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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

Aristotle went with Xenocrates to Hermeas


Plato was the only true Socraticist, so was Aristotle the only genuine disciple of Plato, though often abused by his fellow-disciples as unfaithful to his master's principles.

We pass on at once to him, without stopping now to inquire into his relation to Plato, or the advance which he made beyond his predecessor, since these points will come up before us in the exhibition of the Aristotelian philosophy. (_See_ Sec. XVI: III. 1.)



I. LIFE AND WRITINGS OF ARISTOTLE.--Aristotle was born 384 B. C. at Stagira, a Greek colony in Thrace. His father, Nicomachus, was a physician, and the friend of Amyntas, king of Macedonia. The former fact may have had its influence in determining the scientific direction of the son, and the latter may have procured his subsequent summons to the Macedonian court. Aristotle at a very early age lost both his parents. In his seventeenth year he came to Plato at Athens, and continued with him twenty years. On account of his indomitable zeal for study, Plato named him "the Teacher," and said, upon comparing him with Xenocrates, that the latter required the spur, the former the bit. Among the many charges made against his character, most prominent are those of jealousy and ingratitude towards his master, but most of the anecdotes in which these charges are embodied

merit little credence. It is certain that Aristotle, after the death of Plato, stood in friendly relations with Xenocrates; still, as a writer, he can hardly be absolved from a certain want of friendship and regard towards Plato and his philosophy, though all this can be explained on psychological grounds. After Plato's death, Aristotle went with Xenocrates to Hermeas, tyrant of Atarneus, whose sister Pythias he married after Hermeas had fallen a prey to Persian violence. After the death of Pythias he is said to have married his concubine, Herpyllis, who was the mother of his son Nicomachus. In the year 343 he was called by Philip of Macedon, to take the charge of the education of his son Alexander, then thirteen years old. Both father and son honored him highly, and the latter, with royal munificence, subsequently supported him in his studies. When Alexander went to Persia, Aristotle betook himself to Athens, and taught in the Lyceum, the only gymnasium then vacant, since Xenocrates had possession of the Academy, and the Cynics of the Cynosaerges. From the shady walks [Greek: peripatoi] of the Lyceum, in which Aristotle was accustomed to walk and expound his philosophy, his school received the name of the Peripatetic. Aristotle is said to have spent his mornings with his more mature disciples, exercising them in the profoundest questions of philosophy, while his evenings were occupied with a greater number of pupils in a more general and preparatory instruction. The former investigations were called acroamatic, the latter exoteric. He abode at Athens, and taught thirteen years, and then, after the death of Alexander, whose displeasure he had incurred, he is said to have been accused by the Athenians of impiety towards the gods, and to have fled to Chalcis, in order to escape a fate similar to that of Socrates. He died in the year 322 at Chalcis, in Eubaea.

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