*** Alexander the Great biography education

Alexander the Great: Education

Alexnder the Great and Aristotle

Figure 1.--Here is a depiction of Aristotle tutorion the young Alexander. It shows a younger Alexander and an older Aristotle than was actually the case. We are not sure that it is actually known that Aritotle tutored Amexander alone as it is known that he also tutored other members of the Macedonian nobility. It appears that Aristoltle had some influence on the young prince, especially stirring thoughts of military advnturs eastward against the Persians. We do not know who the artist was or when it was painted.

King Philip appears to have recognized Alexander's abilities at an early age. He gave considerable attention to his son's education. The young prince was trained in a school for Macedonian nobles. This would have included a substantial component of physical and military training. We are not sure about the academic component. As Alexander grew older, Philip decided that a more rigorous intellectual training was needed. Philip engaged the great philosopher Aristotle, perhaps the most influential thinker in the Western intellectual tradition, to tutor Alexander (343 BC). 【Shields】 Aristotle did not at the time have the enormous prestige that he holds now. Philip may have in part turned to him because Aristotle was know to him. Aristotle's father Nicomachus was the personal physician to King Amyntas, Philip's father. A young Aristotle this may have spent some time at the Macedonian court. Aristotle did not leave Macedonia until he was 17-18 years old. Alexander would have been about 13 years old when Aristotle arrived. This was shortly before his father began taking him on military campaigns. Philip also appointed Aristotle as the head of the Macedon Royal Academy. Aristotle not only tutored Alexander, but two other future kings, Ptolemy and Cassander. 【Green, pp. 58–59.】 Little is know about the form of these lessons, perhaps they were taught together and with the children of other Macedonian nobles. Aristotle was no woke peace maker. He encouraged Alexander to contemplate eastern conquest. This was quite a dangerous idea at the time give the power of the Persian Empire. Aristotle's own opinion of the Persians was thorough contempt, if not hatred. This of course is in the aftermath, of massive Persian invasions. He advised Alexander to be '... a leader to the Greeks and a despot to the barbarians, to look after the former as after friends and relatives, and to deal with the latter as with beasts or plants". 【Green, pp. 58–59.】 Aristotle returned to Athens by which time Alexander was a young adult (335 BC). Aristotle is generally seen to have had some impact on Alexander. The attitude toward the Persians may have been the best example. We also see Alexander bringing expert zoologists, botanists, and researchers with his army as he invaded Persia and fought all the way to India. Aristotle also taught him a great deal about Persian culture, but not in a positive way. And Aristotle was not pleased as Alexander began adopting Persian customs. Alexander for his part learned as he marched east that Aristotle was wrong about his respect for Aristotle was diminished as his travels made it clear that much of Aristotle's geography was clearly misguided..


Green, Peter. Alexander of Macedon Shields, Christopher. "Aristotle's Psychology" in Zalta, Edward N. (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016).

Strauss, Barry. Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership (2012).


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to Main Alexander the Great page]
[Return to Bioghraphies A-C]
[Return toMain Ancient Greek biographies page ]
[Return toMain Ancient Greek page ]
[Return toMain anciuent civilizations page ]
[Ringlet curls] [Bangs] [Main hair page] [Main curl page] [Long hair] [Ringlet curl process] [Ringlet curl expeience]
[Fauntleroy suits] [Hair bows] [Hats and caps] [Tams] [Collar bows] [Smocks] [Eton collars]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Cloth and textiles] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Topics]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 5:50 AM 12/21/2023
Last edited: 5:50 AM 12/21/2023