Week 27

When Aristotle died in 322 BC, just one year after the death of his friend and patron Alexander the Great, he left behind  a vast collection of books, notes, student notes, lecture notes etc. These works were a summary of all of western philosophical thought in the late 4th century BC in Greece. The trinity of Socrates-Plato-Aristotle had changed western thought forever. Now the challenge was for these ideas to endure and to be passed down to later generations. This Aristotelian legacy is our story in this week 27 of Ancient Greece spring quarter.

Among the recommended books below, I want to call your attention to Richard Rubenstein's Aristotle's Children. This is a brilliant history of the two thousand year long journey of Aristotelian ideas and documents that have flowed through Western Civilization ever since Aristotle's death in 322 BC. Especially helpful are the details about Aristotle's texts and where they were kept, where they went, how they got to Iran and Iraq, how they got to Spain, how they got to Paris and then back into the philosophical schools of Europe in the 13th century and then finally to Renaissance Italy where the first printed texts of Aristotle and Plato in Greek were primed in Venice about 1500.


Michael Scott,

From Democrats to Kings,

The Overlook Press; 1 edition (September 16, 2010),

ISBN 1590203917

Edith Hall,

Aristotle's Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life,

Penguin Press,

ISBN 0735220808

Richard E. Rubenstein,

Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages,


ISBN 140256872X