Theophrastus

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About
On his deathbed the Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle was asked to choose his successor as head of the peripatetic school. He sent for Rhodian wine. ‘This is indeed a good, sound wine,’ he said as he sipped it. Then he asked for a cup of Lesbian wine. ‘Both are excellent,’ he said, ‘but the Lesbian is the sweeter.’ His followers took the gentle hint, passed over Eudemus of Rhodes, and appointed Theophrastus of Eresus on Lesbos as their head. Born about 371 bc, Theophrastus had come to Athens to study under Aristotle. He succeeded his teacher in 322 and died about 287.