Herpyllis of Stageira, Pythias
Platonic Academy (367 BC – 347 BC)
Known as one of the greatest philosophers the world has known, Aristotle's knowledge was not marginalized to a specific subject. He penned theories on a vast range of topics like Anatomy, Biology, Geology, Physics and Zoology. Most of us might be aware of his beliefs, but there are perhaps only a few who are aware that he was the teacher of Alexander the Great, a renowned monarch. The famous emperor sought advice from his teacher Aristotle on every matter of importance, be it on the professional front like warfare or even personal, like his dietary regime. The book "Secretum Secretorum" (The Secret of Secrets), which Aristotle had penned was a compilation of letters exchanged between the philosopher and Alexander, which encompassed issues such as astrology, medicine, alchemy, ethics and statecraft. In one of the letters, the king apparently told Aristotle that he realized Persian men have the potential to rule a kingdom and hence, he is determined to kill them. However, before getting into action the monarch thought of seeking the advice of his tutor Aristotle. In his reply, this great philosopher asked Alexander not to proceed with his plans as killing Persian men is not the solution. Rather he advised him to win the hearts of his subjects by being kind to them. This advice worked wonders for the king and today we know him as "Alexander the Great", the one who conquered over the world and an iconic man in world history. He may not be physically present amongst us, but his beliefs will remain immortal and we can seek guidance from his quotes.