chapter  3
Aristotle: The Best Constitution
Pages 21

Aristotle was born in 384 B.C.E. in Stagira, an Ionian colony in eastern Macedonia (now part of northern Greece). His father, Nichomachus, was court physician to the King Amyntas of Macedon. Although his father died while Aristotle was still a boy, Nichomachus’ profession would help Aristotle to establish a long association with the Macedonian Court. When he was seventeen, his uncle sent him to the Platonic Academy in Athens. He remained at the Academy for twenty years, initially as a student, and later as a researcher and teacher. His scholarly potential was soon recognized. In appreciation of Aristotle’s intellectual powers, Plato would call him “The Brain.” Yet, in spite of his great indebtedness to Plato and respect for him as a person, Aristotle decided to pursue his own philosophical path rather than following that of his mentor and friend. As he later said: “Friends and truth are both dear, but it is a sacred duty to prefer the truth.”