The Ancient Library

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whereas Xenocrates needed the spur. (Diog. Laert. iv. 6.) And while he recommended the latter "to sacrifice to the Graces," he appears rather to have warned Aristotle against the " too much." Aris­totle lived at Athens for twenty years, till b. c. 347. (Apoll. ap. Diog. Laiirt. v. 9.) During the whole of this period the good understanding which subsisted between teacher and scholar con­tinued, with some trifling exceptions, undisturbed. For the stories of the disrespect and ingratitude of the latter towards the former are nothing but ca­lumnies invented by his enemies, of whom, accord­ing to the expression of Themistius (Orat. iv.), Aristotle had raised a whole host. (Ael. V.H. iii. 19, iv. 9 ; Euseb. Praep. Ev. xv. 2; Diog. Laert. ii. 109, v. 2; Ammon. Vit. Arist. p. 45.) Neverthe­less, we can easily believe, that between two men who were engaged in the same pursuits, and were at the same time in some respects of opposite cha­racters, collisions might now and then occur, and that the youthful Aristotle, possessed as he was of a vigorous and aspiring mind, and having possibly a presentiment that he was called to be the founder of a new epoch in thought and knowledge, may have appeared to many to have sometimes entered the lists against his grey-headed teacher with too much impetuosity. But with all that, the position in which they stood to each other was, and con­tinued to be, worthy of both. This is not only proved by the character of each, which we know from other sources, but is also confirmed by the truly amiable manner and affectionate reverence with which Aristotle conducts his controversies with his teacher. In particular, we may notice a passage in the Nicomachean Ethics (i. 6), with which others (as Ethic. Nic. ix. 7, Polit. ii. 3. § 3) may be compared. According to a notice by Olympiodorus (in his commentary on Plato's Gor-gias), Aristotle even wrote a biographical \6yos fytcwfALaoiTLKos on his teacher. (See Cousin, Journ. d. Savans, Dec. 1832, p. 744.)

During the last ten years of his first residence at Athens, Aristotle himself had already assembled around him a circle of scholars, among whom we may notice his friend Hermias, the dynast of the cities of Atarneus and Assos in Mysia. (Strabo, xiii. p. 614.) The subjects of his lectures were not so much of a philosophical* as of a rhetorical and perhaps also of a political kind. (Quintil. xi. 2. § 25.) At least it is proved that Aristotle entered the lists of controversy against Isocrates, at that time the most distinguished teacher of rhetoric. Indeed, he appears to have opposed most decidedly all the earlier and contemporary theories of rhetoric. (Arist. Rhet. i. 1, 2.) His opposition to Isocrates, however, led to most important consequences, as it accounts for the bitter hatred which was afterwards manifested towards Aristotle and his school by all the followers of Isocrates. It was the conflict of profound philosophical investigation with the super­ficiality of stylistic and rhetorical accomplishment; of systematic observation with shallow empiricism and prosaic insipidity ; of which Isocrates might be looked upon as the principal representative, since he not only despised poetry, but held physics and

* On the other hand, Augustin (de Civit. Dei, viii. 12) says, " Quum Aristoteles, vir excellentis ingenii, sectam Peripateticam condidisset, et pluri-mos discipulos, praeclara fama excellens, vivo adhuc praeceptore in suam haeresin congregasset,"


mathematics to be illiberal studies, cared not to know anything about philosophy, and looked upon the accomplished man of the world and the clever rhe­torician as the true philosophers. On this occasion Aristotle published his first rhetorical writings. That during this time .he continued to maintain his connexion with the Macedonian court, is inti­mated by his going on an embassy to Philip of Macedonia on some business of the Athenians. (Diog. Laert. v. 2.) Moreover, we have still the letter in which his royal friend announces to him the birth of his son Alexander. (b. c. 356 ; Gell. ix. 3; Dion Chrysost. Orat. xix.)

After the death of Plato, which occurred during the above-mentioned embassy of Aristotle (b. c. 347), the latter left Athens, though we do not exactly know for what reason. Perhaps he was offended by Plato's having appointed Speusippus as his successor in the Academy. (Diog. Laert. v. 2, iv. 1.) At the same time, it is more probable that, after the notions of the ancient philosophers, he esteemed travels in foreign parts as a necessary completion of his education. Since the death of Plato, there had been no longer any ties to detain him at Athens. Besides, the political horizon there had assumed a very different aspect. The under­takings of Philip against Olynthus and most of the Greek cities of Chalcidice filled the Athenians with hatred and anxiety. The native city of Aristotle met with the fate of many others, and was destroyed by Philip at the very time that Aristotle received an invitation from his former pupil, Hermias, who from being the confidential friend of a Bi thy man dynast, Eubulus (comp. Pol­lux, ix. 6 ; Arist. Polit. ii. 4. §§ 9, 10), had, as already stated, raised himself to be the ruler of the cities of Atarneus and Assos. On his journey thither he was accompanied by his friend Xeno-crates, the disciple of Plato. Hermias, like his predecessor Eubulus, had taken part in the at­tempts made at that time by the Greeks in Asia to free themselves from the Persian dominion. Perhaps, therefore, the journey of Aristotle had even a political object, as it appears not unlikely that Hermias wished to avail himself not merely of his counsel, but of his good offices with Philip, in order to further his plans. A few years, how­ever, after the arrival of Aristotle, Hermias, through the treachery of Mentor, a Grecian general in the Persian service, fell into the hands of the Persians, and, like his predecessor, lost his life. Aristotle himself escaped to Mytilene, whither his wife, Pythias, the adoptive daughter of the assassinated prince, accompanied him. A poem on his unfor­tunate friend, which is still preserved, testifies the warm affection which he had felt for him. He afterwards caused a statue to be erected to his memory at Delphi. (Diog. Laert. v. 6, 7.) He transferred to his adoptive daughter, Pythias, the almost enthusiastic attachment which he had en­tertained for his friend ; and long after her death he directed in his will that her ashes should be placed beside his own. (Diog. v. 16.)*

, Two years after his flight from Atarneus (b. c.

* Respecting the mode of writing the name Hermias, see Stahr, Aristotelia, i. p. 75, where it must be added, that according to the testimony of Choeroboscus in the Etym. Magn. p. 376, Sylb, who appeals to Aristotle himself, 'Ep/xias and not must be written.

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