A late Elizabethan secret society committed to the promotion of reason, science and art, and their combination in a higher culture. Dedicated to Athena, classical goddess of wisdom. It opposed forces in the establishment and elsewhere seen as an obstacle to this ambition.
Allegedly led by Francis Bacon, its membership is also said to have included Shakespeare whose pen name refered to Athena, the spear shaker.
Its fate is unknown, it's spirit survived in the later Post Rosicrucian Invisible College which would become the Royal Society. A movement entwined with the evolution of Freemasonry.