Aristotle and Adoption

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Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze bust of Aristotle by Lysippus, c. 330 BCE.


384-322 BCE

Greek philosopher

Aristotle was the son of Nicomachus, physician to King Amyntas II. His parents died when he was still a very young boy and he was brought up by a guardian, Proxenus, who sent him to Plato's academy in Athens about 367. He spent 20 years there and eventually founded his own academy.

His writings are among the most important in the history of western philosophy and science, and his influence on later thinkers has been incalculable; until the Renaissance, they formed a major part of all European education. He was also appointed tutor to the future Alexander the Great. His first wife was Pythias, niece and adoptive daughter of his patron, King Hermeias of Atarneus and Assos. He later adopted Nicanor of Stagirus, Proxenus' son, who also married his daughter.


Dever, Maria, and Dever, Aileen. Relative Origins: Famous Foster and Adopted People. (Portland: National Book Company, 1992) Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Editor in chief, Paul Edwards. (New York: Macmillan & The Free Press, 1967) Oxford Classical Dictionary, edited by M. Cary, et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1949) Microsoft Encarta 98 Encyclopedia, 1993-97 ThinkQuest Competition Team 18775. "Aristotle's Life." Available at: Generation Terrorists. "Aristotle (384 BC-322BC)." Available at: