De Aristotele

ARISTOTLE taught Alexander that he should restrain himself from frequently approaching his wife, who was very beautiful, lest he should impede his spirit from seeking the general good. Alexander acquiesced to him. The queen, when she perceived this and was upset, began to draw Aristotle to love her. Many times she crossed paths with him alone, with bare feet and disheveled hair, so that she might entice him.

At last, being enticed, he began to solicit her carnally. She says, “This I will certainly not do, unless I see a sign of love, lest you be testing me. Therefore, come to my chamber crawling on hand and foot, in order to carry me like a horse. Then I’ll know that you aren’t deluding me.”

When he had consented to that condition, she secretly told the matter to Alexander, who lying in wait apprehended him carrying the queen. When Alexander wished to kill Aristotle, in order to excuse himself, Aristotle says, “If thus it happened to me, an old man most wise, that I was deceived by a woman, you can see that I taught you well, that it could happen to you, a young man.”

Hearing that, the king spared him, and made progress in Aristotle’s teachings.


For historical details and sources see the first comment.

One thought on “De Aristotele

  1. The Latin original was printed 1843 in vol VIII of Early English poetry, ballads, and popular literature of the Middle Ages, together with 148 exempli from various sources, mainly the Summa Praedicantium of John of Bromyard, and the Promptuarium Exemplorum.

    John of Bromyard was a Dominican in the 14th century, Wikipedia and Catholic Encyclopedia give somewhat different dates. As for the Promptuarium Exemplorum, the editor puts it into the early fifteenth century. It is somewhat difficult to trace on the web, where the title is mainly associated with a 16th century German work, maybe it was this book.

    I found the translation here, I just removed two additions that made it sound more like a fairy tale.

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