On Three Locations Connected with Aristotle: Ancient Stagira - Mieza - Athens

  • Valentin Kalan Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta, Oddelek za filozofijo, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana
Keywords: philosophy / Greek philosophy, archaeology, biography, Greece, Ellás

Abstract

The last decade has witnessed well-nigh simultaneous discoveries on three archaeological sites connected with Aristotle, which have eliminated many cliches and mistaken assumptions about the philosopher's life and work. These are: (1) his native town of Stagira, or Stagirus; (2) his school in the Macedonian town of Mieza; and (3) the location of the Peripatetic school, the Lyceum, at Athens. The first part of the article thus briefly surveys the most important discoveries about the layout of ancient Stagira, as described in the monograph by Konstantinos Sismanidis. The  main  archaeological finds include an early classical town-wall (an admirable example of military architecture), the  stoa,  an  aqueduct, the  foundations of three  temples, silver coins with the type of a wild boar, etc.-The second part moves from a preliminary description of Mieza to an  attempt at  reconstructing the philosophical ideas transmitted by Aristotle to Alexander and  his peers at Mieza- not  Pella-, using  Plutarch's Life of Alexander as a starting-point. Such education would have been  impossible if the Macedonians had not been  Greeks  and  their  language a Greek  dialect, and  it is the failure to realize this fact that has long impeded- and  still does- our understanding of Aristotle's attitude to Philip and  Alexander. The article touches on  the potential relevance of Alexander's politics for  the  present, which  may be sought in  its interplay of  two processes: the  spreading of Greek culture abroad on  the  one hand, and, on  the  other, the  preservation of  other cultures with which  the Greeks came into contact. The third part, drawing on  Rupp's book Peripatoi, presents the  latest archaeological discoveries relating to the exact location of Aristotle's Peripatos in Athens. In 323 BC -immediately after Alexander's death- Aristotle retired from Athens for the  second time, his life endangered by the  prevailing anti-Macedonian attitude. The paper attempts to justify his openly pro-Macedonian politics on the basis of his Panhellenic views. These three locations between which Aristotle moved-Stagira, Mieza, and  Athens (twice) -are thus a testimony to the dynamic, insecure, and sometimes dangerous political circumstances in which  he lived.

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Published
2004-07-06
How to Cite
Kalan, Valentin. 2004. “On Three Locations Connected With Aristotle: Ancient Stagira - Mieza - Athens”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 6 (1), 13-34. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.6.1.13-34.
Section
Scholarly Articles