Academy, originally, in ancient Greece, a public garden outside Athens, dedicated to Athena and other deities and containing a grove and a gymnasium. In these gardens the Greek philosopher Plato met with and instructed his followers, and his informal school came to be known as the Academy. Subsequent schools of philosophy, modeled upon Plato's, were also called academies; the term was eventually used in ancient times to indicate any institution of higher education or the faculty of such an institution. The most notable academies of the ancient world were the Old Academy, founded (circa 387 bc) by Plato; the Middle Academy, founded by the Greek Platonic philosopher Arcesilaus; and the New Academy, founded by the Greek skeptic philosopher Carneades.

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