Saturday, February 16, 2013

Through The Ages - Cards - Aristotle

This is a series of blogs written about each card in Through The Ages.  To find more, simply click on "Cards" label.
Aristotle was a Greek Philosopher who lived from 384 to 322 BC.  His area of expertise expanded many different areas, from the physical sciences and logic to art and theology.  It is hard to determine his primary influence, as he influenced nearly all areas of study.  Some of his biological studies were not confirmed until the 19th century.

Born in 384 BC to the court physician in Stageira, Thrace, he eventually traveled to Athens to study at Plato's Academy.  For 20 years he stayed at the Academy, eventually becoming a teacher.  After the death of Plato, Aristotle left Athens, becoming the court philosopher for Assos, Asia Minor.  There he married the king's daughter Pythias and they eventually had a daughter (also named Pythias).  Five years later the King was killed in battle and Aristotle was summoned by the king of Macedon, Philip II to tutor his children.  Philip II would be the king that built the Macedonian Army, and his son became Alexander the Great.

After 10 years, Alexander rose to the throne, and Aristotle took his leave.  He returned to Athens and founded his own school, the Lyceum.  The Lyceum was a school where Aristotle instructed the next generation of philosophers, though Lyceum would fade away in the shadow of the Academy.  Aristotle died in 322 BC.

It is believed Aristotle wrote over 150 treatise on various topics.  Only about a third or so made it to our age.  His primary belief was the world could be understood through physical examination of the world.  His teachings were praised by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars.  Unfortunately, religious dogma being what it is, any new idea which contradicted Aristotle became heresy.  Although Aristotle greatly advanced human progress, particularly in the West, this religious dogma would slow down the advancement of new ideas of others.

Game Stats

Aristotle is one of the most popular leaders.  His ability to jump start the science economy can be a great bonus as it sets the player up for later in the game.

Personally, I prefer Aristotle over Julius Caesar.  Caesar improves the likelihood of drawing a military card, but does not guarantee the card draw.  Aristotle permits the player to learn key technologies, providing flexibility to the player's available actions.  With Aristotle a player is less likely to suffer from Science Lock, and can implement technologies which provide the same benefit as Caesar, but for the remainder of the game.

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