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Ancient Greece
Aristotle



Aristotle
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    anti-Macedonian, co-mingle, non-Greeks, nonetheless, corrupting, unrest, stint, relation, philosophy, curriculum, tutor, foundation, theory, shortly, youth, various
     content words:    Asia Minor, Assus Academy, Philip II, When Alexander


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Aristotle
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Back in the old days, there were three wise men in ancient Greece. These three wise men were from three different generations. Socrates was the oldest of the trio. He passed his knowledge to his student, Plato, who then passed it on to Aristotle. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were all great philosophers. Together, their schools of thought have since become the foundation of Western philosophy.
 
2     Aristotle was born in 384 B.C. His father, Nicomachus, was a court physician to the king of Macedonia. As the son of a doctor, Aristotle was no stranger to science. Growing up, he learned quite a bit about medicine and biology from his father. Later, after Nicomachus passed away, his guardian sent him to study in Plato's Academy in Athens. Aristotle was about eighteen years old then.
 
3     Plato's Academy was Europe's first university. It offered courses on various subjects. Shortly after Aristotle began his study there, he immersed himself in learning everything on the curriculum. He soon proved himself an excellent student. Because of his wide range of interests, Aristotle never limited his scope of education. As a result, he became the leading expert in many fields. Philosophy was simply one of them. Aristotle was in the Academy for nearly 20 years. He first joined as a student and then stayed on as a teacher. By the time that Plato died around 347 B.C., Aristotle had already built up a very good name for himself. Nonetheless, he did not get the job as the head of the Academy. That post went to Plato's nephew. Some scholars believed that Aristotle felt disgusted by the choice. But there is no proof to that theory. Regardless of what he had truly felt, Aristotle decided to leave Athens. So in 347 B.C., he quit the Academy and went to work for Hermeias, ruler of Atarneus, in Asia Minor (today's Turkey). Aristotle was not alone in this venture. He and another Academy member, Xenocrates, founded the Assus Academy. They taught there for several years. During his stay in Atarneus, Aristotle was on very good terms with Hermeias. He even married the man's niece, Pythias. Interestingly, when Aristotle later wrote his famous book, Politics, he said that the ideal ages for marriage was 37 for the husband and 18 for the wife. Given that Aristotle was 37 years old at the time, it is very likely that Pythias was 18.

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