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date: 27 October 2020


  • D. Sedley


Academy, public *gymnasium at Athens, sacred to the hero Academus, north-west of the Dipylon gate. It gave its name to the school founded there by *Plato (1) in the early 4th cent. and maintained by an unbroken line of successors until the 1st cent. bce. The school's private property was never there, but, at least during the 4th cent., at Plato's nearby house.The Early Academy is the phase of doctrinal Platonism under Plato himself (d. 347) and his successors *Speusippus, *Xenocrates (1), *Polemon (2), and Crates.The ‘New Academy’ is the phase, from c.269 to the early or mid-1st cent. bce (its further subdivision, Sext. Emp. Pyr. 1. 220, is a later imposition), in which the school, initially under *Arcesilaus (1), interpreted true Platonism as scepticism. Dialectical criticism of doctrines, usually Stoic, was orchestrated to demonstrate akatalēpsia, the impossibility of knowledge, resulting in epochē, suspension of judgement.


  • Classical Philosophy

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