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ARISTOPHANES—ARISTOTLE

imagination. As a poet, he is immortal. And, among Athenian poets, he has it for his distinctive characteristic that he is inspired less by that Greek genius which never allows fancy to escape from the control of defining, though spiritualizing, reason, than by such ethereal rapture of the unfettered fancy as lifts Shakespeare or Shelley above it,—

“Pouring his full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.”

Bibliography.—Editio princeps (Aldine, Venice, 1498), by Marcus Musurus (not including the Lysistrata and Thesmophoriazusae); S. Bergler (ed. P. Burmann, 1760); Invernizi-Beck-Dindorf (1794–1834); I. Bekker (1829); H. A. Holden (expurgated text, 1868), with Onomasticon (new ed., 1902); F. H. M. Blaydes (1880–1893), and critical edition (1886); J. van Leeuwen (1893 foll.); F. W. Hall and E. M. Geldart (text, 1900–1901), with the fragment (from the Oxyrhynchus papyri) of a dialogue between two women concerning a leathern phallus, perhaps from Aristophanes. There is a complete edition of the valuable scholia by F. Dübner (1842, Didot series), with the anonymous biographies of the poet; of the Ravenna MS. by A. Martin (1883), and W. G. Rutherford (1896–1905). Among English translations mention may be made of those of W. J. Hickie (prose, in Bohn’s Classical Library); (verse) J. Hookham Frere, five plays; T. Mitchell, four plays; and, above all, B. B. Rogers, a brilliant work of exceptional merit. There is a concordance to the plays and fragments by H. Dunbar (1883). On Aristophanes generally see H. Müller-Strübing, Aristophanes und die historische Kritik (1873); the article by G. Kaibel in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, ii. 1 (1896); A. Couat, Aristophane et l’ancienne comédie attique (1889); E. Deschanel, Études sur Aristophane (3rd ed., 1892); G. Dantu, Opinions et critiques d’Aristophane sur le mouvement politique et intellectuel à Athènes (Paris, 1907). For the numerous editions and translations of separate plays in English and other languages see the introductions to Blaydes’s edition, and, for the literature, the introduction to W. J. M. Starkie’s edition of the Wasps (1897); W. Engelmann, Scriptores Graeci (1880); and “Bericht über die Literatur der griechischen Komödie aus den Jahren 1892–1901” in C. Bursian’s Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, cxvi. (1904).  (R. C. J.) 


ARISTOPHANES, of Byzantium, Greek critic and grammarian, was born about 257 B.C. He removed early to Alexandria, where he studied under Zenodotus and Callimachus. At the age of sixty he was appointed chief librarian of the museum. He died about 185–180 B.C. Aristophanes chiefly devoted himself to the poets, especially Homer, who had already been edited by his master Zenodotus. He also edited Hesiod, the chief lyric, tragic and comic poets, arranged Plato’s dialogues in trilogies, and abridged Aristotle’s Nature of Animals. His arguments to the plays of Aristophanes and the tragedians are in great part preserved. His works on Athenian courtesans, masks and proverbs were the results of his study of Attic comedy. He further commented on the Πίνακες of Callimachus, a sort of history of Greek literature. As a lexicographer, Aristophanes compiled collections of foreign and unusual words and expressions, and special lists (words denoting relationship, modes of address). As a grammarian, he founded a scientific school, and in his Analogy systematically explained the various forms. He introduced critical signs—except the obelus; punctuation prosodiacal, and accentual marks were probably already in use. The foundation of the so-called Alexandrian “canon” was also due to his impulse (Sandys, Hist. Class. Schol., ed. 1906, i. 129 f.).

Nauck, Aristophanis Byzantii Grammatici Fragmenta (1848).

ARISTOTLE (384–322 B.C.), the great Greek philosopher, was born at Stagira, on the Strymonic Gulf, and hence called “the Stagirite.” Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in his Epistle on Demosthenes and Aristotle (chap. 5), gives the following sketch of his life:—Aristotle (Άριστοτέλης) was the son of Nicomachus, who traced back his descent and his art to Machaon, son of Aesculapius; his mother being Phaestis, a descendant of one of those who carried the colony from Chalcis to Stagira. He was born in the 99th Olympiad in the archonship at Athens of Diotrephes (384–383), three years before Demosthenes. In the archonship of Polyzelus (367–366), after the death of his father, in his eighteenth year, he came to Athens, and having joined Plato spent twenty years with him. On the death of Plato (May 347) in the archonship of Theophilus (348–347) he departed to Hermias, tyrant of Atarneus, and, after three years’ stay, during the archonship of Eubulus (345–344) he moved to Mitylene, whence he went to Philip of Macedon in the archonship of Pythodotus (343–342), and spent eight years with him as tutor of Alexander. After the death of Philip (336), in the archonship of Euaenetus (335–334), he returned to Athens and kept a school in the Lyceum for twelve years. In the thirteenth, after the death of Alexander (June 323) in the archonship of Cephisodorus (323–322), having departed to Chalcis, he died of disease (322), after a life of three-and-sixty years.

I. Aristotle’s Life

This account is practically repeated by Diogenes Laertius in his Life of Aristotle, on the authority of the Chronicles of Apollodorus, who lived in the 2nd century B.C. Starting then from this tradition, near enough to the time, we can confidently divide Aristotle’s career into four periods: his youth under his parents till his eighteenth year; his philosophical education under Plato at Athens till his thirty-eighth year; his travels in the Greek world till his fiftieth year; and his philosophical teaching in the Lyceum till his departure to Chalcis and his death in his sixty-third year. But when we descend from generals to particulars, we become less certain, and must here content ourselves with few details.

Aristotle from the first profited by having a father who, being physician to Amyntas II., king of Macedon, and one of the Asclepiads who, according to Galen, practised their sons in dissection, both prepared the way for his son’s influence at the Macedonian court, and gave him a bias to medicine and biology, which certainly led to his belief in nature and natural science, and perhaps induced him to practise medicine, as he did, according to his enemies, Timaeus and Epicurus, when he first went to Athens. At Athens in his second period for some twenty years he acquired the further advantage of balancing natural science by metaphysics and morals in the course of reading Plato’s writings and of hearing Plato’s unwritten dogmas (cf. ἐν τοῖς λεγομένοις ἀγράφοις δόγμασιν, Ar. Physics, iv. 2, 209 b 15, Berlin ed.). He was an earnest, appreciative, independent student. The master is said to have called his pupil the intellect of the school and his house a reader’s. He is also said to have complained that his pupil spurned him as colts do their mothers. Aristotle, however, always revered Plato’s memory (Nic. Ethics, i. 6), and even in criticizing his master counted himself enough of a Platonist to cite Plato’s doctrines as what “we say” (cf. φαμέν, Metaphysics, i. 9, 990 b 16). At the same time, he must have learnt much from other contemporaries at Athens, especially from astronomers such as Eudoxus and Callippus, and from orators such as Isocrates and Demosthenes. He also attacked Isocrates, according to Cicero, and perhaps even set up a rival school of rhetoric. At any rate he had pupils of his own, such as Eudemus of Cyprus, Theodectes and Hermias, books of his own, especially dialogues, and even to some extent his own philosophy, while he was still a pupil of Plato.

Well grounded in his boyhood, and thoroughly educated in his manhood, Aristotle, after Plato’s death, had the further advantage of travel in his third period, when he was in his prime. The appointment of Plato’s nephew, Speusippus, to succeed his uncle in the Academy induced Aristotle and Xenocrates to leave Athens together and repair to the court of Hermias. Aristotle admired Hermias, and married his friend’s sister or niece, Pythias, by whom he had his daughter Pythias. After the tragic death of Hermias, he retired for a time to Mitylene, and in 343–342 was summoned to Macedon by Philip to teach Alexander, who was then a boy of thirteen. According to Cicero (De Oratore, iii. 41), Philip wished his son, then a boy of thirteen, to receive from Aristotle “agendi praecepta et eloquendi.” Aristotle is said to have written on monarchy and on colonies for Alexander; and the pupil is said to have slept with his master’s edition of Homer under his pillow, and to have respected him, until from hatred of Aristotle’s tactless relative, Callisthenes, who was done to death in 328, he turned at last against Aristotle himself. Aristotle had power to teach, and Alexander to learn. Still we must not exaggerate the result. Dionysius must have spoken too strongly