Ptolemy, Life of Aristotle

It is generally agreed that the principal source of most of the short biographies of Aristotle, which have survived in manuscripts in various languages, was a lost Greek treatise by a man called Ptolemy. Very little is known about this Ptolemy, although it is clear from his treatment of Aristotle that he had Neoplatonist views; he probably lived in or soon after the fourth century A.D. Modern scholars tend to disapprove of the way in which Neoplatonism has coloured his portrayal of Aristotle, but as for his reliability they have to admit that his account "is based on an adequate knowledge of the biographical materials that were available." Ptolemy's treatise is much shorter than the other surviving ancient biography of Aristotle, by Diogenes Laertius, but it uses additional sources, such as the purported letters of Aristotle.

In the 20th century, it was announced by I. Düring that a translation of Ptolemy's treatise had been found in an Arabic manuscript in Istanbul, Ayasofya 4833. So far, only the title and the introductory letter have been made available in English; the translation by B. Lewin was published by I. Düring, in R. Palmer & R. Hamerton-Kelly (eds), "Philomathes" ( 1971 ). There is now a French translation by M. Rashed, "Épître à Gallus sur la vie, le testament et les écrits d'Aristote" (2021).

This English translation is reproduced here, along with a new translation of one the Greek lives of Aristotle, the 'Vita Marciana'. Although this Life is found only in one badly damaged manuscript, it can claim to be quite influential, because its Greek text, or something very similar, was translated to produce the standard Latin life of Aristotle. The translation has been made from the Greek text of I. Düring, "Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition", pp.96-106 ( 1957 ).

An Arabic Life of Aristotle, written by Al-Mubaššir ibn Fatik in the 11th century A.D., is also shown here. The translation is taken from I. Düring, "Aristotle in the Ancient Biographical Tradition", pp.198-201. The important Arabic Life of Aristotle by Ibn Abi Usaibia is already available online at ; this is explicitly derived from Ptolemy, amongst other sources.

At the end of the translations, an extract from Dionysius of Halicarnassus is attached. This gives a chronological summary of Aristotle's life, and may be compared with sections 8-10 of the Vita Marciana. The English translation of this extract is by W.R. Roberts (1901).

{ Title }

This is the treatise of Ptolemy, containing the will of Aristotle, the catalogue of his writings, and part of his biography, dedicated to Gallus.

{ Ptolemy's introductory letter to Gallus }

Remembering what you have said to me, namely that you have need of a book containing [the titles of] the books of Aristotle, I should like immediately to point out to you what has been written about that [subject] by Andronicus from the city of Rhodes. You have asked me to write a book as concise and explanatory as possible about [this subject]. I have therefore thought [it useful] to write this book for you and to concentrate upon the purpose of [describing] Aristotle and what he has said. I have tried to avoid causing bewilderment, because, in doing so, I thought it to be a merit {i.e., the best way to meet your wish}, since you are a man different from those who have a thorough knowledge of the writings of Aristotle. I also wish to stress the facts he [tells us] in his books.

As to your opinion that the disposition (?) of this book is something that you yourself wish to judge (?) [I should like to point out] that the order of the books of Aristotle is given in the books [themselves]. This is quite evident, and the reader need not accept my word about it without realising [the fact] for himself. For the order of the sciences forming the subjects of the books is obvious [even] to an ignoramus, to say nothing of those who have [real] knowledge and insight into how [the sciences] follow one upon another. Quite contrary to what some people maintain, the sciences are separate branches of knowledge and do not follow upon one another [haphazardly]. If this [method] is suitable for the study of Plato, as many people of a [certain] body of philosophers maintain, it is even more appropriate with regard to the writings of Aristotle.

You will realise the truth of what I say about the order of the books and know that this book is written by me with complete care, [further] that it is a unique book and that I have not asked anybody for help [or consulted any other book] in order to [arrange] the order. That is to say that the book of Andronicus has not been at my disposal.

Therefore, if you now possess this book written by me, you must not give up trying to get that one {i.e., the book written by Andronicus}. You must not wonder that in the book of Andronicus about one thousand {sic!} sayings are recorded, whereas I record less [than that].

The reason is that I prefer to record the treatises ascribed to Aristotle and those ascribed to Theophrastus, the number of which is not small. To begin with I shall give a brief account of the biography and history of Aristotle. Then I shall recount his Will which he made at the moment of his death, as it has been related to us, because you have asked for it. Then I shall record the catalogue of his books except those which are to be considered as derived from others, since [enumerating them] would be wearisome to you. If you want [me to enumerate them], I shall not fail to undertake it for you, even if you are absent from me, and to write to you and then teach you [about them] when we meet again.

{ Vita Marciana }

1 Aristotle the philosopher came from the city of Stageira, which is a city of Thrace near to Olynthus and Methone. He was the son of Nicomachus and Phaestis, who were both descended from Machaon the son of Asclepius, as is made clear by the epigram about him:
  The divine Aristotle was born to his mother Phaestis and his father Nicomachus, the descendants of Asclepius.

2 They had other children as well as Aristotle: Arimnestus and Arimnestē. Nicomachus was the doctor of Amyntas king of Macedonia, the father of Philip, and in memory of his own father Aristotle called his son Nicomachus, to whom he addressed the Nicomachean Ethics. From his father and from his earlier ancestors Aristotle inherited an interest in natural phenomena and medicine.

3 When he became an orphan, he was brought up by Proxenus of Atarneus, and in memory of Proxenus and his upbringing, he brought up his son Nicanor and educated him and adopted him as his son; and when he died, he instructed in his will that his own daughter Pythias, the daughter of Pythias, should be given to Nicanor in marriage.

4 While he was still young, he received the normal education of free-born boys, as is made clear by the Homeric Questions that he wrote, and by the version of the Iliad that he gave to Alexander, and by his Dialogue about poets, and by his Treatise about Poetry, and by his Art of Rhetoric, and by his Medical Problems, and by his Physical Problems, consisting of seventy books, and by his Optical Problems, and by his Mechanical Problems, and the Justification of the Greek cities {or Greek wars} that he wrote about how Philip had put an end to their quarrels, so that he once said in boast, "I have set the bounds of the land of Pelops ." And later he wrote the History of Constitutions.

5 When he was seventeen years old, the Pythian god gave him an oracular response that he should study philosophy at Athens; therefore he joined Socrates and stayed with him almost up to the time of his death; and after that he joined Plato and stayed with him for all the time up to his death, which was twenty years as he himself says in a letter to Philip. 6 He was so hard-working while he stayed with Plato, that his house was called the House of the Reader, for Plato frequently said, "Let us go off to the house of the reader;" 7 and when Aristotle was absent from his lecture, he cried out, "The Mind is absent, the audience is deaf."

8 He lived on after Plato for 23 years, partly teaching Alexander the son of Philip, partly travelling widely with him, partly writing treatises, and partly acting as head of the school of philosophy. 9 Aristotle could not have built the Lyceium as a rival to Plato, as Aristodemus was the first to falsely accuse him, in which he was later followed Aristeides, if Aristotle stayed with Plato up until his death. 10 Plato was born when Diotimus was archon at Athens {428/7 B.C.}, and after living for 82 years, he died when Theophilus was archon {348/7 B.C.}. Aristotle was born when Diotrephes was archon {384/3 B.C.}, and after living for 63 years, he died when Philocles was archon {322/1 B.C.}. Aristotle joined Plato when Nausigenes was archon {368/7 B.C.}, and from Theophilus, in whose year as archon Plato died, until Philocles, in whose year as archon Aristotle died, he lived on after Plato for 23 years. 11 Therefore Aristotle was not, as some falsely allege, forty years old when he joined Plato in the time of Eudoxus, for since Aristotle lived for 63 years, there are only three years left from the death of Plato, if one takes away the twenty years in which he was a member of Plato 's school; and in those three years it would not only have been difficult to produce so many treatises, but even to read them. 12 This is what Philochorus related: that it was not likely that Aristotle, being a foreigner, would have done this against Plato, who was a citizen and had great influence through Chabrias and Timotheus, the generals at Athens, who were relatives of Plato.

13 After the death of Plato Speusippus, the nephew of Plato, who happened to be the son of Pontonē the sister of Plato, succeeded him as head of the school. 14 Aristotle went to Macedonia because he had been summoned by Philip in order to teach his son. 15 And he was so highly valued by Philip and Olympias that they set up a statue of him, along with themselves. The philosopher, having a great part in the kingdom, used philosophy as an instrument to provide benefactions, assisting each individual, and whole cities, and even all the cities together. 16 How much he helped each individual, is made clear by the letters that he wrote to the kings about certain persons; 17 how much he helped whole cities, is made clear by Stageira and Eresus, which was the fatherland of Theophrastus and Phanias, his pupils. After his fatherland Stageira had been destroyed by Philip, he persuaded Alexander to refound it and also to assign some extra territories to it; in recognition of this, the Stageirites gave the month the name of Stageiritēs, and celebrated a festival called Aristoteleia; 18 and when he died in Chalcis, they sent for his body and set up an altar by his grave and called the place Aristoteleion, which is where their council used to meet. 19 And when Philip intended to to besiege Eresus, Aristotle persuaded him to leave the place alone. 20 He also gave much assistance to the Athenians in his letters to Philip, so that the Athenians dedicated a statue to him on the Acropolis. 21 And in order that he might benefit all mankind, he addressed to Alexander a book called On Kingship, teaching him how to act as a king. This made such an impression on Alexander's soul, that he once said, on a day when he had not helped anyone, "Today I have not been king," because he had not done good to anyone. 22 This is similar to what is customarily said about those who are slightly ill, that is with an illness that only lasts for a day, "All except one," because on that one day they do not perform the activities of a healthy person. 23 When Alexander reached adulthood and went to fight against the , Aristotle went off with him, but even then he did not desist from his philosophical activities, for it was then that he compiled the history of the [250] constitutions. And when Alexander was about to engage in the Persian War, Aristotle said that the sacrificial victims were inauspicious, but Alexander ignored his advice; he engaged in the war, and he died. Antipater, who took over as ruler of Alexander's kingdom, held Aristotle in honour no less than the previous rulers, Amyntas, Philip, Olympias and Alexander.

24 When Speusippus died, the members of his school sent for Aristotle; and he and Xenocrates succeeded as heads of the school, most amicably. Aristotle taught in the Lyceium, and Xenocrates taught in the Academy, where also Plato had taught. 25 Aristotle did not, as Aristoxenus and Aristeides related, build the Lyceium in opposition to Plato, while Plato was alive and teaching in the Academy. 26 For, as much as anyone, Aristotle seems to have been awestruck by Plato. He wrote this epigram for him:
  Aristotle established this altar for Plato
and elsewhere he says about him:
 . . . of a man whom it is not right for the evil to praise.

27 And in his letters he is seen to admire Plato and to recommend Plato's close relatives to the kings. 28 Even in the matters where he contradicts Plato, we will say that he is a Platonist. For it is Plato who says that he thinks a little of Socrates, but a lot of the truth { Phaedo 91c }; and, "I am persuaded by nothing else other than by the argument which upon consideration seems best to me" { Crito 46b }; and, "If you do not hear your own self saying this, put no trust in anyone else saying it" { Alcibiades 1.114e }. 29 And equally Aristotle did not combat the opinions of Plato, but those persons who misunderstood them; such as the uncreated nature of heaven in On the Heavens { 1.10 } - for some understood this with regard to time and not with regard to causation. 30 And such as the ideas in the Metaphysics { 1.991a } - for some suggested that they were outside the mind and others supposed that they were everlasting phenomena, such as an immortal man or horse. That Aristotle does not mean that they entirely do not exist, he makes clear in the Ethics { Metaphysics, 12.1075a}, saying that there is a twofold arrangement, partly in the general and partly in the army, and the former is the causation for the latter; and in On the Soul { 3.7 }, saying that the mind when it is active is the objects that it thinks.

31 Aristotle seems to have been very moderate in character, if he says in the Categories { 7 } that one should not express an opinion in an offhand manner, but after frequently pondering it, and that is not unprofitable merely to remain in doubt. 32 And in On the Good, he says, "One must remember, in being a man, not only the fortunate man but also the one who shows the way. 33 And in the Nicomachean Ethics { 1.1096a }, he says, "The man is dear, and the truth is dear; but, while both are dear, piety requires us to honour truth above our friends." 34 And in the Meteora { 1.1 }, he says, "Some of these things puzzle us, while others can be explained to some extent." And in the same book { On the Heavens, 1.3 }, he says, "The same ideas recur in men's minds not once or twice, but again and again; so that we should not think too much of ourselves, for what we seem to discover."

35 Such was the character of the philosopher; and he added more to philosophy than he gathered from it. 36 For in the Ethics, he did not place happiness in external things, as most men do, nor in the soul alone, as Plato does; he said { 1.1100b } that it has its origin in the soul, but that it can be disfigured and squashed only by external circumstances; in which he makes proper use of the words. For things that are disfigured still have their beauty inside, it is only hidden on the surface; and things that are squashed still have the same size in reality, they only appear to be smaller. 37 And in natural philosophy he added the fifth element, and seeing by reception { Topics, 1.14 }. 38 And in mathematics he added that the cone of our field of vision is acute-angled, because our vision stretches further than the size that can easily be seen, and accordingly nothing that is seen can be seen altogether at once, and in this way the axis is bigger than its base and the cone is rendered acute-angled { Problems 15.6 }. 39 And in theology he added that not everywhere is within the universe, as might be supposed, but there can be something beyond the universe; for in the fifth book of the Physics { 5.1 }, he says that the primary cannot change by accident; and in the eighth book of the Physics { 8.5 }, he wishes the primary to be an unmoved mover. 40 Logic is his discovery, as he distinguished the methods of syllogism from the things themselves.

41 When the Athenians turned against him, he withdrew to Chalcis, saying this much: "I will not permit the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy." 42 Since the same attitude was not appropriate for a citizen and for a foreigner concerning the city of Athens, he wrote in a letter to Antipater : "To stay in Athens is troublesome; for pear upon pear grows old, and fig upon fig grows old" { Homer, Od. 7.120 }; by which he alluded to the succession of false informers. 43 And there { at Chalcis } he died, leaving a written will, which is recorded by Andronicus and Ptolemy along with the list of his writings, 44 and leaving two children, Nicomachus and Pythias, and his genuine pupils Theophrastus, Phanias, Eudemus, Clytus, Aristoxenus and Dicaearchus, 45 and his writings, one thousand in number. 46 He had great influence with the monarchs Philip, Olympias, Alexander and Antipater, using his philosophy as an instrument of power.

47 It is characteristic of Aristotle's philosophy not to ignore the visible phenomena; for after his proofs he also gives as evidence what the majority perceive. 48 And in On the Heavens { 2.6 }, he says that the planets move irregularly because this can clearly be seen, and the so-called counteracting spheres preserve the theory of regular motion. 49 And in the Categories { 5 } he represents the indivisible substances and puts them ahead of the universal, on account of perception alone. 50 For he also says in On the Soul { 1.1 }, that universal forms do not exist; for the universal animal either does not exist or is a later product. The universal is obscure to the majority of people; therefore he convincwa everyone from what is visible.

{ Arabic Life of Aristotle by Al-Mubaššir ibn Fatik }

1 Information on Aristotle. The name in Greek means "the perfect or the excellent". His father's name was Nicomachus, which means "the fighter or conqueror".

2 Nicomachus was a physician; his son Aristotle was born to him in a city called Stageira in the region of Chalcidice, belonging to the province of Thrace. His mother's name was Phaestis. His father was the court-physician of Amyntas, father of Philip, father of Alexander. His father was the son of Machaon, and his lineage on his father's side therefore goes back to Asclepius. This family is the most noble among the Greeks. His mother too traced her descent back to Asclepius. { see VM 1-2 }

3 When he was eight years old he was brought by his father to the country of Athens, celebrated under the name of "the country of wise men", and here the boy stayed in the Lyceum. His father handed him over to a school of poets, orators and school-masters, and he stayed there nine years. 4 This branch of learning, the knowledge of language, was called by the Greeks "the all-embracing", because everybody needed this knowledge which is an instrument and at the same time a guide to all kinds of wisdom and virtue, showing too how each branch of knowledge has been created.

5 There were, however, among the wise men some who despised the knowledge of the orators, lexicographers and schoolmasters, and cavilled at those who devoted themselves to these professions. To these calumniators belonged Epicurus and Pythagoras. They held that these occupations were of no use for acquiring wisdom, since the grammarians were nothing but schoolmasters, the poets nothing but weathercocks and liars, the orators mere calumniators, cajolers and rabid revolutionaries.

6 When this came to Aristotle's ears, he came forward to defend the schoolmasters, orators and poets and pleaded their cause saying: "Wisdom cannot do without their knowledge, since logic is the instrument of their knowledge." 7 He further said: "Man's superiority in comparison with the animal is based on man's power of speech; only he is a man in the true sense of the word who in his speech is capable of hitting the mark and expressing deftly the thoughts of his soul; who knows how to arrange the words properly and choose phrases which are at the same time terse and graceful. 8 Since wisdom is the most exalted of all things, it must be expressed in the most lucid language, by the most eloquent tongue, and in the most succinct form, free from errors and mistakes, vulgarities and barbarisms, and linguistic incompetence. For such defects obscure the light of wisdom, obstruct the communication, lessen the perspicuity, obfuscate the listener's mind, destroy the logic, and beget ignorance."

9 When he had terminated his study of the poets, grammarians and orators and was imbued with their knowledge, he turned to ethics, politics, mathematics, physics and theology. He attached himself to Plato and became his disciple and apprentice. He was now seventeen years old. This happened in a place called the Academy, situated in Athens in the country of the wise men. { see VM 5 }

10 He stayed in Plato's school twenty years. He was taught by Plato himself. Plato did not entrust him to be instructed by Xenocrates, as he did with his other disciples, because of the extraordinary impression that Aristotle had made on him. 11 When Plato held a class and was asked to open the discussion, he used to say: "Not until everybody is present". And when Aristotle arrived, he said: "Begin now the recitation; the audience is complete". 12 He often said, too: "Not until the Mind is here", and when Aristotle had arrived, he said: "Read, the Mind is here". { see VM 7 }

13 When for the second time Plato went to Sicily, he made Aristotle his deputy as head of the school which was called the Academy.

14 When Plato was dead, Aristotle went to a place in Athens called the Lyceum. There he founded a school of philosophy which was named after the walking philosophers {Peripatetics}. 15 For this was Plato's opinion: "The training of the body through moderate exercise in running, by which the body gets rid of that which is superfluous, train and exercise body and mind together." This maxim he imparted to Aristotle and Xenocrates, both of whom instructed their pupils in this doctrine, and the result was that they all philosophised walking and the school as a whole was called the Peripatetic school.

16 Xenocrates stayed in the Academy teaching the doctrines of Plato. Aristotle's entire activity as professor of philosophy, including the composition of his books on logic and other branches of philosophy, was carried on in a place whither he had withdrawn and which was called the Lyceum. Here he deposited his books to be kept. His philosophy and his books were at that time called "the science that gives the truth as answer, and the science of listening".

17 But when Plato was dead, Aristotle went to Hermias the Slave, the ruler of Atarneus; when the Slave was dead, he returned to Athens. 18 Then Philip sent for him and he went to him in Macedonia and stayed there, teaching philosophy, until Alexander marched off against the countries of Asia. { see VM 14 } 19 Aristotle then left Callisthenes as his successor in Macedonia and returned to the country of Athens and stayed there ten years, teaching in the Lyceum.

20 Thereupon a man among the high priests by name of Eurymedon came forward and denounced him as a man to be shunned by everybody. He gave a distorted account of his philosophy, claiming that he did not pray to the gods who at that period were worshipped, and did not show them due respect. He was prompted by jealousy and by an old grudge which he bore to him in his heart. 21 When Aristotle learned about this, he withdrew from Athens to his native country Chalcidice, fearing that they should attempt on him what they had done to Socrates the temperate, whom they executed by poison. { see VM 41 } 22 He withdrew to the place just mentioned in order to study ebb and flow in the gulf of Euripus close to Euboea, and to write a book on this phenomenon.

23 Here death came to him, and he died there and was buried there. He reached the age of 68 years. { see VM 43 }

24 When Philip was dead and his son Alexander had succeeded to the throne and proceeded from Macedonia to conquer the countries of Asia, Aristotle detached and freed himself from the association with the affairs of the king. { see VM 23 } 25 He founded the afore-mentioned seat of learning and began to devote himself to work for the common weal, { see VM 24 } 26 to supporting the feeble, to getting maidens married, to protecting orphans; to assisting those who were eager to learn and become educated, whoever they were and whatever kind of schooling they wanted, and to obtaining bursaries for that purpose; to obtaining alms for the poor and to writing constitutions for the cities. 27 He re-erected the city of Stageira, and it was he who gave the Stageirites their laws. { see VM 17 }

28 His fame was great among men; great honours and high rank were conferred on him by the kings. { see VM 15 }

29 The inhabitants of Stageira transferred his body when it had mouldered; they collected the bones, placed them in an urn of bronze which they deposited in a place called the Aristoteleion. They made this their meeting-place where they assembled in council for the deliberation of important matters and things that grieved them. { see VM 17-18 } 30 They sought comfort, too, at the place of his tomb, and peaceful tranquillity where his bones rested. When something in the realm of philosophy or learning seemed to them too difficult, they went to that place and sat down to deliberations. They talked there together about the matter, until that which was obscure became clear, and until they were sure about that which had been a matter of dispute. For they believed that their coming to the place where Aristotle's remains were buried would purify their mind, improve their judgment, and make their understanding more subtle. They went there, too, in order to pay respect to him after his death, to show their mourning for his departure and their grief at the misfortune they had sustained by the loss of the source of wisdom that he had been to them.

31 Aristotle had many disciples: kings, princes and others. Among them were Theophrastus and Eudemus, king Alexander, ARMINUS { read: Hermippus }, AS'HULUS { read: Andronicus }, and other celebrated men, distinguished in learning, prominent in philosophy, and famous for their noble descent. { see VM 44 } 32 He was succeeded as head of the School and professor of the same doctrines as he had taught, with the same rank as himself, by his second cousin Theophrastus. With him were two men acting as assistants, called ARMINUS and AS'HULUS. They wrote many books on logic and philosophy.

33 At his death he left one boy Nicomachus, tender of age, and a young daughter. He also left a great estate, many servants and maids, and other things. { see VM 44 } 34 He made Antipater executor of his will together with a number of his friends to help him. He gave Theophrastus a free hand to join the executor, if he so desired, and to participate with him in the administration of the estate. { see VM 43 }

35 Aristotle wrote many books, about one hundred. It is said that, apart from these hundred, he wrote others too. Among the latter are twenty books which we have seen and which are still in the hands of men, namely eight books on logic, eight books on physics, one book on ethics, one book on constitutions, one large book called Metaphysics, also known under the title Theology {Divine Discourse}, one book on mathematics and mechanics. { see VM 45 }

36 Furthermore belong to the same class of writings the open letters and the personal letters, many of which are known under the names of individual addressees, but we have not seen these books.

37 When Plato reproached him for his books and writings on philosophy, he excused himself with the following words: "As to the children and heirs of philosophy, I do not deem it necessary to conceal anything from them; as to its enemies and despisers, I do not think that they can attain philosophy because of their ignorance of its doctrines and their own disdain and contempt for them, caused by the difficulty of access. I have expounded the doctrines of philosophy, but at the same time fortified philosophy so that it is impregnable and so that they cannot climb the gates, the ignorant not attain it, the wicked not take possession of it. I have put philosophy in an orderly form which causes no difficulties whatever for the wise, but is of no use to liars and impostors. "

38 Aristotle was fair, a little bald-headed, of good figure, and very bony; he had small eyes, grew a thick beard; his eyes were bluish, his nose aquiline, his mouth small, his chest broad. When alone, his gait was hurried; when together with friends, leisurely. He was a persistent reader of books; he shunned empty talk; when questioned, he pondered every word and kept silent for a while before he replied. He spent some time of the day in the fields or by the rivers. He liked music and the company of mathematicians and dialecticians. He was just and fair in discussions, frankly admitting whether he was right or wrong. He was moderate in his clothing, eating and drinking habits, in sexual intercourse and in his emotions. { see VM 31 }

In his hand he held an astrolabe.

39 He died at the age of 68.

{ Extract from Dionysius of Halicarnassus, First Letter to Ammaeus }

4 . . . All of these [speeches] are earlier than the Rhetoric of Aristotle, as I will prove both from what others relate concerning that author and from his own writings. I begin with his biography.

5 Aristotle was the son of Nicomachus, who traced his pedigree and his profession to Machaon, the son of Asclepius. His mother, Phaestis, was descended from one of those who led the colony to Stageira from Chalcis. He was born in the ninety-ninth Olympiad, when Diotrephes was archon at Athens {384/3 B.C.}, and was, therefore, three years older than Demosthenes. In the archonship of Polyzelus {367/6 B.C.}, after his father's death, he went to Athens, being then eighteen years of age. Having been introduced to the society of Plato, he spent a period of twenty years with him. Upon Plato's death, in the archonship of Theophilus {348/7 B.C.}, he repaired to Hermias, despot of Atarneus, and after spending three years with him retired to Mytilene in the archonship of Eubulus {345/4 B.C.}. Thence he proceeded, during the archonship of Pythodotus {343/2 B.C.}, to the court of Philip, and spent eight years there as Alexander's tutor. After the death of Philip, in the archonship of Euaenetus {335/4 B.C.}, he returned to Athens, and taught in the Lyceium for a space of twelve years. In the thirteenth year, after the death of Alexander in the archonship of Cephisodorus {323/2 B.C.}, he betook himself to Chalcis, where he fell ill and died at the age of sixty-three. { compare Vita Marciana, sections 8-10, and Diogenes Laertius, sections 9-10 }

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