Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist and one of the most important philosophers in the western world.
Born around 584BC in the city of Stagira in Chalkidice (central Macedonia). His father Nicomachus was the physician to King Amyntas of Macedonia, but was to die when Aristotle was still a child.
Little is known of his early life, but at 18 years old he joined the Academy of Athens and became a student of Plato. He was to remain there for many years. He didn’t leave until shortly after Plato’s death in 347BC.
After leaving the Academy, Aristotle travelled to Asia Minor. He followed this with travel to the island of Lesbos with Theoparastus, where they researched the botany and zoology of the island. It was at this time that Aristotle married Pythias and they had a daughter also named Pythias.
In 343BC Aristotle was approached by Philip I of Macedon to tutor his son Alexander, the future Alexander the Great, and he was to tutor him from the age of 13 – 16.
In 335BC Aristotle founded his own school in Athens, the Lyceum. This school attracted students from throughout Greece. He was to teach there for 12 years and it is at this time that he wrote much of his work.
While in Athens, Aristotle’s wife Pythias died. He was later to become involved with Herpyllis of Stagira, who produced him a son.
Aristotle studied extensively including anatomy, astronomy, geography, geology, meteorology, physics and zoology.
Many of his writings were on ethics, aesthetics, government, politics and economics, psychology, rhetoric and theology.
Aristotle produced over 200 separate works, but as little as 30 remain today. The work that does remain is confusing and written as rough notes. It is believed they are probably lecture notes for his students.
Aristotle left Athens in 323BC, as there was a resurgence of anti Macedonian feeling. He travelled to Chalcis on the Attic coast, where he died of natural causes in 322BC.