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of quitting the city before the day of trial, left Athens and retired to Chalcis in Eubea, which was then being held by a Macedonian garrison. He went, as he said, “in order that the • Athenians might not have another opportunity of sinning
against philosophy, as they had already done once in the • person of Socrates.' He had left his school and library at Athens in charge of Theophrastus, and he was looking forward to a speedy return to them, as Antipater in the Lamian war soon put down all opposition to the Macedonian arms throughout Greece ; but he was seized with illness, and died at Chalcis in the year 322 B.C., being probably rather more than sixtyone years of age. His will has been preserved by Diogenes Laertius, and the provisions in it indicate a kind, just, and generous disposition. Indeed there is no act recorded with any certainty of Aristotle which would lead us to think otherwise than well of him. But there were many accusations against him in antiquity, and many works were written, some by contemporaries, others by subsequent Platonists, containing various charges against him, such as ingratitude to Plato, servility to the Macedonians, luxury and love of display, and so
Themistius (quoted by Grote) mentions a whole host of his attackers (στρατόν όλον των επιθεμένων 'Αριστοτέλει το Erayelpírn), whose works, he said, survived, “keeping alive the • spirit of enmity and jealousy against him.
gainst him.' Grote shows that there were three classes of persons from whom the ranks of Aristotle's detractors would be naturally recruited—1st, the numerous friends of the orator Isocrates, with whom Aristotle had in earlier life put himself into competition; 2nd, the Platonists, who resented Aristotle's divergence from their master and his polemic against certain points of the Platonic system; 3rd, the anti-Macedonian party, who indiscriminately visited on Aristotle the political acts of Alexander. The existence of these different sources of partisan feeling against Aristotle is sufficient to account for the bitterness of the attacks made against one so eminent, and at the same time to lead us to doubt their fairness. Aristotle was probably never popular in Athens. He very likely exhibited some of those proud characteristics which he attributes in his Ethics' to the * great-souled’ man (usyalóyuxos) who claims great things for himself, because he is worthy of them,'' who cannot bear
to associate with any one except a friend,' &c. Aristotle was capable of devoted and generous friendship, as he showed in the case of Hermeias ; and his family affections were strong, as his will exhibits, but he may easily have been cold and reserved towards general society in Athens. In regard to
Isocrates, he certainly appears to have exhibited a want of consideration in pressing forwards to compete with so respectable a senior. Aristotle doubtless saw, even as a young man, with tenfold more penetration than Isocrates, the scientific rationale of the art of rhetoric, but it may be doubted whether he equalled him in personal manner and the os rotundum which goes such a long way even with tolerably cultivated audiences. Probably there were few who could discern Aristotle's essential superiority in the philosophy of rhetoric, and by many he would be rated as a mere pretentious upstart in this field. As to his polemic against the Ideas of Plato, we are not in a position to pronounce fully upon the manner in which this was conducted, for the main attack was contained in those dialogues of Aristotle which are now lost; and the passages on this question which occur in his extant works have all the appearance of being a mere résumé of former and more lengthy arguments. But even in these an apologetic tone is noticeable, as in the passage (Eth. Nic., 1. vi.) from which the famous saying
Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas,' has been taken. And Proclus, quoted by Philoponus (ii. 2) speaks of Aristotle as * proclaiming loudly in his dialogues that he was unable to
sympathise with the doctrine of Ideas, even though his opposition to it should be attributed to a factious spirit.' There may, very likely, have been a youthful vehemence in these dialogic criticisms. But time, the equaliser, has now fully sanctioned the right of Aristotle to differ from Plato, and all the talk about “ingratitude' seems now mere sentimentality. The only question for us is whether Aristotle's arguments against the doctrine of Ideas, or any other part of Plato's system (so far as he had a system), are sound or otherwise, and whether the views whicb Aristotle would substitute for those of Plato are or are not preferable. As to the charges brought against Aristotle of delicate living and display, we can only treat them as we should any other petty personal gossip retailed about a great man,
Grote, in his second chapter, dwells at length on the interesting story of the fate of the library and MSS. of Aristotle. At his death these came into the possession of Theophrastus, who continued for thirty-five years chief of the Peripatetic schools at Athens. When Theophrastus died, the whole joint collection containing the original works of both prilosophers, and all the books of others they had respectively
Και εν τοις διαλόγους σαφέστατα κεκραγώς μη δύνασθαι το δόγματι τούτω συμπαθείν, κάν τις αυτόν οίηται διά φιλοι εικίαν αντιλέγειν.
bought (as, for instance, the library of Spensippus, for which Aristotle was said to have given three talents, or 7201.) went by bequest to Neleus, a philosophical friend and pupil of Theophrastus, who carried them off to his own home at Scepsis, a town in the Troas. A generation after this occurrence, the kings of Pergamos began collecting books for their royal library, and the heirs of Neleus, in order to save the precious collection which was in their possession, but of which they themselves could make no use, from being seized and carried off to Pergamos, concealed it in a cellar, where it remained, a prey to worms and damp, for nearly one hundred and fifty years.
At the end of that time, the Attalid dynasty at Pergamos was extinct, the last of these kings, Attalus, having died in 133 B.C., bequeathing his kingdom to the Romans. The then possessors of the Aristotelian and Theophrastean libraries having no longer anything to fear from royal requisitions, brought out the MSS. from their hiding place, and sold them for a large sum to Apellicon of Teos, a wealthy man, resident at Athens, and attached to the Peripatetic sect. The precious rolls were now transferred, about the year 100 B.C., to Athens, after having been lost to the world for 187 years. They were found to be in very bad condition, and Apellicon caused copies of them to be taken, himself filling up on conjecture the gaps
which now existed in the worm-eaten text. His conjectures however were infelicitous, as he was more of a bibliophilist than a philosopher. Soon after his death, Athens was taken by Sylla (86 B c.), and the library of Apellicon was seized by him and brought to Rome. It was there preserved under the custody of a librarian, and various literary Greeks resident at Rome gained access to it. Tyrannion, the learned friend of Cicero, got permission to arrange the MSS.; and Andronicus of Rhodes, applying himself with earnestness to the task of obtaining a correct text and furnishing a complete edition of the philosophical works of Aristotle, arranged the different treatises and scattered fragments under their proper heads, and getting numerous transcripts made, gave publicity to a generally-received text of Aristotle.
The above story comes from Strabo, who gives it in his geographical work as a local fact in connexion with the town of Scepsis; he however only mentions Tyrannion as having taken the MSS. in hand. Plutarch repeats the tale in his life of Sylla, and adds the fact about the recension of Andronicus. And Porphyry, in his life of Plotinus, in a valuable passage quoted by Grote, gives the still more important information that Andronicus divided the works of Aristotle and Theo
phrastus into treatises, bringing together under common heads • the speculations that properly belonged to the respective 6 subjects.'* Strabo was the pupil of Tyrannion and the friend of Andronicus, and therefore the narrative of the library brought by Sylla to Rome, and of the mass of Aristotelian writings thus collectively brought to the notice of the Western world, and of the fresh interest in the Aristotelian philosophy which was thus awakened, rests on the authority of a contemporary writer, who had the best possible means of information, and in its main features must surely be accepted as accurate. But Strabo, and Plutarch after him, add some remarks which are rather of the nature of opinion than history, and we still hesitate to receive these unreservedly, though Grote is very anxious that we should do so. Both writers tell us that the decline of the Peripatetic school at Athens was caused by their losing, after the death of Theophrastus, all the works of Aristotle except a few, chiefly popular, treatises; that the earlier Peripatetics had thus no materials for systematic philosophy, and were reduced to rhetorical essay-making; and that the later Peripatetics, when the books came to light, were necessitated to frame conjectural interpretations of them, owing to the damaged condition of the text and the mass of errors introduced into it by the unskilfulness of Apellicon and the carelessness of the booksellers' copyists. Plutarch adds the express statement that it was for no want of personal zeal or ability, but entirely from the loss of the original writings, that the school had declined.
To us it would rather seem that in this statement cause and effect are transposed. It looks rather as if the apathy of the Peripatetics had caused the great works of Aristotle to be forgotten. We must remember that for thirty-five years after the death of Aristotle all his works are acknowledged to have been in possession of the school, and we know that during this time Theophrastus, Eudemus, Phanias, and others of his pupils were engaged partly in editing some of them, as for instance the Metaphysics,' and partly in making these works the basis of fresh treatises of their own. In this considerable period, added to the thirteen years of Aristotle's own oral teaching, surely if there had been any vitality in the school it would have so grasped the leading and organic ideas of the
* Ο δε τα 'Αριστοτέλους και θεοφράστου εις πραγματείας διείλε τας οικείας υποθέσεις είς ταυτόν συναγαγαγών.-πραγματεία was a body of scientific or philosophical truth, as, for instance, #paypareia quouń, or π. πολιτική.
Aristotelian system as to render it impossible that they should fall into oblivion. The school had a continuous life, Andronicus himself reckoning as the eleventh scholarch from Aristotle, and it ought to have had a continuous tradition. Can we fancy them, even after the loss of their school-library, forgetting the syllogism, and the categories, and the principles of logical division, and the four causes, and the distinction of the potential from the actual—and relapsing into mere smooth moral platitudes, so as to be contrasted, as they were, by Cicero with the logical severity of the Stoics—unless they had dwindled down and degenerated through the utter want of personal ability among themselves, so as really to have no pretence to being Aristotelians except in name ? Again, outside the school there seems to have been a considerable acquaintance with the doctrines of Aristotle. The logic of the Stoics, as drawn out by Chrysippus, contained a development of the principles of the Organon.' Grote himself mentions the Categories of the Stoics, of course suggested by and framed in reference to those of Aristotle. The Stoical ethics contained much that was Aristotelian, and Cicero went so far as to say that Zeno was no innovator, but only a reproducer of the Peripatetic doctrines. It is admitted that Aristotle's chief works were published either in his own lifetime or immediately afterwards, and copies must have been obtainable at Athens, for we know that Ptolemy Philadelphus bought a collection of them for the library at Alexandria. This being so, how could the earlier Peripatetics without a monstrous apathy have suffered themselves to be left without a copy of any of the more important works? Or how could the later ones, if there had been no want of ability among them, when the long-lost MSS. came to light again, have utterly failed in restoring, and even in adequately understanding the text, while Andronicus, as soon as he got hold of them, was able to make that lucid recension of them, which in all probability is what we at present possess ? About the corruption of the text, too, as described by Strabo, a difficulty arises, for internal examination of the works of Aristotle does not tend to show constant gaps filled up by the conjectures of an editor. This is the case, indeed, with the • Characters of Theophrastus, and sometimes with the Ethics of Eudemus,' which doubtless formed part of the collection brought by Sylla to Rome, but not with the great bulk of the works of Aristotle. If, therefore, the condition of Apellicon's MSS. was such as Strabo describes it, Andronicus must have been able to procure other copies of the Aristotelian writings, by