Aristotle & Alexander - In this picture, a young Alexander the Great (right) learns from his mentor, the Greek philosopher Aristotle (left). In the winter of the year 343 BCE, King Phillip II of Macedon invited Aristotle to come personally tutor his thirteen year old son Alexander. Daily lessons were to include wide subjects ranging from arts & culture to science & philosophy.
Peter Green writes in his biography of Alexander that “As an extra inducement, Phillip promised to restore Aristotle’s birthplace, Stagira [Which had been destroyed by the Macedonian army in 348 BCE], and to recall ‘those of its citizens who were in exile or slavery’. This was to be no ordinary tutorship; it would carry very special personal and political responsibilities. The philosopher’s decision was never in doubt.” Aristotle would have a profound impact on the young Macedonian heir. As a result of his teachings, Alexander would grow to love the sciences, political theory, and literature. It is said that his love of Homer’s work, in particular, inspired Alexander to sleep with ‘The Iliad’ under his pillow each night while on military campaigns.
Years later, the megalomaniac, paranoid, student-turned-conquerer began to resent his former philosopher-turned-teacher. Plutarch wrote in his ‘Life of Alexander’ that “Upon some mistrust of [Aristotle], yet not so great as to make him do him any hurt, [Alexander’s] familiarity and friendly kindness to him abated so much of its former force and affection, as to make it evident he was alienated from him. However, his violent thirst after and passion for learning, which were once implanted, still grew up with him, and never decayed.” #philosophy #philosopher #education #teacher #conquer #alexanderthegreat #aristotle #outherelearning #school #king #science #art #ethics #greek #greece #europe #macedonia #athens #history