Platonic Academy

The Academy (Ancient Greek: Ἀκαδημία) was founded by Plato in c. 387 BC in Athens. Aristotle studied there for twenty years (367–347 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. The Platonic Academy was destroyed by the Roman dictator Sulla in 86 BC.[1]

Coordinates: 37°59′33″N 23°42′29″E / 37.99250°N 23.70806°E

Site

Athens - Ancient road to Academy 1
Ancient road to the Academy.
AtheneOudheid
Map of Ancient Athens. The Academy is north of Athens.

The Akademia was a school outside the city walls of ancient Athens. It was located in or beside a grove of olive trees dedicated to the goddess Athena,[2] which was on the site even before Cimon enclosed the precincts with a wall.[3] 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”, a legendary Athenian hero.

The site of the Academy was sacred to Athena; it had sheltered her religious cult since the Bronze Age. The site was perhaps also associated with the twin hero-gods Castor and Polydeuces (the Dioscuri), since the hero Akademos associated with the site was credited with revealing to the brothers where the abductor Theseus had hidden their sister Helen. Out of respect for its long tradition and its association with the Dioscuri – who were patron gods of Sparta – the Spartan army would not ravage these original ‘groves of Academe’ when they invaded Attica.[4] Their piety was not shared by the Roman Sulla, who axed the sacred olive trees of Athena in 86 BC to build siege engines.

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.[5][6]

The site of the Academy[7] is located near Colonus, approximately, 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) north of Athens' Dipylon gates.[8]

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.[9]

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

What was later to be known as Plato's school probably originated around the time Plato inherited the property at the age of thirty, with informal gatherings which included Theaetetus of Sunium, Archytas of Tarentum, Leodamas of Thasos, and Neoclides.[10] According to Debra Nails, Speusippus "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.[11] 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.[12]

Though the Academic club was exclusive and not open to the public,[13] it did not, at least during Plato's time, charge fees for membership.[14] 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.[15] There was, however, a distinction between senior and junior members.[16] Two women are known to have studied with Plato at the Academy, Axiothea of Phlius and Lasthenia of Mantinea.[17]

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.[18] There is evidence of lectures given, most notably Plato's lecture "On the Good"; but probably the use of dialectic was more common.[19] 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 Geometers Enter Here."[20]

Many have imagined that the Academic curriculum would have closely resembled the one canvassed in Plato's Republic.[21] Others, however, have argued that such a picture ignores the obvious peculiar arrangements of the ideal society envisioned in that dialogue.[22] 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.[23] 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."[24] (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.[25] 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".[26]

The three Platonic eras

"The School of Athens" by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino
The School of Athens by Raphael (1509–1510), fresco at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City.

Diogenes Laërtius 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, and of the New, Lacydes. Sextus Empiricus enumerated five divisions of the followers of Plato. He made Plato founder of the first Academy; Arcesilaus of the second; Carneades of the third; Philo and Charmadas of the fourth; and Antiochus of the fifth. Cicero recognised only two Academies, the Old and New, and had the latter commence with Arcesilaus.[27]

Old Academy

Plato's immediate successors as "Scholarch" of the Academy were Speusippus (347–339 BC), Xenocrates (339–314 BC), Polemon (314–269 BC), and Crates (c. 269–266 BC). Other notable members of the Academy include Aristotle, Heraclides, Eudoxus, Philip of Opus, and Crantor.

Middle Academy

Around 266 BC Arcesilaus became Scholarch. Under Arcesilaus (c. 266–241 BC), the Academy strongly emphasized a version of Academic skepticism closely similar to Pyrrhonism.[28] 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, 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 ("the last undisputed head of the Academy," c. 110–84 BC).[29][30] According to Jonathan Barnes, "It seems likely that Philo was the last Platonist geographically connected to the Academy."[31]

Around 90 BC, Philo's student Antiochus of Ascalon began teaching his own rival version of Platonism rejecting Skepticism and advocating Stoicism, which began a new phase known as Middle Platonism.

Destruction of the Academy

Athens Plato Academy Archaeological Site 2
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.[32] 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, 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."[33]

The destruction of the Academy seems to have been so severe as to make the reconstruction and re-opening of the Academy impossible.[34] 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".[35]

Neoplatonic Academy

Despite the Platonic Academy being destroyed in the first century BC, the philosophers continued to teach Platonism in Athens during the Roman era, 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.[36] The origins of Neoplatonist teaching in Athens are uncertain, but when Proclus arrived in Athens in the early 430s, he found Plutarch of Athens and his colleague Syrianus 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.[37] The school seems to have been a private foundation, conducted in a large house which Proclus eventually inherited from Plutarch and Syrianus.[38] The heads of the Neoplatonic Academy were Plutarch of Athens, Syrianus, Proclus, Marinus, Isidore, and finally Damascius. The Neoplatonic Academy reached its apex under Proclus (died 485).

The last "Greek" philosophers of the revived Neoplatonic Academy in the 6th century were drawn from various parts of the Hellenistic cultural world and suggest the broad syncretism of the common culture (see koine): Five of the seven Academy philosophers mentioned by Agathias were Syriac in their cultural origin: Hermias and Diogenes (both from Phoenicia), Isidorus of Gaza, Damascius of Syria, Iamblichus of Coele-Syria and perhaps even Simplicius of Cilicia.[37]

In 529 the emperor Justinian 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.[39]

The last Scholarch of the Neoplatonic Academy was Damascius (d. 540). According to Agathias, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of Sassanid king Khosrau I 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 in 532, their personal security (an early document in the history of freedom of religion) was guaranteed.

It has been speculated that the Neoplatonic Academy did not altogether disappear.[37][40] After his exile, Simplicius (and perhaps some others) may have travelled to Harran, near Edessa. 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,[40] Beginning with the foundation of the House of Wisdom in 832; one of the major centers of learning in the intervening period (6th to 8th centuries) was the Academy of Gundishapur in Sassanid Persia.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Lindberg, David C. (2007). The Beginnings of Western Science. University of Chicago Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780226482057.
  2. ^ Thucydides. ii:34.
  3. ^ Plutarch. Life of Cimon, xiii:7.
  4. ^ Plutarch. Life of Theseus, xxxii.
  5. ^ Pausanias. Description of Greece, i, 29.2, 30.2
  6. ^ Plutarch. Life of Solon, i, 7.
  7. ^ Herbert Ernest Cushma. (1910). A Beginner's History of Philosophy, Volume 1, pg 219. Houghton Mifflin.
  8. ^ Ainian, A.M. & Alexandridou, A. (2007). The “sacred house” of the Academy revisited. Acts of an International Symposium in Memory of William D.E. Coulson. Volos, Greece: University of Thessaly.
  9. ^ greeceathensaegeaninfo.com Plato academy, at GreeceAthensAegeanInfo.com
  10. ^ pp. 5–6, D. Nails, "The Life of Plato of Athens", in H. Benson (ed.), A Companion to Plato, Blackwell Publishing 2006.
  11. ^ pp. 19–20, W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 4, Cambridge University Press 1975; p. 1, R. Dancy, "Academy", in D. Zeyl (ed.), Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy, Greenwood Press 1997. I. Mueller gives a much broader time frame – "...some time between the early 380s and the middle 360s..." – perhaps reflecting our real lack of evidence about the specific date (p. 170, "Mathematical Method & Philosophical Truth", in R. Kraut (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Plato, Cambridge University Press 1992).
  12. ^ D. Sedley, "Academy", in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed.; p. 4, J. Barnes, "Life and Work", in The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle, Cambridge University Press 1995; J. Barnes, "Academy", E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge 1998, accessed 13 Sept 2008, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/A001.
  13. ^ p. 31, J. Barnes, Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press 2000.
  14. ^ p. 170, Mueller, "Mathematical Method & Philosophical Truth"; p. 249, D. Nails, The People of Plato, Hackett 2002.
  15. ^ pp. 170–171, Mueller, "Mathematical Method & Philosophical Truth"; p. 248, Nails, The People of Plato.
  16. ^ Barnes, "Academy".
  17. ^ http://www.hackettpublishing.com/philosophy/women-in-the-academy
  18. ^ p. 2, Dancy, "Academy".
  19. ^ p. 2, Dancy, "Academy"; p. 21, Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 4; p. 34–36, Barnes, Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction.
  20. ^ p. 67, V. Katz, History of Mathematics
  21. ^ p. 22, Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 4.
  22. ^ pp. 170–71, Mueller, "Mathematical Method & Philosophical Truth".
  23. ^ M. Schofield, "Plato", in E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge 1998/2002, retrieved 13 Sept 2008, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/A088 ; p. 32, Barnes, Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction.
  24. ^ Simplicius, Commentary on Aristotle's "On the Heavens" 488.7–24, quoted on p. 174, Mueller, "Mathematical Method & Philosophical Truth".
  25. ^ p. 23, Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 4; G. Field, "Academy", in the Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd ed.
  26. ^ p. 293, "Plato & Practical Politics", in Schofield & C. Rowe (eds.), Greek & Roman Political Thought, Cambridge University Press 2000.
  27. ^ Charles Anthon, (1855), A Classical Dictionary, page 6
  28. ^ Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, Book 1, Chapter 33, Section 232
  29. ^ Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (1996), s.v. "Philon of Larissa."
  30. ^ See the table in The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 53–54.
  31. ^ "Academy", E. Craig (Ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge 1998, accessed 14 Sept 2008, from http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/A001.
  32. ^ Giovanni Reale, John R. Catan, 1990, A History of Ancient Philosophy: The schools of the Imperial Age, page 207. SUNY Press
  33. ^ Plutarch, Sulla 12; cf. Appian, Roman History xii, 5.30
  34. ^ Giovanni Reale, John R. Catan, 1990, A History of Ancient Philosophy: The schools of the Imperial Age, page 208. SUNY Press
  35. ^ Cicero, De Finibus, book 5
  36. ^ Alan Cameron, "The last days of the Academy at Athens," in Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society vol 195 (n.s. 15), 1969, pp 7–29.
  37. ^ a b c Gerald Bechtle, Bryn Mawr Classical Review of Rainer Thiel, Simplikios und das Ende der neuplatonischen Schule in Athen. Stuttgart, 1999 (in English).
  38. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, (1970), Volume XIV, page 837. Cambridge University Press.
  39. ^ Lindberg, David C. (2007). The Beginnings of Western Science. University of Chicago Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780226482057.
  40. ^ a b Richard Sorabji, (2005), The Philosophy of the Commentators, 200–600 AD: Psychology (with Ethics and Religion), page 11. Cornell University Press

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.
  • 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. By Leonid Zhmud, 82–116. Berlin: De Gruyter.

External links

Academia (publishing house)

Academia (named after Platonic Academy) was a Soviet publishing house prior to the merger with Goslitizdat. The publishing house employed many prominent Russian graphic artists (Nikolai Akimov, Veniamin Belkin, Leonid Khizhinsky, Vladimir Konashevich, Mark Kirnarsky, Dmitry Mitrokhin, Leo Mülhaupt, Sergei Pozharsky, Pavel Shillingovsky, etc.) and issued over one thousand books during its existence (1922–1937). Academia, in particular, published the first translation of One Thousand and One Nights into Russian directly from the Arabic source, made by Mikhail Salye.

Academic skepticism

Academic skepticism refers to the skeptical period of ancient Platonism dating from around 266 BC, when Arcesilaus became head of the Platonic Academy, until around 90 BC, when Antiochus of Ascalon rejected skepticism, although individual philosophers, such as Favorinus and his teacher Plutarch continued to defend Academic skepticism after this date. Unlike the existing school of skepticism, the Pyrrhonists, they maintained that knowledge of things is impossible. Ideas or notions are never true; nevertheless, there are degrees of probability, and hence degrees of belief, which allow one to act. The school was characterized by its attacks on the Stoics and on their belief that convincing impressions led to true knowledge. The most important Academic skeptics were Arcesilaus, Carneades, and Philo of Larissa.

Accademia Fiorentina (disambiguation)

Accademia Fiorentina or Florentine Academy may refer to:

The Platonic Academy (Florence), founded in 1460 by Marsilio Ficino

The Accademia Fiorentina, founded in Florence in 1540

The Accademia Fiorentina founded in Rome in 1673 by Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici of Florence

The Accademia Fiorentina Seconda formed in 1783 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, who merged the Accademia Fiorentina, the Accademia degli Apatisti and the Accademia della Crusca

The Accademia Fiorentina delle Arti del Disegno, separated from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in 1784

The Accademia Fiorentina Terza, founded by Napoleon in 1808, active until 1811

The Accademia Fiorentina di Papirologia e di Studi sul Mondo Antico

Agora

The agora (; Ancient Greek: ἀγορά agorá) was a central public space in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly". The agora was the center of the athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life in the city. The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example.

All-through school

An All-through school is a school which provides both primary and secondary education. In the United Kingdom, they accept children at age 4, and school them right through to the age of 16 (or 18 with a sixth form).In 2009, there were only 13 all-through state schools in England, but the Coalition Government's Free school (England) programme has seen the number expand rapidly.

Ancient higher-learning institutions

A variety of ancient higher-learning institutions were developed in many cultures to provide institutional frameworks for scholarly activities. These ancient centres were sponsored and overseen by courts; by religious institutions, which sponsored cathedral schools, monastic schools, and madrasas; by scientific institutions, such as museums, hospitals, and observatories; and by individual scholars. They are to be distinguished from the Western-style university, an autonomous organization of scholars that originated in medieval Europe and has been adopted in other regions in modern times (see list of oldest universities in continuous operation).

Assos

Assos (; Greek: Ἄσσος, Latin: Assus), also known as Behramkale or for short Behram, is a small historically rich town in the Ayvacık district of the Çanakkale Province, Turkey. During Pliny the Elder's time (1st century CE), the city also bore the name Apollonia (Ἀπολλωνία).After leaving the Platonic Academy in Athens, Aristotle (joined by Xenocrates) went to Assos, where he was welcomed by King Hermias, and opened an Academy in this city. Aristotle also married Pythias, the adopted daughter of Hermias. In the Academy of Assos, Aristotle became a chief to a group of philosophers, and together with them, he made innovative observations on zoology and biology. When the Persians attacked Assos, King Hermias was caught and put to death. Aristotle fled to Macedonia, which was ruled by his friend King Philip II of Macedon. There, he tutored Philip's son, Alexander the Great. There is a modern statue of Aristotle at the town entrance.The Acts of the Apostles refers to visits by Luke the Evangelist and Paul the Apostle to Assos (Acts 20:13-14)

.Today, Assos is an Aegean-coast seaside retreat amid ancient ruins. Since 2017 it is inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey.

Crates

Crates is a Greek given name (Κράτης), pronounced as two syllables. It may refer to:

Crates (comic poet) (probably fl. late 450s or very early 440s BC), Old Comedy poet and actor from Athens

Crates (engineer), 4th century BC engineer who accompanied Alexander the Great

Crates of Thebes (c. 365-c. 285 BC), Hellenistic Cynic philosopher

Crates of Athens (died 268-264 BC), Polemon's successor as head of the Platonic Academy

Crates of Mallus, 2nd century BC Greek grammarian and Stoic philosopher

Crates of Tralles, a rhetorician

Crates of Athens

Crates of Athens (Greek: Κράτης ὁ Ἀθηναῖος; died 268–264 BC) was a Greek philosopher.

Day school

A day school—as opposed to a boarding school—is an educational institution where children (or high school age adolescents) are given instruction during the day, after which the students return to their homes. The term can also be used to emphasize the length of full-day programs as opposed to after-school programs, as in Jewish day school.

The term one-day school may be used for a one-off series of lectures or classes, taking place on a single day, usually on a particular topic and usually directed at adult learners with little time to spare.

Francesco de Vieri

Francesco de' Vieri, called Verino the second (1524-1591), was an Italian philosopher.

He was the nephew of Francesco de' Vieri called Verino the first. At the Studio di Pisa he was professor of logic and later of philosophy, since 1559 to 1590. He was criticized by colleagues for his yearn of a new platonic academy following Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. His main opponent was Girolamo Borri.

Gemistus Pletho

Georgius Gemistus (Greek: Γεώργιος Γεμιστός; c. 1355/1360 – 1452/1454), later called Plethon ( Πλήθων), was one of the most renowned philosophers of the late Byzantine era. He was a chief pioneer of the revival of Greek scholarship in Western Europe. As revealed in his last literary work, the Nomoi or Book of Laws, which he only circulated among close friends, he rejected Christianity in favour of a return to the worship of the classical Hellenic Gods, mixed with ancient wisdom based on Zoroaster and the Magi.He re-introduced Plato's ideas to Western Europe during the 1438–1439 Council of Florence, a failed attempt to reconcile the East–West schism. Here, it was believed until recently, Plethon met and influenced Cosimo de' Medici to found a new Platonic Academy, which, under Marsilio Ficino, would proceed to translate into Latin all of Plato's works, the Enneads of Plotinus, and various other Neoplatonist works.

Giovanni Cavalcanti (poet)

Giovanni Cavalcanti (1444–1509) was an Italian poet from Florence, a member of the Platonic Academy of Florence that met in the Villa Medici at Careggi under the guidance of Marsilio Ficino. Ficino and Cavalcanti were particular friends: Giovanni Cavalcanti lived for many years with Ficino at his villa, and Marsilio dedicated his essay De amore (1484) to Cavalcanti, who had urged him to compose it. Ficino introduced the concept of "Platonic love" and addressed many letters to his Giovanni amico mio perfettisimo ("Giovanni my most perfect friend").

Hellenistic philosophy

Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic period following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.

Platonic Academy (Florence)

The Platonic Academy (also known as the Neoplatonic Florentine Academy) was a 15th-century discussion group in Florence, Italy.

Plutarch of Athens

Plutarch of Athens (Greek: Πλούταρχος ὁ Ἀθηναῖος; c. 350 – 430 AD) was a Greek philosopher and Neoplatonist who taught at Athens at the beginning of the 5th century. He reestablished the Platonic Academy there and became its leader. He wrote commentaries on Aristotle and Plato, emphasizing the doctrines which they had in common.

Scholarch

A scholarch (Ancient Greek: σχολάρχης, scholarchēs) was the head of a 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. Its first scholarch was Plato himself, the founder and proprietor. He held the position for forty years, appointing his nephew Speussipus as his successor; later scholarchs were elected by members of the Academy.

The Greek word is a produced compound of scholē (σχολή), "school," and archē (ἀρχή), "ruler." The Romans did not choose to Latinize the word, perhaps because they had no archons. They used scholasticus instead, "savant," which always applied to headmasters.

Scylax of Caryanda

Scylax of Caryanda (Greek: Σκύλαξ ο Καρυανδεύς) was a renowned Greek explorer and writer of the late 6th and early 5th centuries BCE. His own writings are lost, though occasionally cited or quoted by later Greek and Roman authors. The periplus sometimes called the Periplus of Scylax is not, in fact, by him; that so-called Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax was written in about the early 330s BCE by an unknown author working in the ambit of the post-Platonic Academy and/or the Aristotelian Peripatos (Lyceum) at Athens.

Theudius

Theudius is a Greek mathematician of 4th century BCE, born in Magnesia, a member of the Platonic Academy and a contemporary of Aristotle. He is only known from Proclus’ commentary to Euclid, where Theudius is said to have had “a reputation for excellence in mathematics as in the rest of philosophy, for he produced admirable "Elements" and made many partial theorems more general”.The "Elements" of Theudius are probably the source for Aristotle’s mathematical examples.

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