing Aristotle for this position may have been the close relationship between Hermias and Philip.

Aristotle began teaching Alexander when he was about 13 or 14 years old. The training process took place in Pella, and then in the city of Mieza in the sanctuary of the nymphs — Nymphaeone (other Greek: VυμφαῖΟν). Aristotle taught Alexander all kinds of sciences, including medicine. The philosopher instilled in Alexander a love of Homeric poetry, so that in the future, the list of the Iliad, which Aristotle compiled for Alexander, the king will keep together with the dagger under his pillow. Aristotle left an admonition to Alexander in his letter to him. In it, he wrote that Alexander should show compassion towards the weak and unprotected, not be ashamed of pity and avoid cruelty. In addition, he also instructed the young ruler to lead a virtuous life, practicing virtue in deeds and avoiding anger.

At this time, Aristotle learns of the death of Hermias. The city of Hermia Atarnei was besieged by Mentor, a Greek general who served Darius III. Mentor tricked Hermias out of the city, took him to Susa, tortured him for a long time in the hope of getting information about his plans with Philip, and as a result crucified him on the cross.

In 335-334, Aristotle suspended the education of Alexander, due to the fact that his father was killed and the young pupil had to take power into his own hands. At this time, Aristotle goes to Athens, where he founded his school in the north-east of the city near the temple of Apollo of Lycaea. From the name of the temple, the area received the name Likei, which, in turn, passed on to the new philosophical school. In addition, the school of Aristotle was called peripatetic — this name is still present in Diogenes of Laertes, who claimed that the school of Aristotle received such a name because of regular walks during philosophical conversations (other Greek: περιπατέω-to walk, to walk). Although many philosophers practiced walking while teaching, it was the followers of Aristotle who were given the name "peripatetics".

Exile from Athens

After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, the anti-Macedonian revolt began in Athens. The Athenian People's Assembly declared independence from Macedonian rule. The rebellious Democrats demanded that the Macedonian garrisons be expelled from Greece. At this time, Eurymedon, the hierophant of the Eleusinian Mysteries, and Demophilus, a rhetorician from the school of Isocrates, accused Aristotle of godlessness. The reason for the accusation was the hymn "Virtues" twenty years ago, which Aristotle wrote in honor of the tyrant Hermias. The accusers argued that the poems were written in the style of hymns to Apollo, and that the tyrant Atarnea was not worthy of such veneration. However, most likely Aristotle's hymn was only a pretext for launching political persecution, the reason for which was the philosopher's close ties with Alexander the Great. In addition, Aristotle was a Metek, and therefore did not have Athenian citizenship and full political rights. Legally, he didn't even own Likei. It is known that Aristotle does not mention it in his will. As a result, Aristotle decided not to repeat the fate of Socrates and went to Chalcis of Euboea. There he lived in his mother's house with his second wife, Herpelida, and their two children, Nicomachus and Pythias.

In 322 BC, (according to ancient Greek reckoning, in the 3rd year of the 114th Olympiad - a year after the death of Alexander the Great) Aristotle dies of stomach trouble. There is another version that he was poisoned with monkshood. His body was moved to Stagyri, where grateful residents erected a crypt for the philosopher. In honor of Aristotle, festivals were established that were called "Aristoteles", and the month in which they were held was called "Aristotelius".

Related topics

Ancient Greece-Hellas, Alexander the Great, Athenian Democracy, Cleisthenes ' reforms, The oligarchic movement in Athens, The Peisistrati Dynasty, Greek Tyranny


Translations of original works:

1. Aristotle. Essays. In 4 volumes (Series "Philosophical heritage"). Moscow: Mysl, 1975-1983. - Vol. 1. / Ed. and an introductory article by V. F. Asmus. 1975. 552 pp. - Vol. 2. / Ed. and an introduction by Z. N. Mikeladze. 1978. 688 p. - Vol. 3. / Ed. and introductory article by I. D. Rozhansky. 1981. 616 p. - Vol. 4. / Ed. and introductory articles by A. I. Dovatura and F. H. Cassidy. 1983. 832 pp.

2. Aristotle. Analytics, First and Second (link unavailable from 12-05-2013 [3133 days]). Translated by B. A. Fokht, Moscow, 1952.

3. Aristotle. The Athenian Polity. Translated by S. I. Radzig, Moscow: Sotsekgiz Publ., 1936, 198 p.

4. Aristotle. About animal parts. Translated by V. P. Karpov. (Series "Classics of Biology and Medicine"). Moscow: Biomedgiz, 1937. 220 p.

5. Aristotle. About the origin of animals. Translated by V. P. Karpov. (Series "Classics of Natural Science"). M.-L.: Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 1940. 252 p.

6. Aristotle. Animal history. Translated by V. P. Karpov. Edited by B. A. Starostin, Moscow: RSUH, 1996. 528 p.

7. Aristotle. On the movement of animals / Translated by E. V. Afonasina / / ΣΧΟΛΗ 10.2 (2016) 733-753

8. Aristotle. Rhetoric (translated by O. P. Tsybenko). Poetics, ed. 2, revised, Moscow: Labyrinth, 2007. 256 p. ISBN 5-87604-040-1.

9. Aristotle. Protreptik. On sensory perception. About memory. Translated by E. V. Alymova, St. Petersburg: SPbU Publishing House, 2004, 184 p.

10. Aristotle. Evdemov's ethics. Translated by T. V. Vasilyeva (books 3, 7), T. A. Miller (books 1, 2, 8), and M. A. Solopova (books 4-6). Ed. by M. A. Solopov. (Series "Philosophical classics: for the first time in Russian"). Moscow: IF RAS, 2005. 448 p. 500 copies.

11. Aristotle. About memory and recollection. / Translated by S. V. Mesyat. / Kosmos i dusha, Moscow, 2005, pp. 407-419.

12. Aristotle. About dreams. Translated by O. A. Chulkov. // Academy. Issue No. 6. St. Petersburg, 2005, pp. 423-432.

13. Aristotle. On predictions in a dream / Translated by M. A. Solopova // Intellectual traditions of antiquity and the Middle Ages (Research and Translations), Moscow: Krug, 2010, pp. 169-175.

14. The Aristotelian Corpus. About undivided lines. Translated by A. I. Shchetnikov. // ΣΧΟΛΗ, 1, 2007, c. 248—258.

15. The Aristotelian Corpus. Music problems. Translated by A. I. Shchetnikov. // ΣΧΟΛΗ, 6, 2012, c. 87-97.

16. The Aristotelian Corpus. Mechanical problems. Translated by A. I. Shchetnikov. // ΣΧΟΛΗ, 6, 2012, c. 405—433.

Contemporary authors:

1. Aleksandrov G. F. Aristotle (philosophical and socio-political views). - M., 1940.

2. Aristotle // The Great Soviet Encyclopedia: [in 30 volumes] / ch. ed.by A.M. Prokhorov. -3rd ed. — Moscow : Sovetskaya entsiklopediya, 1969-1978.

3. Glukhov A. A., Mikhailov P. B., Shichalin Yu. A. Aristotle / / Orthodox Encyclopedia, Moscow, 2001, vol. III: "Anthemius-Athanasius", pp. 242-257, 752 p. - 40 000 copies. — ISBN 5-89572-008-0.

4. Zubov V. P. Aristotle: The Man. The science. The fate of the legacy. ("Scientific and biographical series"). Moscow: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences, 1963, 368 p.

5. Chanyshev A. N. Aristotle, Moscow: Mysl, 1981, 200 p.