Hermias of Atarneus biography

Hermias of Atarneus

Male, Deceased Person

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Who is Hermias of Atarneus?

Hermias of Atarneus, who lived in Atarneus, was Aristotle's father-in-law.

The first mention of Hermias is as a slave to Eubulus, a Bithynian banker who ruled Atarneus. Hermias eventually won his freedom and inherited the rule of Atarneus. Due to his policies, his control expanded to other neighboring cities, such as Assos, in Asia Minor.

In his youth, Hermias had studied philosophy in Plato's Academy. There he first met Aristotle. After Plato's death in 347 BC, Xenocrates and Aristotle traveled to Assos under the patronage of Hermias. Aristotle founded his first philosophical school there and eventually married Pythias, Hermias' daughter or niece.

Hermias' towns were among those that revolted from Persian rule. In 342 BC, the Persian King, Artaxerxes III, sent Memnon of Rhodes to reconquer these coastal cities. Under the guise of truce, Memnon tricked Hermias into visiting him, whereupon he sent Hermias in chains to Susa. Hermias was tortured, presumably for Memnon to learn more about Philip of Macedon's upcoming invasion plans. Hermias' dying words were that he had done nothing unworthy of philosophy.

After Hermias' death, Aristotle dedicated a statue in Delphi and composed a hymn to Virtue in Hermias' honor.

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  • Platonic Academy

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on July 23, 2013

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