Aristotle, 384 B.C.—322 B.C.

[Mentioned in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 226]

Aristotle , the first of the great encyclopedists of learning, was born at Stagira, in northern Greece. His childhood was spent at the Macedonian court, where his father was physician to Amyntas II, father of Philip. It is possible that Aristotle's interest in physiology and natural history was awakened by his father, and it is also possible that Aristotle's dislike of monarchies dated from this period.

When his parents died, Aristotle's guardian sent him, when he was seventeen, to Athens to attend Plato's Academy. Here he stayed twenty years, collecting and examining facts in almost every field. Plato called Aristotle's house "the house of the reader." During this period, he wrote his dialogues, which informed the public of the ideas with which the Academy was concerned.

At the death of Plato, Aristotle pursued his researches in the Troad. Then he moved to the island of Lesbos, where he gathered material for scientific marine study. In 343 B.C. he was named tutor to the crown prince, the future Alexander the Great. Tradition claims that Aristotle prepared an edition of the "Iliad" for his pupil.

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Signs of the Times
May 24, 1958

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