Essay: Aristotle &amp Alexander the Great

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Aristotle & Alexander the Great

Aristotle's Role as a Tutor of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great is a name recognized by nearly everyone. However, most people only know of him from his days as a ruler of his people, and from his conquests, campaigns, and battles. They know very little of who he was before he was a leader, and what kind of childhood made him into the man he became. That childhood was fraught with peril, as his father, Philip II, was a leader and a conqueror (Badian, 425). Alexander would have likely followed in his father's footsteps and lacked discipline and self-control if it were not for the teachings of one man -- Aristotle. During the years Aristotle taught Alexander, the boy learned many things about how to be a true leader and what would make him the most successful. By getting a strong and more standard education, Alexander was able to recognize the behaviors of his father that he did not wish to emulate in time to change and adjust his life path. This led to his ultimate destiny as a leader of his people, and allowed him to understand the value of the world.

Aristotle enlightened many people throughout his life, and one of his more notable roles was as a tutor to Alexander the Great. It was how he achieved a lot of merit and respect from other people at the time, and also how he was able to receive so many supplies he needed or wanted so he could teach others. Aristotle was chosen as a tutor when Alexander the Great was only thirteen, and he taught him until Alexander reached the age of sixteen (Roisman, 35). Because he needed some kind of payment for teaching Alexander, Aristotle was able to negotiate with Philip II, Alexander's father, in order to get his hometown rebuilt. It was also repopulated by freeing any ex-citizens who had been taken into slavery and by pardoning any of them who were living in exile after the town had been razed (Roisman, 36). It was not only Alexander who was taught by Aristotle at Mieza during that time, though. There were many other pupils in the same classroom, all learning the same things.

A number of those pupils became good friends of Alexander, and when he came into power they were generals of his in a number of cases. During their time learning under Aristotle, they were all taught philosophy, medicine, art, morals, logic, and religion (Engels, 44). Alexander developed a passion for Homer's Iliad, and Aristotle gave him an annotated copy which Alexander carried with him in his future campaigns and battles (Badian, 428). The main thing Aristotle offered Alexander the Great, however, was the opening of the young man's mind to the world and the universe. The understanding that there were an infinite number of worlds reduced Alexander to tears and lamentation that he had not yet conquered even one of them (Badian, 433). Because Aristotle had such vast knowledge of so many different things, he was able to show Alexander the value of learning and the necessity for understanding the world and its people in order for Alexander to become a great leader as he got older.

Philip II chose Aristotle for several reasons. One was Aristotle's ability to teach people what they needed to know, which had been proven throughout his career. Another… [END OF PREVIEW]

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