The Academy (Ancient Greek: Ἀκαδημία) 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.

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; Antiochus of the fifth. Cicero recognised only two Academies, the Old and New, and made the latter commence with Arcesilaus.

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 of Athens (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 Academic skepticism. 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). According to Jonathan Barnes, "It seems likely that Philo was the last Platonist geographically connected to the Academy."

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.

This writeup has been copied (with some edits) from Wikipedia to fill in a nodeshell or else to provide a link for other writeups; it should be deleted should a writeup on the same topic be posted. For information on Wikipedia creative commons deed - see CC-BY-SA.