Athens, Schools of

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The Athenian schools in the early Christian period never formed a corporate university. However, from the time of the Antonine emperors (a.d. 86180) there were imperial endowments for chairs in each of the four schools of philosophy, and one for Sophism. During the 2nd-to 4th-century sophistic revival (see second sophistic) several Christians came to Athens. clement of alexandria may have received an Athenian education; basil of caesarea and gregory of nazianzus studied rhetoric there (a.d. 351357); and diodore of tarsus imbibed the wisdom of Athens. When synesius of cyrene visited the city, the schools were dormant, for the Goths had overrun the city's outer precincts in 396. The founding of the Neoplatonic school by Plutarch of Athens (c. 400) made the city again a famous center. boethius studied the systematic curriculum of this school (c. 500). Striking evidence of the later school's influence on a Christian appears in the works of pseudo-dionysius the areopagite. An edict of justinian i forbidding the "teaching of philosophy and interpretation of law at Athens" caused the Athenian schools to close in a.d. 529.

Bibliography: j. w. h. walden, The Universities of Ancient Greece (New York 1909). t. whittaker, The Neo-Platonists (2d ed. Cambridge, Eng. 1928). f. schemmel, "Die Hochschule von Athens im IV. und V. Jahrhundert," Neue Jahrbücher für Pädagogik 22 (1908) 494513. l. g. westerink, ed. and tr., Anonymous Prolegomena to Platonic Philosophy (Amsterdam 1962) xxvxli, curriculum. e. Évrard, "Le Maitre de Plutarque d'Athènes et les origines du néoplatonisme athénien," L'Antiquité classique 29 (1960) 108133, 391406. h. d. saffrey, Revue des études grecques 67 (1954) 396410, curriculum. f. fuchs, Die höheren Schulen von Konstantinopel im Mittelalter (Leipzig 1926).

[r. f. hathaway]