|Photo: Amy Ellis Nutt|
For starters, he is the father of Western science and Western philosophy. He invented formal logic and the scientific method and wrote the first books about biology, physics, astronomy and psychology. Freedom and democracy, justice and equality, the importance of a middle class and the dangers of credit -- they're just a sampling of Aristotle's political and economic principles. And, yes, Christianity, Islam and our Founding Fathers also owe him a lot.
Nearly 2-1/2 millennia after Aristotle's birth, we now know where his ashes most likely were laid to rest: in the city of his birth, Stagira, on a small, picturesque peninsula in northern Greece.
"We have no [concrete] evidence, but very strong indications reaching almost to certainty," archaeologist Kostas Sismanidis said through a translator at this week's World Congress celebrating "Aristotle 2400 Years."
Although Aristotle didn't die in Stagira, two ancient historians, Plutarch and Pliny, refer to his ashes being interred there in an above-ground tomb topped by a ceramic dome.
For more than a quarter-century, Sismanidis has been looking for the evidence. He found it not in a single, 'aha' moment of discovery but in a slow, steady accumulation of clues.
First and foremost among them: The very public nature of the site, high on a hill, makes sense. Aristotle was a hometown hero to the free citizens of Stagira, who in 348 B.C. were conquered and enslaved by King Phillip II as their city was destroyed. Only with Aristotle's urging, did Phillip -- or perhaps his son, Alexander the Great -- rebuild Stagira nine years later. (It didn't hurt that Aristotle had been Alexander's tutor, and Alexander the teacher's pet.)
Source: Washington Post