When Plato died in 347 B.C., Aristotle left Athens and spent some years traveling, taking part in various intellectual circles at Assos and Lesbos. At Lesbos he began conducting his biological research, while his prior work had been concerned primarily with metaphysics and politics, in the form of responses to or even expositions of Plato's ideas. In 343 B.C. he was asked to tutor Philip's son, the future Alexander the Great. He spent three years with Alexander teaching primarily the standard subjects, such as rhetoric and poetry. He also encouraged Alexander's ambitions to conquer Persia, reinforcing the belief that non-Greeks were barbarians. Aristotle's xenophobic beliefs would never soften, and as Alexander's attitude toward the Persians changed, tension increased between the two men. Soon after Philip's death in 336 B.C., Aristotle returned to Athens, where he founded the
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