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Metaphysics 101.1: Who was Aristotle?

Aristotle was born in 384 B.C.E. in Stagira, a city in the Greek Province of Macedonia. His father was Nicomachus, the court physician to the Philip, King of Macedonia, and the Macedonian royal family. His mother was Phaestis, a native of Chalcis on the Isle of Euboea. His parents died when he was Ten Years old. After the death of his parents, Aristotle lived with a guardian, Proxenus. He completed Medical School, at the age of seventeen, then went to study in Plato's Academy in Athens, where he remained until Plato's death in 347 B.C.E., at which time he left for Assos, on the northwest coast of present-day Turkey.


Aristotle stayed in Assos, studying Biology with Hermeias. Three Years later, when Hermeias died, he moved to the Isle of Lesbos, where he continued his researches for an additional two years, working with Theophrastus, a Disciple of Plato. Now in his Forties, he married Pythias, the niece and adopted daughter of Hermeias; they later had a daughter together, also named Pythias.

In 343 B.C.E., Philip, the King of Macedonia, requested Aristotle to come to Pella, the Macedonian capital, to tutor the King's son, Alexander, who would later become Alexander the Great. At the same Time, there were two other future kings taught by Aristotle, Ptolemy and Cassander. The Philosopher tutored Alexander until he was fifteen, by which age he was ready to serve deputy military commander for his father. Alexander remained in communication with Aristotle for the rest of his Life.

In 335 B.C.E., after Alexander conquered Athens, Aristotle returned to Athens, where he set up his own school in a public exercise area called the Lyceum, which grounds were dedicated to the god Apollo Lykeios. Members of the Lyceum studied a wide range of subjects, such as: botany, biology, logic, music, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, cosmology, philosophy, physics, metaphysics, psychology, ethics, theology, government, political theory, rhetoric, and art.

The Lyceum assembled the first great library of antiquity, perhaps the model for the Great Library at Alexandria, founded much later by Ptolemy, successor to Alexander.

Aristotle's wife Pythias died and he married his second wife Herpyllis, a former slave and a native of Stagira. They had several children together, including a son, Nicomachus, named for Aristotle's father. Like many Philosophers of his Time, Aristotle was bisexual. His Eromenos, Palaephatus of Abydus, later became a noted historian.

After Alexander's death in 323 B.C.E., Athens rebelled against Macedonia, making things dangerous for Aristotle. Avoiding possible capture and execution, after thirteen years in Athens, Aristotle fled, retired to Chalcis, his mother’s hometown, and died there of natural causes a Year later, in 322.

Why is Aristotle important to the New Age Movement? This will be dealt with soon.

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