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Academy - The School of Philosophy Where Plato Taught


Plato - From Raphael's School of Athens (1509).

Plato - From Raphael's School of Athens (1509).

Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Definition: The Academy was originally a grove near Athens which contained a gymnasium. Plato delivered his lectures there, and the school where he taught came to be called the Academy. Aristotle taught at the Academy, as well as Plato, and may have expected to take over its running. However, after Plato's death, the running of the Academy was handed over, not to Aristotle, but to Speusippus. Aristotle set up his school of philosophy at the Lyceum.

When Emperor Justinian I closed the Academy -- for being pagan, seven of the philosophers went to Gundishapur in Persia, on the invitation of the Persian King Khusrau I Anushiravan (Chosroes I) [Iraj Bahiri's Ahuric Order and the Platonic Form]. Justinian closed the Academy in A.D. 529; however, it had suffered earlier. When Sulla sacked Athens, the Academy was destroyed. In the 18th century, scholars started searching for the remains of the Academy. It was unearthed between 1929 and 1940 through funding by Panayotis Aristophron.


  • "Academy" The Concise Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Ed. M.C. Howatson and Ian Chilvers. Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • "Athens after the Liberation: Planning the New City and Exploring the Old"
    John Travlos
    Hesperia, Vol. 50, No. 4, Greek Towns and Cities: A Symposium (Oct. - Dec., 1981), pp. 391-407

Academy is a Featured Term to Learn.

A page on the Academy from School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland says that Cicero lists the leaders of the Academy up to 265 B.C. as Democritus, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Parmenides, Xenophanes, Socrates, Plato, Speusippus, Xenocrates, Polemo, Crates, and Crantor.

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