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The Academy (
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
: Ἀκαδημία) was founded by
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
in c. 387 BC in
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...
.
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
studied there for twenty years (367–347 BC) before founding his own school, the
Lyceum The lyceum is a category of educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. ...
. The Academy persisted throughout the
Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the conquest of Ptolemaic ...
as a
skeptical Skepticism (American English, American and Canadian English) or scepticism (British English, British, Hiberno-English, Irish, Australian English, Australian, and New Zealand English) is generally a questioning attitude or doubt towards one or m ...
school, until coming to an end after the death of
Philo of LarissaPhilo of Larissa Larissa (; el, Λάρισα, , ) is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region in Greece. It is the fifth-most populous city in Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country l ...
in 83 BC. The Platonic Academy was destroyed by the Roman dictator
Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Roman general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infan ...

Sulla
in 86 BC.


Site

The ''Akademia'' was a school outside the city walls of ancient
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
. It was located in or beside a grove of olive trees dedicated to the goddess
Athena Athena or Athene, often given the epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied ...

Athena
, which was on the site even before
Cimon Cimon or Kimon ( grc-gre, Κίμων; – 450BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropri ...

Cimon
enclosed the precincts with a wall. The archaic name for the site was ''Ἑκαδήμεια'' (''Hekademia''), which by classical times evolved into Ἀκαδημία (''Akademia''), which was explained, at least as early as the beginning of the 6th century BC, by linking it to "
Akademos Akademos or Academus (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period () ...
", a legendary Athenian
hero File:Wilhelm Tell Denkmal Altdorf um 1900.jpeg, upWilliam Tell, a popular folk hero of Switzerland. A hero (heroine in its feminine form) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through f ...
. The site of the Academy was sacred to Athena; it had sheltered her religious cult since the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
. The site was perhaps also associated with the twin hero-gods
Castor
Castor
and Polydeuces (the ''
Dioscuri Castor; grc, Κάστωρ, Kástōr, beaver. and Pollux. (or in Greek, Polydeukes.) are twin half-brothers in Greek mythology, Greek and Roman mythology, known together as the Dioscuri.; grc, Διόσκουροι, Dióskouroi, sons of Zeus, li ...
''), since the hero Akademos associated with the site was credited with revealing to the brothers where the abductor
Theseus Theseus (, ; grc-gre, Θησεύς ) was the myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are usually non-humans ...

Theseus
had hidden their sister
Helen Helen may refer to: People * Helen of Troy, in Greek mythology, the most beautiful woman in the world * Helen (actress) (born 1938), Indian actress * Helen (given name), a given name (including a list of people with the name) Places * Helen, Ge ...

Helen
. Out of respect for its long tradition and its association with the Dioscuri – who were
patron god A tutelary () (also tutelar) is a deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion)", or any ...
s of
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an . Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern as well as in , , , , , some islands in the southern and some cities on the south east coast of ...

Sparta
– the Spartan army would not ravage these original "groves of Academe" when they invaded
Attica Attica ( el, Αττική, Ancient Greek ''Attikḗ'' or , or ), or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital city, capital of Greece and its countryside. It is a peninsula projecting into the ...

Attica
. Their piety was not shared by the Roman
Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Roman general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infan ...
, who had the sacred olive trees of Athena cut down in 86 BC to build
siege engine A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city wall A defensive wall is a fortification A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories i ...
s. Among the religious observances that took place at the Akademeia was a torchlit night race from altars within the city to Prometheus' altar in the Akademeia. The road to Akademeia was lined with the gravestones of Athenians, and
funeral games Funeral games are athletic competitions held in honor of a recently deceased person. The celebration of funeral games was common to a number of ancient civilizations. Athletics and games such as wrestling are depicted on Sumerian statues dating f ...
also took place in the area as well as a Dionysiac procession from Athens to the Hekademeia and then back to the city. The site of the Academy is located near Colonus, approximately north of Athens'
Dipylon gates
Dipylon gates
.


Today

The site was rediscovered in the 20th century, in the modern Akadimia Platonos neighbourhood; considerable excavation has been accomplished and visiting the site is free. Visitors today can visit the archaeological site of the Academy located on either side of the Cratylus street in the area of Colonos and Plato's Academy (Postal Code GR 10442). On either side of the Cratylus street are important monuments, including the Sacred House Geometric Era, the Gymnasium (1st century BC – 1st century AD), the Proto-Helladic Vaulted House and the Peristyle Building (4th century BC), which is perhaps the only major building that belonged to the actual Academy of Plato.


History

The area to be Plato's Academy appears to be named after Academus, an
Attic An attic (sometimes referred to as a ''loft 's Near West Side A loft is a building's upper storey or elevated area in a room directly under the roof (American usage), or just an attic: a storage space under the roof usually accessed by a lad ...

Attic
hero in
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
. Academus was said to have saved Athens from attack by Sparta, revealing where
Helen of Troy In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy, Helen, Helena, (Ancient Greek: Ἑλένη ''Helénē'', ) also known as beautiful Helen, Helen of Argos, or Helen of Sparta, was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was believed to hav ...

Helen of Troy
was hidden, when she had been kidnapped by King
Theseus Theseus (, ; grc-gre, Θησεύς ) was the myth Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are usually non-humans ...

Theseus
years before the incidents of the later
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
. Having thus spared Athens a war (or at least delayed it), Academus was seen as a savior of Athens. His land, six stadia (a total of about one kilometer, or a half mile, the exact length of a stadion varied) north of Athens, became revered even by neighboring city-states, escaping destruction during the many local wars. This piece of land was in historic Greek times adorned with oriental plane and olive plantations and was called Academia after its original owner. What was later to be known as Plato's school appears to have been part of Academia. Plato inherited the property at the age of thirty, with informal gatherings which included Theaetetus of Sunium,
Archytas Archytas (; el, Ἀρχύτας; 435/410–360/350 BC) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is oft ...

Archytas
of Tarentum, Leodamas of Thasos, and Neoclides. According to Debra Nails,
Speusippus Speusippus (; el, Σπεύσιππος; c. 408 – 339/8 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It ...
"joined the group in about 390 BC". She claims, "It is not until Eudoxus of Cnidos arrives in the mid-380s BC that Eudemus recognizes a formal Academy." There is no historical record of the exact time the school was officially founded, but modern scholars generally agree that the time was the mid-380s, probably sometime after 387 BC, when Plato is thought to have returned from his first visit to Italy and Sicily. Originally, the meetings were held on Plato's property as often as they were at the nearby Academy gymnasium; this remained so throughout the fourth century. Though the academy was open to the public, the main participants were upper-class men. It did not, at least during Plato's time, charge fees for membership. Therefore, there was probably not at that time a "school" in the sense of a clear distinction between teachers and students, or even a formal curriculum. There was, however, a distinction between senior and junior members. Two women are known to have studied with Plato at the Academy, Axiothea of Phlius and Lasthenia of Mantinea. In at least Plato's time, the school did not have any particular doctrine to teach; rather, Plato (and probably other associates of his) posed problems to be studied and solved by the others. There is evidence of lectures given, most notably Plato's lecture "On the Good"; but probably the use of
dialectic Dialectic or dialectics ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States Engli ...
was more common. According to an unverifiable story, dated of some 700 years after the founding of the school, above the entrance to the Academy was inscribed the phrase "Let None But
Geometer A geometer is a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, st ...
s Enter Here." Many have imagined that the Academic curriculum would have closely resembled the one canvassed in Plato's ''
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
''. Others, however, have argued that such a picture ignores the obvious peculiar arrangements of the ideal society envisioned in that dialogue. The subjects of study almost certainly included mathematics as well as the philosophical topics with which the Platonic dialogues deal, but there is little reliable evidence. There is some evidence for what today would be considered strictly scientific research: Simplicius reports that Plato had instructed the other members to discover the simplest explanation of the observable, irregular motion of heavenly bodies: "by hypothesizing what uniform and ordered motions is it possible to save the appearances relating to planetary motions." (According to Simplicius, Plato's colleague Eudoxus was the first to have worked on this problem.) Plato's Academy is often said to have been a school for would-be politicians in the ancient world, and to have had many illustrious alumni. In a recent survey of the evidence,
Malcolm Schofield Malcolm Schofield, (born 19 April 1942) is a British classicist and academic, specialising in ancient philosophy This page lists some links to ancient philosophy, namely philosophical thought extending as far as early post-classical history ( ...
, however, has argued that it is difficult to know to what extent the Academy was interested in practical (i.e., non-theoretical) politics since much of our evidence "reflects ancient polemic for or against Plato".


The three Platonic eras

Diogenes Laërtius Diogenes Laërtius ( ; grc-gre, Διογένης Λαέρτιος, Dīogénēs Lāértios; ) was a biographer of the Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the ...
divided the history of the Academy into three: the Old, the Middle, and the New. At the head of the Old he put Plato, at the head of the Middle Academy,
Arcesilaus Arcesilaus (; grc-gre, Ἀρκεσίλαος; 316/5–241/0 BC) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country ...
, and of the New, Lacydes.
Sextus Empiricus Sextus Empiricus ( grc-gre, Σέξτος Ἐμπειρικός; c. 160 – c. 210 AD) was a Ancient Greece, Greek Pyrrhonism, Pyrrhonist philosopher and a physician. His philosophical works are the most complete surviving account of ancient Gree ...
enumerated five divisions of the followers of Plato. He made Plato founder of the first Academy; Arcesilaus of the second;
Carneades Carneades (; el, Καρνεάδης, ''Karneadēs'', "of Carnea Carneia ( grc, Κάρνεια, or grc, Καρνεῖα ''Karneia'', or grc, Κάρνεα ''Karnea'') was the name of one of the tribal traditional festival of Sparta Spar ...

Carneades
of the third;
Philo Philo of Alexandria (; grc, Φίλων, Phílōn; he, , Yedidia (Jedediah) HaCohen; ), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is t ...
and Charmadas of the fourth; and Antiochus of the fifth.
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
recognised only two Academies, the Old and New, and had the latter commence with Arcesilaus.


Old Academy

Plato's immediate successors as "
Scholarch A scholarch ( grc, σχολάρχης, ''scholarchēs'') was the head of a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of tea ...
" of the Academy were
Speusippus Speusippus (; el, Σπεύσιππος; c. 408 – 339/8 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It ...
(347–339 BC),
Xenocrates Xenocrates (; el, Ξενοκράτης; c. 396/5314/3 BC) of Chalcedon was a Greek philosopher, mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes t ...

Xenocrates
(339–314 BC), Polemon (314–269 BC), and Crates (c. 269–266 BC). Other notable members of the Academy include
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
, Heraclides, Eudoxus,
Philip of OpusPhilip (or Philippus) of Opus ( el, Φίλιππος Ὀπούντιος), was a philosopher and a member of the Academy An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Gree ...
, and
Crantor Crantor ( el, Κράντωρ, ''gen''.: Κράντορος; died 276/5 BC) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a ...
.


Middle Academy

Around 266 BC
Arcesilaus Arcesilaus (; grc-gre, Ἀρκεσίλαος; 316/5–241/0 BC) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country ...
became Scholarch. Under Arcesilaus (c. 266–241 BC), the Academy strongly emphasized a version of
Academic skepticism Academic skepticism refers to the philosophical skepticism, skeptical period of ancient Platonism dating from around 266 BC, when Arcesilaus became scholarch of the Platonic Academy, until around 90 BC, when Antiochus of Ascalon rejected skepticism ...
closely similar to
Pyrrhonism Pyrrhonism is a school of philosophical skepticism Philosophical skepticism (American and British English spelling differences, UK spelling: scepticism; from Ancient Greek, Greek σκέψις ''skepsis'', "inquiry") is a family of Philosophy, p ...
. Arcesilaus was followed by
Lacydes of Cyrene Lacydes of Cyrene Cyrene may refer to: Antiquity * Cyrene (mythology), an ancient Greek mythological figure * Cyrene, Libya, an ancient Greek colony in North Africa (modern Libya) ** Crete and Cyrenaica, a province of the Roman Empire ** Cyrenaic ...
(241–215 BC), Evander and
TeleclesTelecles ( el, Τηλεκλῆς), of Phocis Phocis ( el, Φωκίδα, , grc, Φωκίς ) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Central Greece (region), Central Greece. It stretches from the western ...
(jointly) (205 – c. 165 BC), and Hegesinus (c. 160 BC).


New Academy

The New or Third Academy begins with
Carneades Carneades (; el, Καρνεάδης, ''Karneadēs'', "of Carnea Carneia ( grc, Κάρνεια, or grc, Καρνεῖα ''Karneia'', or grc, Κάρνεα ''Karnea'') was the name of one of the tribal traditional festival of Sparta Spar ...

Carneades
, in 155 BC, the fourth Scholarch in succession from Arcesilaus. It was still largely skeptical, denying the possibility of knowing an absolute truth. Carneades was followed by Clitomachus (129 – c. 110 BC) and
Philo of LarissaPhilo of Larissa Larissa (; el, Λάρισα, , ) is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region in Greece. It is the fifth-most populous city in Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country l ...
("the last undisputed head of the Academy," c. 110–84 BC). According to
Jonathan Barnes Jonathan Barnes, FBA (born 26 December 1942 in Wenlock, Shropshire) is an English scholar of Aristotelian and ancient philosophy. Education and career He was educated at the City of London School , established = , closed = , type = Pub ...
, "It seems likely that Philo was the last Platonist geographically connected to the Academy." Around 90 BC, Philo's student
Antiochus of AscalonAntiochus of Ascalon (; grc-gre, Άντίοχος ὁ Ἀσκαλώνιος; c. 125 – c. 68 BC) was an Academic philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφο ...
began teaching his own rival version of Platonism rejecting Skepticism and advocating
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...
, which began a new phase known as
Middle Platonism Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC – when Antiochus of Ascalon rejected the scepticism of the New Academy – until the development of Neoplatoni ...
.


Destruction of the Academy

When the
First Mithridatic War The First Mithridatic War (89–85 BC) was a war challenging the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization, run through res publica, public Representation ...
began in 88 BC, Philo of Larissa left Athens and took refuge in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
, where he seems to have remained until his death. In 86 BC,
Lucius Cornelius Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Ancient Romans, Roman List of Roman generals, general and Politician, statesman. He won the first large-scale civil war in Roman history, and became the first man of Rom ...
laid siege to Athens and conquered the city, causing much destruction. It was during the siege that he laid waste to the Academy, as Plutarch relates: "He laid hands upon the sacred groves and ravaged the Academy, which was the most wooded of the city's suburbs, as well as the
Lyceum The lyceum is a category of educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. ...
." The destruction of the Academy seems to have been so severe as to make the reconstruction and re-opening of the Academy impossible. When Antiochus returned to Athens from
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

Alexandria
, c. 84 BC, he resumed his teaching but not in the Academy.
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
, who studied under him in 79/8 BC, refers to Antiochus teaching in a gymnasium called ''Ptolemy''. Cicero describes a visit to the site of the Academy one afternoon, which was "quiet and deserted at that hour of the day".


Neoplatonic Academy

Despite the Platonic Academy being destroyed in the first century BC, the philosophers continued to teach
Platonism Platonism is the philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy o ...
in Athens during the
Roman era In , ancient Rome is civilization from the founding of the Italian city of in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the in the 5th century AD, encompassing the (753 BC–509 BC), (509 BC–27 BC) and (27 BC–476 AD) until the fall of ...
, but it was not until the early 5th century (c. 410) that a revived academy (which had no connection with the original Academy) was established by some leading
neoplatonists Neoplatonism is a strand of Platonic Plato's influence on Western culture was so profound that several different concepts are linked by being called Platonic or Platonist, for accepting some assumptions of Platonism, but which do not imply accep ...
. The origins of neoplatonist teaching in Athens are uncertain, but when
Proclus Proclus Lycius (; 410/411/ 7 Feb. or 8 Feb. 412 –17 April 485 AD), called Proclus the Successor, Proclus the Platonic Successor, or Proclus of Athens (Greek: Προκλου Διαδοχου ''Próklos Diádochos'', ''"''in some Manuscript ...
arrived in Athens in the early 430s, he found
Plutarch of Athens Plutarch of Athens ( el, Πλούταρχος ὁ Ἀθηναῖος; c. 350 – 430 AD) was a Greek philosopher and Neoplatonist who taught in Athens at the beginning of the 5th century. He reestablished the Platonic Academy there and became its ...
and his colleague
Syrianus Syrianus ( grc, Συριανός, ''Syrianos''; died c. 437) was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, mean ...
teaching in an Academy there. The neoplatonists in Athens called themselves "successors" ('''', but of Plato) and presented themselves as an uninterrupted tradition reaching back to Plato, but there cannot have actually been any geographical, institutional, economic or personal continuity with the original academy.Gerald Bechtle, Bryn Mawr Classical Review of Rainer Thiel, ''Simplikios und das Ende der neuplatonischen Schule in Athen''. Stuttgart, 1999
(in English).
The school seems to have been a private foundation, conducted in a large house which Proclus eventually inherited from Plutarch and Syrianus.''The Cambridge Ancient History'', (1970), Volume XIV, page 837. Cambridge University Press. The heads of the Neoplatonic Academy were
Plutarch of Athens Plutarch of Athens ( el, Πλούταρχος ὁ Ἀθηναῖος; c. 350 – 430 AD) was a Greek philosopher and Neoplatonist who taught in Athens at the beginning of the 5th century. He reestablished the Platonic Academy there and became its ...
,
Syrianus Syrianus ( grc, Συριανός, ''Syrianos''; died c. 437) was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, mean ...
,
Proclus Proclus Lycius (; 410/411/ 7 Feb. or 8 Feb. 412 –17 April 485 AD), called Proclus the Successor, Proclus the Platonic Successor, or Proclus of Athens (Greek: Προκλου Διαδοχου ''Próklos Diádochos'', ''"''in some Manuscript ...
, Marinus,
Isidore Isidore (; IZ-ə-dawr), also spelled Isador, Isadore and Isidor) is an English and French masculine given name. The name is derived from the Greek name Isídor - Isídōros (Ἰσίδωρος) and can literally be translated to "gift of Isis." The n ...
, and finally
DamasciusDamascius (; grc-gre, Δαμάσκιος, 458 – after 538), known as "the last of the Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the School of Athens. He was one of the pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic ...
. The Neoplatonic Academy reached its apex under Proclus (died 485). Severianus studied under him. The last "Greek" philosophers of the revived Neoplatonic Academy in the 6th century were drawn from various parts of the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
cultural world and suggest the broad
syncretism Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs and various schools of thought A school of thought, or intellectual tradition, is the perspective of a group of people who share common characteristics of opinion or outlook of a philosophy, Li ...
of the common culture (see ''
koine Koine Greek (;. Modern , ), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Gre ...
''): Five of the seven Academy philosophers mentioned by
Agathias Agathias or Agathias Scholasticus ( grc-gre, Ἀγαθίας σχολαστικός; Martindale, Jones & Morris (1992), pp. 23–25582/594), of Myrina (Mysia) Myrina ( grc, Μυρίνα) was one of the Aeolis, Aeolian cities on the western coast of ...
were
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...
in their cultural origin: Hermias and
Diogenes Diogenes ( ; grc, Διογένης, Diogénēs ), also known as Diogenes the Cynic (, ), was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynicism (philosophy), Cynic philosophy. He was born in Sinop, Turkey, Sinope, an Ionians, Ionian colony ...

Diogenes
(both from Phoenicia),
Isidorus Isidorus (born c. 139) was a native ancient Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corner of As ...
of Gaza,
DamasciusDamascius (; grc-gre, Δαμάσκιος, 458 – after 538), known as "the last of the Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the School of Athens. He was one of the pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic ...
of Syria, Iamblichus of Coele-Syria and perhaps even
Simplicius of CiliciaSimplicius of Cilicia (; el, Σιμπλίκιος ὁ Κίλιξ; c. 490 – c. 560) was a disciple of Ammonius Hermiae and Damascius, and was one of the last of the Neoplatonism, Neoplatonists. He was among the Paganism, pagan philosophers perse ...
. In 529 the
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

emperor
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
ended the funding of the revived Neoplatonic Academy. However, other philosophical schools continued in Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria, which were the centres of Justinian's empire. The last scholarch of the Neoplatonic Academy was
DamasciusDamascius (; grc-gre, Δαμάσκιος, 458 – after 538), known as "the last of the Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the School of Athens. He was one of the pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic ...
(d. 540). According to
Agathias Agathias or Agathias Scholasticus ( grc-gre, Ἀγαθίας σχολαστικός; Martindale, Jones & Morris (1992), pp. 23–25582/594), of Myrina (Mysia) Myrina ( grc, Μυρίνα) was one of the Aeolis, Aeolian cities on the western coast of ...
, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of
Sassanid The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...
king
Khosrau I Khosrow I (also spelled Khosrau, Xusro or Cosroe; pal, 𐭧𐭥𐭮𐭫𐭥𐭣𐭩; New Persian: []), traditionally known by his epithet of Anushirvan ( [] "the Immortal Soul"), was the Sasanian Empire, Sasanian King of Kings of Iran from 531 t ...
in his capital at Ctesiphon, carrying with them precious scrolls of literature and philosophy, and to a lesser degree of science. After a peace treaty between the Persian and the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
in 532, their personal security (an early document in the history of
freedom of religion Freedom of religion or religious liberty is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in ...
) was guaranteed. It has been speculated that the Neoplatonic Academy did not altogether disappear.Richard Sorabji, (2005), ''The Philosophy of the Commentators, 200–600 AD: Psychology (with Ethics and Religion)'', page 11. Cornell University Press After his exile, Simplicius (and perhaps some others) may have travelled to Carrhae near
Edessa Edessa (; grc, Ἔδεσσα, Édessa) was an ancient city (''polis'') in Upper Mesopotamia, founded during the Hellenistic period by King Seleucus I Nicator (), founder of the Seleucid Empire. It later became capital of the Kingdom of Osroene ...
. From there, the students of an Academy-in-exile could have survived into the 9th century, long enough to facilitate an Arabic revival of the neoplatonist commentary tradition in
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
, beginning with the foundation of the
House of Wisdom The House of Wisdom ( ar, بيت الحكمة, Bayt al-Ḥikmah), also known as the Grand Library of Baghdad, refers to either a major Abbasid Caliphate, Abbasid public academy and intellectual center in Baghdad or to a large private library be ...
in 832. One of the major centers of learning in the intervening period (6th to 8th centuries) was the
Academy of Gundishapur The Academy of Gondishapur ( fa, فرهنگستان گندی‌شاپور, Farhangestân-e Gondišâpur), also known as the Gondishapur University (دانشگاه گندی‌شاپور Dânešgâh-e Jondišapur), was one of the three Sasanian ce ...
in
Sassanid Persia The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Pe ...
.


See also

*
Academy of Athens (modern) The Academy of Athens ( el, Ακαδημία Αθηνών, ''Akadimía Athinón'') is Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its popu ...
*
Agora Image:TyreAlMinaAgora.jpg, upAgora of Tyre, Lebanon, Tyre The agora (; grc, ἀγορά ''agorá'') was a central public space in ancient Ancient Greece, Greek polis, city-states. It is the best representation of a city-state's response to accom ...

Agora
*
Cyrenaics The Cyrenaics or Kyrenaics ( grc, Κυρηναϊκοί; ''Kyrēnaïkoí'') were a sensual hedonist Greek school of philosophy founded in the 4th century BCE, supposedly by Aristippus of Cyrene, although many of the principles of the school are ...
*
Epicureanism Epicureanism is a system of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Ph ...
*
Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge ...
*
Lyceum (Classical) The Lyceum ( grc, Λύκειον, Lykeion) was a temple dedicated to Apollo Lyceus The Apollo Lyceus ( el, Ἀπόλλων Λύκειος, ''Apollōn Lukeios'') type, also known as Lycean Apollo, originating with Praxiteles Praxiteles (; ...
*
Peripatetic school The Peripatetic school was a school of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, m ...
* Plato's Academy mosaic *
Platonic Academy (Florence) The Platonic Academy (also known as the Neoplatonic Florentine Academy) was a 15th-century discussion group in Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany Regions of Italy, region. It is ...
*
Platonism Platonism is the philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of ...
*
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...


Notes


References

* Baltes, M. 1993. "Plato's School, the Academy." ''Hermathena'', (155): 5-26. * Brunt, P. A. 1993. "Plato's Academy and Politics." In ''Studies in Greek History and Thought.'' Oxford: Clarendon Press, Chapter 10, 282–342. * Cherniss, H. 1945. ''The Riddle of the Early Academy.'' Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. * Dancy, R. M. 1991. ''Two Studies in the Early Academy.'' Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. * Dillon, J. M. 1979. "The Academy in the Middle Platonic Period." ''Dionysius,'' 3: 63–77. * Dillon, J. 2003. ''The Heirs of Plato. A Study of the Old Academy, 347–274 BC.'' Oxford: Clarendon Press. * Dorandi, T. 1999. "Chronology: The Academy." In ''The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy.'' Edited by Keimpe Algra, Jonathan Barnes, Jaap Mansfeld, and Malcolm Schofield, 31–35. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press. * Glucker, J. 1978. ''Antiochus and the Late Academy.'' Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. * Lynch, J. P. 1972. ''Aristotle's School: A Study of a Greek Educational Institution''. Berkeley: University of California Press. * Murray, J. S. 2006. "Searching for Plato's Academy, 1929-1940." ''Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada,'' 6 (2): 219-56 * Russell, J. H. 2012. "When Philosophers Rule: The Platonic Academy and Statesmanship." ''History of Political Thought,'' 33 (2): 209–230. * Wallach, J. R. 2002. "The Platonic Academy and Democracy." ''Polis (Exeter),'' 19 (1-2): 7-27 * Watts, E. 2007. "Creating the Academy: Historical Discourse and the Shape of Community in the Old Academy". ''The Journal of Hellenic Studies'', 127: 106–122. * Wycherley, R. 1961. "Peripatos: The Athenian Philosophical Scene—I". ''Greece & Rome'', 8(2), 152–163. * Wycherley, R. 1962. Peripatos: The Athenian Philosophical Scene—II". ''Greece & Rome'', 9(1), 2–21. * Zhmud, Leonid. 2006. "Science in the Platonic Academy". In ''The Origin of the History of Science in Classical Antiquity''. pp. 82–116. Berlin: De Gruyter.


External links

*
The Academy
entry in the
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy The ''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (''IEP'') is a scholarly online encyclopedia An online encyclopedia, also called an Internet encyclopedia, or a digital encyclopedia, is an encyclopedia An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (Britis ...

Directions to the archaeological site of Plato's Academy, other useful information, and some photos
{{Authority control 380s BC establishments Ancient Athens Archaeological sites in Attica Educational institutions established in the 4th century BC Education in classical antiquity Hellenistic civilization Landmarks in Athens
Academy An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociol ...
Academy An academy (Attic Greek Attic Greek is the Greek language, Greek dialect of the regions of ancient Greece, ancient region of Attica, including the ''polis'' of classical Athens, Athens. Often called classical Greek, it was the prestige (sociol ...
Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Greece Gymnasiums (ancient Greece) Academic skepticism