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by Archaeology Newsroom

Aristotle and his contribution to biology

Aristotle was bom in 384 BC in Stagira, a small town of NE Chalkidiki peninsula. His father, Nikomachos,was the doctor of Amyndas II, King of Macedonia. Aristotle at the age of seventeen emigrated to Athens, where up to the age of thirty-eight he attended Plato’s Academy studying a variety of sciences. In 354 BC he presents his own ideas and thoughts in his Dialogues. After Plato’s death, he left Athens and settled in Assos, where he instituted a school; three year later, having been invited by Theophrastos, he travelled to Mytilene where the natural environment offers him a strong initiative for his research. The landscape of the island, forests, waters, animals as well as its inhabitants, and his acquaintance with fishermen, hunters and farmers furnish substantial material for his later works. In 342 Philipp II, King of Macedonia invites Aristotle to Macedonia and assigns to him the education of his son and heir Alexander the Great. However, Aristotle owes his fame to his reputation as a researcher in Zoology and Biology. In his biological writings he appears to have a good knowledge of over five hundred animal species, while his desriptions indicate that he must have performed anatomic research on more than fifty of them. In his three voluminous biological works he gives a full and detailed description of the various animal characteristics. The work of Aristotle never passed into oblivion. In eighth century Byzantium his writings enjoy fame and high reputation, while in the twelfth century they are translated into Latin and gain publicity in the West. Aristotle is the father of Biology, which retained the principles, content and form, that he had introduced and defined, until the nineteenth century.