Platonic Academy  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Academy (Ancient Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια) was founded by Plato in ca. 387 BC in Athens. Aristotle studied there for twenty years (367 BC - 347 BC) before founding his own school, the Lyceum. The Academy persisted throughout the Hellenistic period as a skeptical school, until coming to an end after the death of Philo of Larissa in 83 BC. Although philosophers continued to teach Plato's philosophy in Athens during the Roman era, it was not until AD 410 that a revived Academy was re-established as a center for Neoplatonism, persisting until 529 AD when it was finally closed down by Justinian I.

Destruction of the Academy

Image:Athens Plato Academy Archaeological Site 2.jpg
The archaeological site of Plato's academy.

When the First Mithridatic War began in 88 BC, Philo of Larissa left Athens, and took refuge in Rome, where he seems to have remained until his death. In 86 BC, Lucius Cornelius Sulla laid siege to Athens, and conquered the city, causing much destruction. It was during the siege that he laid waste to the Academy, for "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 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, c. 84 BC, he resumed his teaching but not in the Academy. 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"


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Platonic Academy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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