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the chief of the peripatetic philosophers, and one of the most illustrious

, the chief of the peripatetic philosophers, and one of the most illustrious characters of ancient Greece, was born in the first year of the ninety-ninth olympiad, or 384 years before the Christian sera, at Stagyra, a town of Thrace, whence he is usually called the Stagyrite. His father was a physician, named Nicomachus: his mother’s name was Phaestias. He received the first rudiments of learning from Proxenus, of Atarna in Mysia, and at the age of 17 went to Athens, and studied in the school of Plato, where his acuteness and proficiency so attracted the notice of his master, that he used to call him “The mind of the school;” and said, when Aristotle happened to be absent, “Intellect is not here.” His works, indeed, prove that he had an extensive acquaintance with books; and Strabo says, he was the first person who formed a library. At this academy he continued until the death of Plato, whose memory he honoured by a monument, an oration, and elegies, which contradicts the report of his having had a difference with Plato, and erecting a school in opposition to him, as related by Aristoxenus. At the time of the death of Plato, Aristotle was in his thirty-seventh year; and when Speusippus, the nephew of Plato, succeeded him in the academy, our philosopher was so much displeased, that he left Athens, and paid a visit to Hermias, king of the Atarnenses, who had been his fellow-disciple, and now received him with every expression of regard. Here he remained three years, prosecuting his philosophical researches; and when Hermias was taken prisoner and put to death, he placed a statue of him in the temple at Delphos, and married his sister, who was now reduced to poverty and distress, by the revolution which had dethroned her brother. After these events, Aristotle removed to Mitelene, where, after he had resided two years, he received a respectful letter from Philip, king of Macedon, who had heard of his great fame, requesting him to undertake the education of his son, Alexander, then in his fifteenth year. Aristotle accepted the charge, and in 343 B. C. went to reside in the court of Philip.