Probably no other ancient thinker held a greater influence over medieval European intellectual life more than Aristotle. It’s easy to see why, giving his prolific writings and interests in a wide range of topics that include physics, cosmology, biology, zoology, geology, psychology, mathematics, logic, metaphysics, politics, ethics, justice, and rhetoric – to name a few. Over 150 books are attested to be authored by Aristotle, although only 30 or so of his works survive to the modern day.
Aristotle was born in Stageria, Macedon, was orphaned at an early age and raised by his uncle. At age 17 he went to Athens and joined Plato’s Academy where he spent 20 years studying and earning his reputation as one of Greek’s great philosophers. After his time at The Academy he ended up in King Philip of Macedon’s court, where he tutored his 13 year old son, Alexander, who grew up to be Alexander The Great.
When Aristotle did not receive headship of the Academy in Athens due to political reasons, he started his own establishment around 335 BCE with encouragement from Alexander called The Lyceum. It is during his time at The Lyceum where he composed most of his works. Aristotle was forced to leave The Lyceum and Athens again due to political reasons after Alexanders death. He died shortly after by natural causes.