Platonic Academy
   HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

The Academy (
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 often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek (), Greek Dark ...
: Ἀκαδημία) was founded by
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thou ...
in c. 387 BC in
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...
.
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
studied there for twenty years (367–347 BC) before founding his own school, the
Lyceum The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies among countries; usually it is a type of secondary school. Generally in that type of school the th ...
. The Academy persisted throughout the
Hellenistic period In Classical antiquity, the Hellenistic period covers the time in History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history after Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as sig ...
as a skeptical school, until coming to an end after the death of
Philo of Larissa Philo of Larissa Larissa (; el, Λάρισα, , ) is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly modern regions of Greece, region in Greece. It is the fifth-most populous city in Greece with a population of 144,651 according to the 2011 cens ...
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 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 the ...
in 86 BC.


Site

The ''Akademia'' was a school outside the city walls of ancient
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is a coastal city in the Mediterranean and is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest c ...
. It was located in or beside a grove of olive trees dedicated to the goddess
Athena Athena or Athene, often given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek religion, ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, warfare, and handicraft who was later syncretism, syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded ...
, which was on the site even before
Cimon Cimon or Kimon ( grc-gre, Κίμων; – 450BC) was an Ancient Athens, Athenian ''strategos'' (general and admiral) and politician. He was the son of Miltiades, also an Athenian ''strategos''. Cimon rose to prominence for his bravery fighting in ...
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 Academus or Akademos (; Ancient Greek: Ἀκάδημος), also Hekademos or Hecademus (Ἑκάδημος) was an Ancient Athens, Attic hero cult, hero in Greek mythology. Academus, the place lies on the Cephissus (Athenian plain), Cephissus, six ...
", a legendary Athenian
hero A hero (feminine: heroine) is a real person or a main fictional character who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage, or Physical strength, strength. Like other formerly gender-specific terms (like ...
. The site of the Academy was sacred to Athena; it had sheltered her religious cult since the
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of ...
. The site was perhaps also associated with the twin hero-gods Castor and Polydeuces (the ''
Dioscuri Castor; grc, Κάστωρ, Kástōr, beaver. and Pollux. (or Polydeukes). are twin half-brothers in Greek mythology, Greek and Roman mythology, known together as the Dioscuri.; grc, Διόσκουροι, Dióskouroi, sons of Zeus, links=no, f ...
''), 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 mythical king and founder-hero of Athens. The myths surrounding Theseus his journeys, exploits, and friends have provided material for fiction throughout the ages. Theseus is sometimes describe ...
had hidden their sister 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 or a Nature spirit, spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of "tutelary" expresses the concep ...
s of
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek: Σπάρτα, ''Spártā''; Attic Greek: wikt:Σπάρτη, Σπάρτη, ''Spártē'') was a prominent city-state in Laconia, in ancient Greece. In antiquity, the city-state was known as Lacedaemon (, ), while the nam ...
– 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 t ...
. Their piety was not shared by the Roman
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 the ...
, who had the sacred olive trees of Athena cut down in 86 BC to build
siege engine A siege engine is a machine, device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some are immobile, constructed in place to attack enemy fortifications from a distance, whi ...
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 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.


Modern times

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'') is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building; an attic may also be called a ''sky parlor'' or a garret. Because attics fill the space between the ceiling of the t ...
hero in
Greek mythology A major branch of classical mythology, Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical co ...
. Academus was said to have saved Athens from attack by Sparta, revealing where
Helen of Troy Helen of Troy, Helen, Helena, (Ancient Greek: Ἑλένη ''Helénē'', ) also known as beautiful Helen, Helen of Argos, or Helen of Sparta, was a figure in Greek mythology said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was believe ...
was hidden, when she had been kidnapped by King
Theseus Theseus (, ; grc-gre, Θησεύς ) was the mythical king and founder-hero of Athens. The myths surrounding Theseus his journeys, exploits, and friends have provided material for fiction throughout the ages. Theseus is sometimes describe ...
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 th ...
. 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 Greece, Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, music theorist, astronomer, wikt:statesman, statesman, and military strategy, strategist. He was a scientist of the Pythagor ...
of Tarentum, Leodamas of Thasos, and Neoclides. According to Debra Nails,
Speusippus Speusippus (; grc-gre, Σπεύσιππος; c. 408 – 339/8 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek philosopher. Speusippus was Plato's nephew by his sister Potone. After Plato's death, c. 348 BC, Speusippus inherited the Platonic Academy, A ...
"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 ( grc-gre, διαλεκτική, ''dialektikḗ''; related to dialogue; german: Dialektik), also known as the dialectical method, is a discourse between two or more people holding different points of view about a subject but wishing ...
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 in their work, typically to solve mathematical problems. Mathematicians are concerned with numbers, data, quantity, mathematical stru ...
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 "sovereign state, state in which Power (social and political), power rests with the people or their Representative democracy, representatives; specifically a state without a monarchy" and also a "government, or system of gov ...
''. 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, 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, ; ) was a biographer of the Greek philosophers. Nothing is definitively known about his life, but his surviving ''Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers'' is a principal sou ...
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 Greece, Greek Hellenistic philosophy, Hellenistic philosopher. He was the founder of Academic Skepticism and what is variously called the Second or Middle or New Academy – ...
, and of the New, Lacydes.
Sextus Empiricus Sextus Empiricus ( grc-gre, Σέξτος Ἐμπειρικός, ; ) was a Greek Pyrrhonist philosopher and Empiric school physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Comm ...
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"; 214/3–129/8 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher and perhaps the most prominent head of the Academic skepticism, Skeptical Academy in ancient Greece. He was born in Cyrene, Liby ...
of the third;
Philo Philo of Alexandria (; grc, Φίλων, Phílōn; he, יְדִידְיָה, Yəḏīḏyāh (Jedediah); ), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Judaism, Hellenistic Jewish Jewish philosophy, philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the ...
and
Charmadas Charmadas ( el, Χαρμάδας; also Charmides (Χαρμίδης); 168/7 – 103/91 BC) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe: *Greeks, an ethnic group. *Greek language, a ...
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 ...
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 scholae, school in ancient Greece. The term is especially remembered for its use to mean the heads of schools of philosophy, such as the Platonic Academy in ancient Athens ...
" of the Academy were
Speusippus Speusippus (; grc-gre, Σπεύσιππος; c. 408 – 339/8 BC) was an ancient Greece, ancient Greek philosopher. Speusippus was Plato's nephew by his sister Potone. After Plato's death, c. 348 BC, Speusippus inherited the Platonic Academy, A ...
(347–339 BC),
Xenocrates Xenocrates (; el, Ξενοκράτης; c. 396/5314/3 BC) of Chalcedon was a Ancient Greek philosophy, Greek philosopher, Greek Mathematics, mathematician, and leader (scholarch) of the Platonic Academy from 339/8 to 314/3 BC. His teachings fol ...
(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 and polymath during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatet ...
, Heraclides, Eudoxus, Philip of Opus, and
Crantor Crantor ( el, Κράντωρ, ''gen''.: Κράντορος; died 276/5 BC) was a Greece, Greek philosopher and scholarch (leader) of the Platonic Academy#Later history of the Academy, Old Academy, probably born around the middle of the 4th century ...
.


Middle Academy

Around 266 BC
Arcesilaus Arcesilaus (; grc-gre, Ἀρκεσίλαος; 316/5–241/0 BC) was a Greece, Greek Hellenistic philosophy, Hellenistic philosopher. He was the founder of Academic Skepticism and what is variously called the Second or Middle or New Academy – ...
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 BCE, when Arcesilaus became scholarch of the Platonic Academy, until around 90 BCE, when Antiochus of Ascalon rejected skep ...
closely similar to
Pyrrhonism Pyrrhonism is a school of philosophical skepticism founded by Pyrrho in the fourth century BCE. It is best known through the surviving works of Sextus Empiricus, writing in the late second century or early third century CE. History Pyrrho of E ...
. Arcesilaus was followed by Lacydes of Cyrene (241–215 BC), Evander and Telecles (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"; 214/3–129/8 BC) was a Greeks, Greek philosopher and perhaps the most prominent head of the Academic skepticism, Skeptical Academy in ancient Greece. He was born in Cyrene, Liby ...
, 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 Larissa Philo of Larissa Larissa (; el, Λάρισα, , ) is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly modern regions of Greece, region in Greece. It is the fifth-most populous city in Greece with a population of 144,651 according to the 2011 cens ...
("the last undisputed head of the Academy," c. 110–84 BC). According to Jonathan Barnes, "It seems likely that Philo was the last Platonist geographically connected to the Academy." Around 90 BC, Philo's student
Antiochus of Ascalon Antiochus of Ascalon (; grc-gre, Άντίοχος ὁ Ἀσκαλώνιος; c. 125 – c. 68 BC) was an Academic philosopher. He was a pupil of Philo of Larissa at the Academy, but he diverged from the Academic skepticism of Philo and h ...
began teaching his own rival version of Platonism rejecting Skepticism and advocating
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century Common Era, BCE. It is a philosophy of personal virtue ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world, asser ...
, 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 Academic skepticism , scepticism of the new Academy – until the develop ...
.


Destruction of the Academy

When the
First Mithridatic War The First Mithridatic War (89–85 BC) was a war challenging the Roman Republic's expanding empire and rule over the Greek world. In this conflict, the Kingdom of Pontus and many Greek cities rebelling against Roman rule were led by Mithridates ...
began in 88 BC, Philo of Larissa left Athens and took refuge in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus (Romulus and Remus, legendary) , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg ...
, 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 Roman general A general officer is an Officer (armed forces), officer of highest military ranks, high rank in the army, armies, and in some nations' air forces, ...
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 defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies among countries; usually it is a type of secondary school. Generally in that type of school the th ...
." 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, ٱلْإِسْكَنْدَرِيَّةُ ; grc-gre, Αλεξάνδρεια, Alexándria) is the second largest city in Egypt, and the largest city on the Mediterranean coast. Founded in by Alexander the Great, 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 ...
, 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 of Plato and school of thought, philosophical systems closely derived from it, though contemporary platonists do not necessarily accept all of the doctrines of Plato. Platonism had a profound effect on Western though ...
in Athens during the
Roman era In modern historiography, ancient Rome refers to Roman people, Roman civilisation from the founding of the city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. It encompasses the Roman Kingdom ...
, 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 Platonism, Platonic philosophy that emerged in the 3rd century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion, religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as a chain of ...
. The origins of neoplatonist teaching in Athens are uncertain, but when
Proclus Proclus Lycius (; 8 February 412 – 17 April 485), called Proclus the Successor ( grc-gre, Πρόκλος ὁ Διάδοχος, ''Próklos ho Diádokhos''), was a Greek philosophy, Greek Neoplatonism, Neoplatonist Philosophy, philosopher, ...
arrived in Athens in the early 430s, he found Plutarch of Athens and his colleague
Syrianus Syrianus ( grc, Συριανός, ''Syrianos''; died c. 437 A.D.) was a Greece, Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, and head of Plato's Platonic Academy, Academy in Athens, succeeding his teacher Plutarch of Athens in 431/432 A.D. He is important as th ...
teaching in an Academy there. The neoplatonists in Athens called themselves "successors" ('' diadochoi'', 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, p. 837. Cambridge University Press. The heads of the Neoplatonic Academy were Plutarch of Athens,
Syrianus Syrianus ( grc, Συριανός, ''Syrianos''; died c. 437 A.D.) was a Greece, Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, and head of Plato's Platonic Academy, Academy in Athens, succeeding his teacher Plutarch of Athens in 431/432 A.D. He is important as th ...
,
Proclus Proclus Lycius (; 8 February 412 – 17 April 485), called Proclus the Successor ( grc-gre, Πρόκλος ὁ Διάδοχος, ''Próklos ho Diádokhos''), was a Greek philosophy, Greek Neoplatonism, Neoplatonist Philosophy, philosopher, ...
, Marinus, Isidore, and finally
Damascius Damascius (; grc-gre, Δαμάσκιος, 458 – after 538), known as "the last of the Athenian Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the neoplatonic Athenian school. He was one of the neoplatonic philosophers who left Athens after la ...
. 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 In Classical antiquity, the Hellenistic period covers the time in History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history after Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as sig ...
cultural world and suggest the broad
syncretism Syncretism () is the practice of combining different beliefs and various school of thought, schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or religious assimilation, assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in t ...
of the common culture (see ''
koine Koine Greek (; Koine el, ἡ κοινὴ διάλεκτος, hē koinè diálektos, the common dialect; ), also known as Hellenistic Greek, common Attic, the Alexandrian dialect, Biblical Greek or New Testament Greek, was the koiné language, ...
''): 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), an Aeolian city in western Asia Minor (Turkey), was a Greece, Greek poet and the princip ...
were
Syriac Syriac may refer to: *Syriac language, an ancient dialect of Middle Aramaic *Sureth, one of the modern dialects of Syriac spoken in the Nineveh Plains region * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages a ...
in their cultural origin: Hermias and
Diogenes Diogenes ( ; grc, Διογένης, Diogénēs ), also known as Diogenes the Cynic (, ) or Diogenes of Sinope, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynicism (philosophy), Cynicism (philosophy). He was born in Sinop, Turkey, Sinope ...
(both from Phoenicia), Isidorus of Gaza,
Damascius Damascius (; grc-gre, Δαμάσκιος, 458 – after 538), known as "the last of the Athenian Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the neoplatonic Athenian school. He was one of the neoplatonic philosophers who left Athens after la ...
of Syria, Iamblichus of Coele-Syria and perhaps even
Simplicius of Cilicia Simplicius of Cilicia Cilicia (); el, Κιλικία, ''Kilikía''; Middle Persian: ''klkyʾy'' (''Klikiyā''); Parthian language, Parthian: ''kylkyʾ'' (''Kilikiyā''); tr, Kilikya). is a geographical region in southern Anatolia in Turkey, e ...
. In 529 the
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator, via fro, empereor) is a monarch, and usually the sovereignty, sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), ...
Justinian Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus, ; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ambitious but ...
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
Damascius Damascius (; grc-gre, Δαμάσκιος, 458 – after 538), known as "the last of the Athenian Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the neoplatonic Athenian school. He was one of the neoplatonic philosophers who left Athens after la ...
(d. 540). According to
Agathias Agathias or Agathias Scholasticus ( grc-gre, Ἀγαθίας σχολαστικός; Martindale, Jones & Morris (1992), pp. 23–25582/594), of Myrina (Mysia), an Aeolian city in western Asia Minor (Turkey), was a Greece, Greek poet and the princip ...
, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of
Sassanid The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the History of Iran, last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th cen ...
king
Khosrau I Khosrow I (also spelled Khosrau, Khusro or Chosroes; 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 ...
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 in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
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 or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It also includes the freedom ...
) 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)'', p. 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 and the list of largest cities in the Arab world, second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and the ...
, 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 Gondišapur), was one of the three Sasanian ...
in
Sassanid Persia The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ) and also referred to by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire, was the last Iranian empire before the early Muslim conquests of the 7th-8th centuries AD. Name ...
.


See also

* Academy of Athens (modern) *
Agora The agora (; grc, ἀγορά, romanized: ', meaning "market" in Modern Greek) 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 accommodate the social a ...
* Cyrenaics *
Epicureanism Epicureanism is a system of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed ...
*
Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is a time-frame for Western philosophy and Ancient Greek philosophy Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, marking the end of the Greek Dark Ages. Greek philosophy continued throughout the Hellenistic pe ...
*
Lyceum (classical) The Lyceum ( grc, Λύκειον, Lykeion) was a temple dedicated to Apollo Lyceus ("Apollo the wolf-god"). It was best known for the Peripatetic school of philosophy founded there by Aristotle in 334 BC. Aristotle fled Athens in 323 BC, and ...
*
Peripatetic school The Peripatetic school was 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 teachers. Most countries have systems of formal e ...
* Plato's Academy mosaic *
Platonic Academy (Florence) The Accademia Platonica di Firenze or Platonic Academy of Florence was an informal discussion group which formed around Marsilio Ficino in the Florentine Renaissance of the fifteenth century. History In about 1462 Cosimo de' Medici established ...
*
Platonism Platonism is the philosophy of Plato and school of thought, philosophical systems closely derived from it, though contemporary platonists do not necessarily accept all of the doctrines of Plato. Platonism had a profound effect on Western though ...
*
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century Common Era, BCE. It is a philosophy of personal virtue ethics informed by its system of logic and its views on the natural world, asser ...


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. *Dillon, John. 2009. “How Does the Soul Direct the Body, After All? Traces of a Dispute on Mind-Body Relations in the Old Academy.” In ''Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy'', edited by D. Frede and B. Reis, 349–356. Berlin: De Gruyter. * 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): 219–256 * 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 SceneI". ''Greece & Rome'', 8(2), 152–163. * Wycherley, R. 1962. "Peripatos: The Athenian Philosophical SceneII". ''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, dealing with philosophy, Philosophy, philosophical topics, and philosophers. The IEP combines open access publication with peer reviewed publication of ori ...

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: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning (and generally also research or honorary membership). The name traces back to Plato's school of philosoph ...
Academy An academy ( Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary or tertiary higher learning (and generally also research or honorary membership). The name traces back to Plato's school of philosoph ...
Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Greece Gymnasiums (ancient Greece) Academic skepticism