Did Aristotle have any role in Alexander’s conquests, like Chanakya in Chandragupta?

By Sunil Kumar

Aristotle and Chanakya have a few similarities, but many differences. Unlike Kautilya a political and pragmatic strategist, who was instrumental in Chandragupta Maurya’s dethroning of the Nanda dynasty and laying the foundation of one of the ancient world’s biggest empires, Aristotle was merely a teacher.

Alexander was certainly inspired by Aristotle’s teachings, but his initiative and daring were solely his own. Chanakya on the other hand had a more instrumental role in the shaping of Chandragupta Maurya as he was possessed by a personal vengeance against the arrogant Nanda king. In contrast, Aristotle seems to be more like a mild university professor.

Then the difference in culture. In India, which is an Eastern society, there used to be and still is to some extent more veneration for the acharya or the teacher. Alexander in contrast already was a man who belonged to privileged class, with his father Philip of Macedon and mother Olympias, a Dionysian who supposedly slept with snakes in her bed. His mother was quite an influence on the man.

Both their life stories(Alexander and Chandragupta Maurya) are contrasting and similar only in terms of determination and courage. Aristotle and Chanakya may be scholastically similar, but are different like chalk and cheese.

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