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Assos, Cannakale, Turkey

Assos, Cannakkale, also known as Behramkale or for short Behram, is a small historically rich town in the Ayvacık district of the Çanakkale Province, Turkey.

After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle (joined by Xenocrates) went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias, and opened an Academy in this city. In the Academy of Assos, Aristotle became a chief to a group of philosophers, and together with them, he made innovative observations on zoology and biology. When the Persians attacked Assos, Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon. There, he tutored Philip’s son, Alexander the Great.There is a modern statue of Aristotle at the town entrance.

Though perhaps best known for his scientific treatises, Aristotle also published his Ethics and Politics, and his influence in these areas also reached Alexander. Aristotle asserted this influence particularly with regard to the so-called barbarians–a term that was used to characterize essentially all non-Greeks. Alexander himself was already passionately anti-Persian; and Aristotle provided him with the intellectual justifications for his fated and inherited mission. Aristotle believed that slavery was a natural institution, and that barbarians were by nature meant to be slaves. He therefore encouraged Alexander to be a leader to Greeks and a despot to barbarians, treating the former as friends and the latter as beasts.

Read more: A summary of Aristotle in ‘s Alexander the Great