Academy
Overview
 
An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership.
The name traces back to Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's school of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

 of Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, the goddess of wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 and skill, north of Athens, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

.
In the western world academia
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

is the commonly-used term for the collective institutions of higher learning.
Before Akademia was a school, and even before Cimon enclosed its precincts with a wall, it contained a sacred grove of olive trees dedicated to Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, the goddess of wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

, outside the city walls of ancient Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

.
Encyclopedia
An academy is an institution of higher learning, research, or honorary membership.
The name traces back to Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's school of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, founded approximately 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

 of Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, the goddess of wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

 and skill, north of Athens, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

.
In the western world academia
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

is the commonly-used term for the collective institutions of higher learning.

The original Academy

Before Akademia was a school, and even before Cimon enclosed its precincts with a wall, it contained a sacred grove of olive trees dedicated to Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

, the goddess of wisdom
Wisdom
Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one's emotional reactions so that universal principles, reason and...

, outside the city walls of ancient Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. The archaic name for the site was Hekademia, which by classical times evolved into Akademia and was explained, at least as early as the beginning of the 6th century BC, by linking it to an Athenian hero
Greek hero cult
Hero cults were one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. In Homeric Greek, "hero" refers to a man who was fighting on either side during the Trojan War...

, a legendary "Akademos
Akademos
Akademos was an Attic hero in Greek mythology. The tale traditionally told of him is that when Castor and Polydeuces invaded Attica to liberate their sister Helen, he betrayed to them that she was kept concealed at Aphidnae...

". The site of Akademia was sacred to Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

 and other immortals.

Plato's immediate successors as "scholarch" of Akademia were Speusippus
Speusippus
Speusippus was an ancient Greek philosopher. Speusippus was Plato's nephew by his sister Potone. After Plato's death, Speusippus inherited the Academy and remained its head for the next eight years. However, following a stroke, he passed the chair to Xenocrates. Although the successor to Plato...

 (347–339 BC), Xenocrates
Xenocrates
Xenocrates of Chalcedon was a Greek philosopher, mathematician, and leader of the Platonic Academy from 339/8 to 314/3 BC. His teachings followed those of Plato, which he attempted to define more closely, often with mathematical elements...

 (339–314 BC), Polemon
Polemon (scholarch)
Polemon of Athens was an eminent Platonist philosopher and Plato's third successor as scholarch or head of the Academy from 314/313 to 270/269 BC...

 (314–269 BC), Crates
Crates of Athens
Crates of Athens was the son of Antigenes of the Thriasian deme, the pupil and eromenos of Polemo, and his successor as scholarch of the Platonic Academy, in 270/69 BC...

 (ca. 269–266 BC), and Arcesilaus
Arcesilaus
Arcesilaus was a Greek philosopher and founder of the Second or Middle Academy—the phase of Academic skepticism. Arcesilaus succeeded Crates as the sixth head of the Academy c. 264 BC. He did not preserve his thoughts in writing, so his opinions can only be gleaned second-hand from what is...

 (ca. 266–240 BC). Later scholarchs include Lacydes of Cyrene
Lacydes of Cyrene
Lacydes of Cyrene, Greek philosopher, was head of the Academy at Athens in succession to Arcesilaus from 241 BC. He was forced to resign c. 215 BC due to ill-health, and he died c. 205 BC. Nothing survives of his works.-Life:...

, Carneades
Carneades
Carneades was an Academic skeptic born in Cyrene. By the year 159 BC, he had started to refute all previous dogmatic doctrines, especially Stoicism, and even the Epicureans whom previous skeptics had spared. As head of the Academy, he was one of three philosophers sent to Rome in 155 BC where his...

, Clitomachus, and Philo of Larissa
Philo of Larissa
Philo of Larissa, was a Greek philosopher. He was a pupil of Clitomachus, whom he succeeded as head of the Academy. During the Mithradatic wars which would see the destruction of the Academy, he travelled to Rome where Cicero heard him lecture. None of his writings survive...

 ("the last undisputed head of the Academy"). Other notable members of Akademia include Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, Heraclides Ponticus
Heraclides Ponticus
Heraclides Ponticus , also known as Herakleides and Heraklides of Pontus, was a Greek philosopher and astronomer who lived and died at Heraclea Pontica, now Karadeniz Ereğli, Turkey. He is best remembered for proposing that the earth rotates on its axis, from west to east, once every 24 hours...

, Eudoxus of Cnidus
Eudoxus of Cnidus
Eudoxus of Cnidus was a Greek astronomer, mathematician, scholar and student of Plato. Since all his own works are lost, our knowledge of him is obtained from secondary sources, such as Aratus's poem on astronomy...

, Philip of Opus
Philip of Opus
Philip of Opus, Greece, was a philosopher and a member of the Academy during Plato's lifetime. Philip was the editor of Plato's Laws...

, Crantor
Crantor
Crantor was a Greek philosopher of the Old Academy, probably born around the middle of the 4th century BC, at Soli in Cilicia.-Life:Crantor moved to Athens in order to study philosophy, where he became a pupil of Xenocrates and a friend of Polemo, and one of the most distinguished supporters of...

, and Antiochus of Ascalon
Antiochus of Ascalon
Antiochus , of Ascalon, , was an Academic philosopher. He was a pupil of Philo of Larissa at the Academy, but he diverged from the Academic skepticism of Philo and his predecessors...

.

The Neoplatonic Academy of Late Antiquity

After a lapse during the early Roman occupation, Akademia was refounded as a new institution of some outstanding Platonists of late antiquity who called themselves "successors" (diadochoi, but of Plato) and presented themselves as an uninterrupted tradition reaching back to Plato. However, there cannot have actually been any geographical, institutional, economic or personal continuity with the original Academy in the new organizational entity.

The last "Greek" philosophers of the revived Akademia in the 6th century were drawn from various parts of the Hellenistic cultural world and suggest the broad syncretism
Syncretism
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means "combining", but see below for the origin of the word...

 of the common culture (see koine): Five of the seven Akademia philosophers mentioned by Agathias were Syriac in their cultural origin: Hermias and Diogenes (both from Phoenicia), Isidorus of Gaza, Damascius
Damascius
Damascius , known as "the last of the Neoplatonists," was the last scholarch of the School of Athens. He was one of the pagan philosophers persecuted by Justinian in the early 6th century, and was forced for a time to seek refuge in the Persian court, before being allowed back into the empire...

 of Syria, Iamblichus of Coele-Syria and perhaps even Simplicius of Cilicia
Simplicius of Cilicia
Simplicius of Cilicia, was a disciple of Ammonius Hermiae and Damascius, and was one of the last of the Neoplatonists. He was among the pagan philosophers persecuted by Justinian in the early 6th century, and was forced for a time to seek refuge in the Persian court, before being allowed back into...

.

The emperor
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 Justinian
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 closed the school in AD 529, a date that is often cited as the end of Antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

. According to the sole witness, the historian Agathias
Agathias
Agathias or Agathias Scholasticus , of Myrina , an Aeolian city in western Asia Minor , was a Greek poet and the principal historian of part of the reign of the Roman emperor Justinian I between 552 and 558....

, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of Sassanid king Khosrau I in his capital at Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon, the imperial capital of the Parthian Arsacids and of the Persian Sassanids, was one of the great cities of ancient Mesopotamia.The ruins of the city are located on the east bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia...

, 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 guaranteed their personal security (an early document in the history of freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

), some members found sanctuary in the pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 stronghold of Harran
Harran
Harran was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is near the modern village of Altınbaşak, Turkey, 24 miles southeast of Şanlıurfa...

, near Edessa
Edessa, Mesopotamia
Edessa is the Greek name of an Aramaic town in northern Mesopotamia, as refounded by Seleucus I Nicator. For the modern history of the city, see Şanlıurfa.-Names:...

. One of the last leading figures of this group was Simplicius, a pupil of Damascius, the last head of the Athenian school.

It has been speculated that Akademia did not altogether disappear. After his exile, Simplicius (and perhaps some others), may have travelled to Harran
Harran
Harran was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is near the modern village of Altınbaşak, Turkey, 24 miles southeast of Şanlıurfa...

, near Edessa
Edessa, Mesopotamia
Edessa is the Greek name of an Aramaic town in northern Mesopotamia, as refounded by Seleucus I Nicator. For the modern history of the city, see Şanlıurfa.-Names:...

. From there, the students of an Academy-in-exile could have survived into the 9th century, long enough to facilitate the Arabic revival of the Neoplatonist commentary tradition in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

.

Renaissance academies

With the Neoplatonist revival
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 that accompanied the revival of humanist studies
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

, accademia
Accademia
The Accademia is a museum gallery of pre-19th century art in Venice, northern Italy. Situated on the south bank of the Grand Canal, within the sestiere of Dorsoduro, it gives its name to one of the three bridges across the canal, the Ponte dell'Accademia, and to the boat landing station for the...

took on newly vivid connotations.

During the Florentine Renaissance, Cosimo de' Medici
Cosimo de' Medici
Còsimo di Giovanni degli Mèdici was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance; also known as "Cosimo 'the Elder'" and "Cosimo Pater Patriae" .-Biography:Born in Florence, Cosimo inherited both his wealth and his expertise in...

 took a personal interest in the new Platonic Academy
Platonic Academy (Florence)
The Platonic Academy was a 15th century discussion group in Florence. It was founded after Gemistus Pletho reintroduced Plato's thoughts to Western Europe during the 1438 - 1439 Council of Florence. It was sponsored by Cosimo de' Medici and led by Marsilio Ficino...

 that he determined to re-establish in 1439, centered on the marvellous promise shown by the young Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major academic thinker and writer of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin...

. Cosimo had been inspired by the arrival at the otherwise ineffective Council of Florence
Council of Florence
The Council of Florence was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It began in 1431 in Basel, Switzerland, and became known as the Council of Ferrara after its transfer to Ferrara was decreed by Pope Eugene IV, to convene in 1438...

 of Gemistos Plethon, who seemed a dazzling figure to the Florentine intellectuals. In 1462 Cosimo gave Ficino a villa at Careggi for the Academy's use, situated where Cosimo could see it from his own villa, and drop by for visits. The academy remained a wholly informal group, but one which had a great influence on Renaissance Neo-Platonism
Platonism in the Renaissance
Platonism underwent a revival in the Renaissance, as part of a general revival of interest in Classical antiquity. Interest in Platonism was especially strong in Florence under the Medici....

.
In Rome, after unity was restored following the Western Schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

, humanist circles, cultivating philosophy and searching out and sharing ancient texts tended to gather where there was access to a library. The Vatican Library
Vatican Library
The Vatican Library is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from...

 was not coordinated until 1475 and was never catalogued or widely accessible: not all popes looked with satisfaction at gatherings of unsupervised intellectuals. At the head of this movement for renewal in Rome was Cardinal Bessarion, whose house from the mid-century was the centre of a flourishing academy of Neoplatonic philosophy and a varied intellectual culture. His valuable Greek as well as Latin library (eventually bequeathed to the city of Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 after he withdrew from Rome) was at the disposal of the academicians. Bessarion, in the latter years of his life, retired from Rome to Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

, but he left behind him ardent adherents of the classic philosophy.

The next generation of humanists were bolder admirers of pagan culture, especially in the highly personal academy of Pomponius Leto
Julius Pomponius Laetus
Julius Pomponius Laetus , also known as Giulio Pomponio Leto, was an Italian humanist.-Background:Laetus was born at Teggiano, near Salerno, the illegitimate scion of the princely house of Sanseverino, the German historian Ludwig von Pastor reported...

, the natural son of a nobleman of the Sanseverino
Sanseverino
Sanseverino is a surname, and may refer to:* Roscemanno Sanseverino, 12th century cardinal* Ferdinando Sanseverino , prince of Salerno and Italian condottiero* Gaetano Sanseverino , Italian theologian...

 family, born in Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

 but known by his academic name, who devoted his energies to the enthusiastic study of classical antiquity, and attracted a great number of disciples and admirers. He was a worshipper not merely of the literary and artistic form, but also of the ideas and spirit of classic paganism, which made him appear a condemner of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and an enemy of the Church. In his academy every member assumed a classical name. Its principal members were humanists, like Bessartion's protégé Giovanni Antonio Campani
Giovanni Antonio Campani
Giovanni Antonio Campani called Campanus , a protegé of Cardinal Bessarion, was a Neapolitan-born humanist at the court of Pope Pius II, whose funeral oration he wrote, followed by a biography, flattering but filled with personal reminiscence, written ca 1470-77. Campanus was famous for his Latin...

 (Campanus), Bartolomeo Platina
Bartolomeo Platina
Bartolomeo Platina, originally named Sacchi was an Italian Renaissance writer.-Biography:Platina was born at Piadena , near Cremona....

, the papal librarian, and Filippo Buonaccorsi, and young visitors who received polish in the academic circle, like Publio Fausto Andrelini
Publio Fausto Andrelini
[Publio] Fausto Andrelini was an Italian humanist poet, an intimate friend of Erasmus in the 1490s, who spread the New Learning in France...

 of Bologna who took the New Learning
New Learning
In the history of ideas the New Learning in Europe is a term for Renaissance humanism, developed in the later fifteenth century. Newly retrieved classical texts sparked philological study of a refined and classical Latin style in prose and poetry....

 to the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

, to the discomfiture of his friend Erasmus. In their self-confidence, these first intellectual neopagans
Neopaganism
Neopaganism is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe...

 compromised themselves politically, at a time when Rome was full of conspiracies fomented by the Roman barons and the neighbouring princes: Paul II
Pope Paul II
Pope Paul II , born Pietro Barbo, was pope from 1464 until his death in 1471.- Early life :He was born in Venice, and was a nephew of Pope Eugene IV , through his mother. His adoption of the spiritual career, after having been trained as a merchant, was prompted by his uncle's election as pope...

 (1464–71) caused Pomponio
Pomponio
Pomponio is a historic Italian first name which may refer to a number of Italian historical figures:-Historic:*Julius Pomponius Laetus*Pomponio Algerio*Pomponio Amidano*Pomponio Nenna*Pomponio Amalteo...

 and the leaders of the academy to be arrested on charges of irreligion, immorality, and conspiracy against the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. The prisoners begged so earnestly for mercy, and with such protestations of repentance, that they were pardoned. The Letonian academy, however, collapsed.

In Naples, the Quattrocento
Quattrocento
The cultural and artistic events of 15th century Italy are collectively referred to as the Quattrocento...

academy founded by Alfonso of Aragon
Alfonso V of Aragon
Alfonso the Magnanimous KG was the King of Aragon , Valencia , Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica , and Sicily and Count of Barcelona from 1416 and King of Naples from 1442 until his death...

 and guided by Antonio Beccadelli
Antonio Beccadelli
Antonio Beccadelli , called Il Panormita , was an Italian poet, canon lawyer, scholar, diplomat, and chronicler. He generally wrote in Latin...

 was the Porticus Antoniana, later known as the Pontaniana, after Giovanni Pontano.

Sixteenth-century accademie in Italy

The sixteenth century saw at Rome a great increase of literary and aesthetic academies, more or less inspired by the Renaissance, all of which assumed, as was the fashion, odd and fantastic names. We learn from various sources the names of many such institutes; as a rule, they soon perished and left no trace. In the 1520s came the Accademia degl' Intronati, for the encouragement of theatrical representations. There were also the Academy of the "Vignaiuoli", or "Vinegrowers" (1530), and the Accademia della Virtù
Virtù
Virtu comes from Italian virtù "virtue, excellence," from Latin virtus, "excellence, worth, goodness, virtue." See also vertù.According to the Oxford Dictionary, Virtu means "a love of fine arts." Examples of this are seen here:...

(1538), founded by Claudio Tolomei
Claudio Tolomei
Claudio Tolomei was an Italian philologist. His name in Italian is identical to that of Claudius Ptolemaeus, the 2nd Century Greek astronomer....

 under the patronage of Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

. These were followed by a new academy in the "Orti" or Farnese gardens. There were also the academies of the "Intrepidi" (1560), the "Animosi" (1576), and the "Illuminati
Illuminati
The Illuminati is a name given to several groups, both real and fictitious. Historically the name refers to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded on May 1, 1776...

" (1598); this last, founded by the Marchesa Isabella Aldobrandini Pallavicino. Towards the middle of the sixteenth century there were also the Academy of the "Notti Vaticane", or "Vatican Nights", founded by St
ST
ST or St may refer to:In geography:* São Tomé and Príncipe, ISO 3166-1 country codeIn technology:* .st, Internet country code top-level domain for São Tomé and Príncipe* ST connector, a type of optical fiber connector...

. Charles Borromeo
Charles Borromeo
Charles Borromeo was the cardinal archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milan from 1564 to 1584. He was a leading figure during the Counter-Reformation and was responsible for significant reforms in the Catholic Church, including the founding of seminaries for the education of priests...

; an "Accademia di Diritto civile e canonico", and another of the university scholars and students of philosophy (Accademia Eustachiana). In the seventeenth century we meet with similar academies; the "Umoristi" (1611), the "Fantastici (1625), and the "Ordinati", founded by Cardinal Dati and Giulio Strozzi. About 1700 were founded the academies of the "Infecondi", the "Occulti", the "Deboli", the "Aborigini", the "Immobili", the "Accademia Esquilina", and others. As a rule these academies, all very much alike, were merely circles of friends or clients gathered around a learned man or wealthy patron, and were dedicated to literary pastimes rather than methodical study. They fitted in, nevertheless, with the general situation and were in their own way one element of the historical development. Despite their empirical and fugitive character, they helped to keep up the general esteem for literary and other studies. Cardinals, prelates, and the clergy in general were most favourable to this movement, and assisted it by patronage and collaboration.

During the course of the following century and a half many Italian cities established a philosophical and scientific academy, of which the oldest survivor is the Accademia dei Lincei
Accademia dei Lincei
The Accademia dei Lincei, , is an Italian science academy, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome, Italy....

 of Rome, which later became a national academy for a reunited Italy.

Gradually academies began to specialize on particular topics (arts, language, sciences) and began to be founded and funded by the kings and other sovereigns (few republics had an academy). And, mainly, since XVIIth century academies had spread throughout Europe.

Academies of the arts

In Florence, the Medici again took the lead in establishing the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze
Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze
The Accademia di Belle Arti is an art academy in Florence, Italy and it is now the operative branch of the still existing Accademia delle Arti del Disegno that was the first academy of drawing in Europe.-History:The Accademia delle Arti del Disegno The Accademia di Belle Arti ("Academy of Fine...

 in 1563, the first of the more formally organised art academies that gradually displaced the medieval artists' guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s, usually known as the Guild of Saint Luke
Guild of Saint Luke
The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe, especially in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, who was identified by John of Damascus as having painted the...

, as the bodies responsible for training and often regulating artists, a change with great implications for the development of art, leading to the styles known as Academic art
Academic art
Academic art is a style of painting and sculpture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Specifically, academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism,...

. The private Accademia degli Incamminati
Accademia degli Incamminati
The Accademia degli Incamminati was one of the first art academies in Italy. It was originally created around 1580 in Bologna as the Accademia dei Desiderosi and was sometimes known as the Accademia dei Carracci after its founders the Carracci cousins , with Annibale heading the institution thanks...

 set up later in the century in Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

 by the Carracci
Carracci
There are several notable people with the name Carracci:* Agostino Carracci , Italian painter and printmaker* Annibale Carracci , Italian Baroque painter and brother of Agostino Carracci...

 brothers was also extremely influential, and with the Accademia di San Luca
Accademia di San Luca
The Accademia di San Luca, was founded in 1577 as an association of artists in Rome, under the directorship of Federico Zuccari, with the purpose of elevating the work of "artists", which included painters, sculptors and architects, above that of mere craftsmen. Other founders included Girolamo...

 of Rome (founded 1593) helped to confirm the use of the term for these institutions.

The Académie de peinture et de sculpture
Académie de peinture et de sculpture
The Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture , Paris, was founded in 1648, modelled on Italian examples, such as the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. Paris already had the Académie de Saint-Luc, which was a city artist guild like any other Guild of Saint Luke...

 in Paris, established by the monarchy in 1648 (later renamed) was the most significant of the artistic academies, running the famous Salon exhibitions from 1725. Artistic academies were established all over Europe by the end of the 18th century, and many, like the the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
The Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando , located on the Calle de Alcalá in the heart of Madrid, currently functions as a museum and gallery....

  in Madrid (founded 1744), the Imperial Academy of Arts
Imperial Academy of Arts
The Russian Academy of Arts, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789...

  in Saint Petersburg (1757), the Royal Academy
Royal Academy
The Royal Academy of Arts is an art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. The Royal Academy of Arts has a unique position in being an independent, privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to promote the creation, enjoyment and...

 in London (1768) and the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan (1776) still run art schools and hold large exhibitions, although their influence on taste greatly declined from the late 19th century.

A fundamental feature of academic discipline in the artistic academies was regular practice in making accurate drawings from antiquities, or from casts of antiquities, on the one hand, and on the other, in deriving inspiration from the other fount, the human form. Students assembled in sessions drawing the draped and undraped human form
Figure drawing
In art, a figure drawing is a study of the human form in its various shapes and body postures - sitting, standing or even sleeping. It is a study or stylized depiction of the human form, with the line and form of the human figure as the primary objective, rather than the subject person. It is a...

, and such drawings, which survive in the tens of thousands from the 17th through the 19th century, are termed académies in French.

Similar institutions were often established for other arts: Rome had the Accademia di Santa Cecilia
Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is one of the oldest musical institutions in the world, based in Italy.It is based at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and was founded by the papal bull, Ratione congruit, issued by Sixtus V in 1585, which invoked two saints prominent in Western...

 for music from 1585; Paris had the Académie Royale de Musique
Académie Royale de Musique
The Salle Le Peletier was the home of the Paris Opera from 1821 until the building was destroyed by fire in 1873. The theatre was designed and constructed by the architect François Debret on the site of the former Hôtel de Choiseul...

 from 1669 and the Académie d'architecture
Académie d'architecture
The Académie royale d'architecture was a French learned society founded on December 30, 1671 by Louis XIV, king of France under the impulsion of Jean-Baptiste Colbert...

 from 1671.

Linguistic academies

In 1582 five florentine literati gathered and founded the Accademia della Crusca
Accademia della Crusca
The Accademia della Crusca is an Italian society for scholars and Italian linguists and philologists established in Florence. After the Accademia Cosentina, it is the oldest Italian academy still in existence...

 to demonstrate and to conserve the beauty of the Florentine vulgar tongue, modelled upon the authors of the Trecento. The main istrument to do that was the Vocabolario degli accademici della Crusca. The Crusca remained for long a private institution, criticizing and opposing the official Accademia Fiorentina.

The first institution inspired by the Crusca was the Fruitbearing Society
Fruitbearing Society
The Fruitbearing Society was a German literary society founded in 1617 in Weimar by German scholars and nobility to emulate the idea of the Accademia della Crusca in Florence and similar groups already thriving in Italy, to be followed in later years also in France and Britain...

 for German language, which existed from 1617 to 1680.

The Crusca inspired Richelieu to found in 1634 the analogous Académie française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 with the task of acting as an official authority on the French language
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, charged with publishing the official dictionary of that language. The following year the Académie received letters patent from the king Louis XIII as the only recognized academy for French language.

In its turn the state established Académie was the model for the Real Academia Española
Real Academia Española
The Royal Spanish Academy is the official royal institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language. It is based in Madrid, Spain, but is affiliated with national language academies in twenty-one other hispanophone nations through the Association of Spanish Language Academies...

 (founded in 1713) and the Swedish Academy
Swedish Academy
The Swedish Academy , founded in 1786 by King Gustav III, is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden.-History:The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786 by King Gustav III. Modelled after the Académie française, it has 18 members. The motto of the Academy is "Talent and Taste"...

 (1786), which are the ruling bodies of their respective languages and editors of major dictionaries. It also was the model for the Russian Academy
Russian Academy
The Russian Academy or Imperial Russian Academy was established in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1783 by Empress Catherine II of Russia and princess Dashkova as a research center for Russian language and Russian literature, following the example of the Académie française...

,founded in 1783, which afterwards merged into the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Academies of sciences

After the short-lived Academia Secretorum Naturae
Academia Secretorum Naturae
The first scientific society, the Academia Secretorum Naturae was founded in Naples in 1560 by Giambattista della Porta, a noted polymath. In Italian it was called Accademia dei Segreti, the Academy of the Mysteries of Nature, and the members referred to themselves as the otiosi...

 of Naples, the first academy exclusively devoted to sciences was the Accademia dei Lincei
Accademia dei Lincei
The Accademia dei Lincei, , is an Italian science academy, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome, Italy....

 founded in 1603 in Rome, particuralily focused on natural sciences.
In 1657 some students of Galileo founded the Accademia del Cimento
Accademia del Cimento
The Accademia del Cimento , an early scientific society, was founded in Florence 1657 by students of Galileo, Giovanni Alfonso Borelli and Vincenzo Viviani. The foundation of Academy was funded by Prince Leopoldo and Grand Duke Ferdinando II de' Medici...

 (Academy of Experiment) in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, focused on physics and astronomy. The foundation of Academy was funded by Prince Leopoldo
Leopoldo de' Medici
Leopoldo de' Medici was an Italian cardinal, scholar, patron of the arts and Governor of Siena. He was the brother of Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.-Biography:...

 and Grand Duke
Rulers of Tuscany
The rulers of Tuscany have varied over time, sometimes being margraves, the rulers of handfuls of border counties and sometimes the heads of the most important family of the region.-Margraves of Tuscany, 812–1197:House of Boniface*Boniface I, 812-813...

 Ferdinando II de' Medici. This academy lasted after few decades.

In 1652 was founded the Academia Naturae Curiosorum by four physicians. In 1677, Leopold I
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
| style="float:right;" | Leopold I was a Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary and King of Bohemia. A member of the Habsburg family, he was the second son of Emperor Ferdinand III and his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain. His maternal grandparents were Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria...

, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, recognised the society and in 1687 he gave it the epithet Leopoldina, with which is internationally famous., p. 7–8;
So, it became the academy of sciences for the whole Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

On 28 November 1660, a group of scientists from and influenced by the Invisible College (gathering approximately since 1645) met at Gresham College and announced the formation of a "College for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematical Experimental Learning", which would meet weekly to discuss science and run experiments. In 1662 Charles II of England
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

  signed a Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 which created the "Royal Society of London", then "Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge".

In 1666 Colbert
Colbert
Colbert is a common surname and rare given name of Old French and Old German origins; it was introduced to Britain by the Normans.Colbert most commonly refers to:*Stephen Colbert , American comedian and television show host...

 gathered a small group of scholars to found a scientific society in Paris. The first 30 years of the Academy's existence were relatively informal, since no statutes had as yet been laid down for the institution. In contrast to Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, the Academy was founded as an organ of government. In 1699, Louis XIV gave the Academy its first rules and named it Académie royale des sciences.

Although Prussia was a member of Holy Roman Empire, in 1700 Prince-elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 Frederick III
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I , of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia in personal union . The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia . From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

 of Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 founded its own Prussian Academy of Sciences
Prussian Academy of Sciences
The Prussian Academy of Sciences was an academy established in Berlin on 11 July 1700, four years after the Akademie der Künste or "Arts Academy", to which "Berlin Academy" may also refer.-Origins:...

 upon the advice of Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....

, who was appointed president.

During XVIIIth century many European kings followed and founded their own academy of sciences: in 1724 the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

, in 1739 the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which acts to promote the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.The Academy was founded on 2...

, in 1742 the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is a Danish non-governmental science Academy, founded 13 November 1742 by permission of the King Christian VI, as a historical Collegium Antiquitatum...

, in 1779 the Sciences Academy of Lisbon
Sciences Academy of Lisbon
The Sciences Academy of Lisbon ' was created in 1779 in Lisbon, Portugal, as an institution dedicated to the advancement of science and learning with the goal of promoting academic progress and prosperity to the country...

, in 1783 the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Royal Society of Edinburgh
The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland's national academy of science and letters. It is a registered charity, operating on a wholly independent and non-party-political basis and providing public benefit throughout Scotland...

.

This kind of academy lost importance after the university reform begun with the foundation of the University of Berlin, when universities were provided with laboratories and clinics, and were charged with doing experimental research.

Modern use of the term academy

National academies are bodies for scientists, artists or writers that are usually state-funded and often are given the role of controlling much of the state funding for research into their areas, or other forms of funding. Some use different terms in their name - the British Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 for example. The membership typically comprises distinguished individuals in the relevant field, who may be elected by the other members, or appointed by the government. They are essentially not schools or colleges, though some may operate teaching arms. The Académie Française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 was the most influential pattern for these.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures...

, which presents the annual Academy Awards
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

, is an example of a purely industry body using the name. College-type specialized academies include the Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music
The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is a conservatoire, Britain's oldest degree-granting music school and a constituent college of the University of London since 1999. The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas...

 of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

; the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 at West Point
West Point, New York
West Point is a federal military reservation established by President of the United States Thomas Jefferson in 1802. It is a census-designated place located in Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York, United States. The population was 7,138 at the 2000 census...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

; the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

; United States Air Force Academy
United States Air Force Academy
The United States Air Force Academy is an accredited college for the undergraduate education of officer candidates for the United States Air Force. Its campus is located immediately north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, United States...

; and the Australian Defence Force Academy
Australian Defence Force Academy
The Australian Defence Force Academy is a tri-service military Academy that provides military and tertiary academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defence Force in the Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force .Tertiary education is provided by the...

. In emulation of the military academies, police in the United States are trained in police academies
Police academy
A police academy is a training school for new police recruits, also known as a law enforcement academy.-Australia:Larger police departments usually run their own academies. States often run a centralised academy for training of personnel of law enforcement agencies within the state.Police...

.

Because of the tradition of intellectual brilliance associated with this institution, many groups have chosen to use the word "academy" in their name, especially specialized tertiary educational institutions. In the early 19th century "academy" took the connotations that "gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

" was acquiring in German-speaking lands, of school that was less advanced than a college (for which it might prepare students) but considerably more than elementary. Early American examples are the prestigious preparatory schools of Phillips Andover Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

 and Deerfield Academy
Deerfield Academy
Deerfield Academy is an independent, coeducational boarding school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, United States. It is a four-year college-preparatory school with approximately 600 students and about 100 faculty, all of whom live on or near campus....

. In England, "academy" had a specialized meaning for schools, but the Edinburgh Academy
Edinburgh Academy
The Edinburgh Academy is an independent school which was opened in 1824. The original building, in Henderson Row on the northern fringe of the New Town of Edinburgh, Scotland, is now part of the Senior School...

 was more like the American examples. Academy was also used very loosely for various commercial training schools for dancing and the like.

Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

 organized public subscription performances of his music in Vienna in the 1780s and 1790s, he called the concert
Concert
A concert is a live performance before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band...

s "academies." This usage in musical terms survives in the concert orchestra Academy of St Martin in the Fields and in the Brixton Academy, a concert hall in Brixton, South London.

Academies proliferated in the 20th century until even a three-week series of lectures and discussions would be termed an "academy." In addition, the generic term "the academy" is sometimes used to refer to all of academia
Academia
Academia is the community of students and scholars engaged in higher education and research.-Etymology:The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning...

, which is sometimes considered a global successor to the Academy of Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

.

French regional academies overseeing education

In France, regional academic councils called academies are responsible for supervising all aspects of education in their region. The academy regions are similar to, but not identical to, the standard French administrative regions. the rector of each academy is a revocable nominee of the Ministry of Education. These academies' main responsibility is overseeing primary and secondary education, but public universities are in some respects also answerable to the academy for their region. However, French private universities are independent of the state and therefore independent of the regional academies.

Russian research academies

In Imperial Russia and Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 the term "academy", or Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences
An Academy of Sciences is a national academy or another learned society dedicated to sciences.In non-English speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy of Science often includes fields which would not normally be classed as "science" in English...

 was reserved to denote a state research establishment, see Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

. The latter one still exists in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, although other types of academies (study and honorary) appeared as well.

English school types

From the mid-seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, educational institutions in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 run by nonconformist groups that didn't agree with the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 teachings were collectively known as "the dissenting academies
Dissenting academies
The dissenting academies were schools, colleges and nonconformist seminaries run by dissenters. They formed a significant part of England’s educational systems from the mid-seventeenth to nineteenth centuries....

". As a place at an English public school or university generally required conformity to the Church of England, these institutions provided an alternative for those with different religious views and formed a significant part of England’s educational system
Education in England
Education in England is overseen by the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Local authorities take responsibility for implementing policy for public education and state schools at a regional level....

.

University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

 (UCL) was founded in 1826 as the first publicly funded English university to admit anyone regardless of religious adherence; and the Test and Corporation Acts, which had imposed a wide range of restrictions on citizens who were not in conformity to the Church of England, were abolished shortly afterwards, by the Catholic Relief Act
Catholic Relief Act 1829
The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 24 March 1829, and received Royal Assent on 13 April. It was the culmination of the process of Catholic Emancipation throughout the nation...

 of 1829.

In 2000, a form of "independent state schools", called "academies
Academy (England)
In the education system of England, an academy is a school that is directly funded by central government and independent of control by local government in England. An academy may receive additional support from personal or corporate sponsors, either financially or in kind...

", were introduced in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. They have been compared to US charter school
Charter school
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter...

s. They are directly funded from central government rather than through local councils, and are partly privately sponsored. Often the sponsors are from business, but some are sponsored by universities and charities. These schools have greater autonomy than schools run by the local councils. They are usually a type of secondary school, but some are "all through" schools with an integral primary school. Some of the early ones were briefly known as "city academies" - the first such school opening on 10 September 2002 at the Business Academy Bexley
Business Academy Bexley
The Business Academy Bexley is a school for ages 3–19 in South Thamesmead, the London Borough of Bexley, England, operating under the Academy programme for schools which are independently run but receive public funding. The secondary school opened in 2002, and relocated to dedicated premises in...

.

The Queen's Speech, which followed the 2010 UK General Election, included proposals for a bill to allow the Secretary of State for Education to approve schools, both Primary and Secondary, that have been graded "outstanding" by Ofsted
Ofsted
The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England ....

, to become academies. This will be through a simplified streamlined process which will not require the sponsors to provide capital funding.

In Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, where there is not a set name for secondary schools, a quarter of the secondary schools have the word "academy" in their name.

See also

  • Academician
    Academician
    The title Academician denotes a Full Member of an art, literary, or scientific academy.In many countries, it is an honorary title. There also exists a lower-rank title, variously translated Corresponding Member or Associate Member, .-Eastern Europe and China:"Academician" may also be a functional...

  • Academy (English school)
  • List of honorary societies
  • Military academy
    Military academy
    A military academy or service academy is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps of the army, the navy, air force or coast guard, which normally provides education in a service environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned.Three...

  • National academy
    National academy
    A national academy is an organizational body, usually operating with state financial support and approval, that co-ordinates scholarly research activities and standards for academic disciplines, most frequently in the sciences but also the humanities. Typically the country's learned societies in...

  • Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences
    Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences
    Ibn Sina Academy of Medieval Medicine and Sciences is one of the Indian NGOs, which is registered under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882. Mohammad Hamid Ansari, former vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, formally inaugurated it on April 21, 2001...


Further reading


Plato's Academy


Modern institutions

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