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Aristotle Biography

Alexander the Great and The Lyceum


Aristotle Biography - Aristotle Pictures - Carving of Aristotle

Aristotle Pictures - Carving of Aristotle

Public Domain - With gratitude to School Mathematics/Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland
No stranger to politics, Aristotle supported Alexander to take over his father's throne. Being a brilliant stratgist, Alexander sought to exert his power and expand his holding by peaceful means. This included supporting the Academy, while simultaneously sending Aristotle to establish a rival school.

In 335 BC Aristotle traveled to Athens with his circle of assistants to staff his new school. Thanks to his previous bid at taking over the Academy, they were well stocked with a large range of teaching materials, gathered in Macedonia; including books, maps, and other teaching material. There, in Athens, he founded the Lyceum.

Aristotle apparently lectured on a wide variety of topics and innovated others that were never taught before. He often lectured repeatedly on the same topic, continuously improving on his own thought processes, writing down his lectures, many of which we still have today. Some of his topics included logic, physics, astronomy, meteorology, zoology, metaphysics, theology, psychology, politics, economics, ethics, rhetoric, and poetics. Today, there exists some debate on whether the works we recognize as Aristotle's were all written by him or his followers. However, some explain the difference in writing style as the development over the years of his own beliefs.

Contributions of Aristotle

While Aristotle's contributions in each subject were considerable for the time, his major contribution was to the overall study and teaching of such subjects, many of which had never been considered before. Two areas which he advanced, which are of particular interest to readers of this site were physics and astronomy. He established important principles in physics of change that govern different types of motion, speed, weight and resistance. And he also impacted the way we understand matter, space and time, as well as the study of comets.

Aristotle was forced to move one more time during his lifetime. Alexander the Great died in 232BC, leaving behind strong feelings in Athens. Thanks to his ties to Macedonia, Aristotle was forced to retire to Chalcis, his mothers homeland, where he moved into a house once owned by his mother which still belonged to her family. He died there one year later at the age of 62, after complaining of stomach problems.

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