The world first school of philosophy was established by Greek philosopher Plato around 390 BCE.
Plato is the pivotal figure in ancient Greek philosophy. He was the student of Socrates, and Teacher of Aristotle.
He was the student of Socrates, and Teacher of Aristotle.
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Socrates was one of the most significant philosophers in the course of history and was largely responsible for founding western philosophy.
And Aristotle was also one of the greatest of the ancient philosophers and teacher of Alexander the Great, the King of Macedon; conqueror of Greece and Egypt and Persia; and founder of Alexandria.
It is said that Aristotle was a regular attendee of Plato’s Academy for 20 years.
It ran for about forty years until his death in between 348 and 347 BCE. The location for the school was about a mile northwest of the Athens Acropolis.
It was set in a park of olive groves of Hecademus or Akademos.
Hecademus was a legendary Attic hero in Greek mythology. He gave this garden to the city for celebrating religious festivals and athletic contests.
Plato’s school, and its countless schools and colleges ever since, was therefore called the “Academy.
It is said that the area had probably been used for teaching and discussion for some decades before Plato.
It’s unclear if he set up any formal organization there. But it is certain that Plato owned a house and small garden in the area.
There Plato went on to teach and systematize philosophy until his death occurred at the age of 80 years.
Plato believed in the immortality of the soul, and several dialogues end with long speeches imagining the afterlife.
Plato’s most famous contribution is the theory of Forms by pure reason known as Platonism.
He strongly believed in and used to teach his students that “The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.”
His Academy became renowned for the school of philosophers known as Neo-Platonists.
It survived for several hundred years after his death.
He accepted only dedicated students who were very fond of learning.
It was written in his own writings that he used to teach his students by walking around reading from his dialogues and lectures,
It seems that he presided over religious meetings and long meals.
The participants of the meetings used to honor the gods and enjoy each other’s company with refreshing learned discussion.
He also set up a temple of the Muses, called Museion, nearby.
Though, a Roman force invaded and cut down the olive groves in 86 BCE, the Academy is said to have remained for several hundred years.
It is uncertain exactly when the Academy closed.
According to some historical sources, the Academy continued until the reign of Byzantine emperor Justinian.
Around 526 CE, the Academy is thought to have closed as a result of the orders issued by the emperor Justinian to close down all pagan schools of pre-Christian era.