Aristotle was born at Stageira, a sea-port town of some little importance in the district of Chalcidice, in the first year of the 99th Olympiad. (B. C. 384.) His father, Nicomachus, an Asclepiad, was physician in ordinary to Amyntas II., king of Macedonia, and the author of several treatises on subjects connected with natural science. (Suidas, s.v. *)Aristote/lhs.) His mother, Phaestis (or Phaestias), was descended from a Chalcidian family (Dionys. de Demosth. et Arist. 5); and we find mention of his brother Arimnestus, and his sister Arimneste. (D. L. 5.15; Suid. l.c.) His father, who was a man of scientific culture, soon introduced his son at the court of the king of Macedonia in Pella, where at an early age he became acquainted with the son of Amyntas II., afterwards the celebrated Philip of Macedonia, who was only three years younger than Aristotle himself.
The studies and occupation of his father account for the early inclination m
ion and Timocrates, which belong to B. C. 355, so that the birth of Demosthenes would fall in B. C. 383 or 382, the latter of which is adopted by Clinton. (F. H. ii. p. 426, &c., 3rd edit.)
According to the account in the lives of the Ten Orators (p. 845. D.) Demosthenes was born in the archonship of Dexitheus, that is, B. C. 385, and this statement has been adopted by most modern critics, such as Becker, Böckh, Westermann, Thirlwall, and others; whereas some have endeavoured to prove that B. C. 384 was his birthyear.
The opinion now most commonly received is, that Demosthenes was born in B. C. 385. For detailed discussions on this question the reader is referred to the works mentioned at the end of this article.
When Demosthenes, the father, died, he left behind him a widow, the daughter of Gylon, and two children, Demosthenes, then a boy of seven, and a daughter who was only five years old. (Plut. Dem. 4; Dem. c. Aphob. ii. p. 836; Aeschin. c. Ctesiph. § 171; Boeckh, Corp. Inscrip