(society for the promotion of science and art, college)

To the Greek demigod Akademos. lat. academia, Gr. akademeia, was originally the name of a gymnasium from the sixth century BC. in Athens. It was a fenced park dedicated to the demigod Akademos.

After the Attic hero Theseus kidnapped the beautiful Helena from Sparta, he brought her to the countryside. Her brothers Castor and Pollux searched for her in vain, until a certain Akademos told them where Helena was locked up.

When the Spartans later ravaged the area, they spared Akademos territory. At his death, the hero donated the site to the young Athenian republic, on the condition that a gymnasium be erected and a park laid out. Here Plato founded in 387 BC.

BC his philosophy school. He later moved to an adjacent site and took the name 'academy' with him. She would teach the Platonic doctrines for nearly a thousand years. In 529 AD. BC Emperor Justinian finally closed the gates of the Platonic Academy.

(see also atheneum and lyceum)