L'Académie française, or 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, it was restored in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte (the Académie considers itself to have been been suspended, not suppressed, during the revolution). It is the oldest of the five académies of the Institut de France.

The Académie consists of forty members, known as immortels (immortals). New members are elected by the members of the Académie itself. Académicians hold office for life, but they may be removed for misconduct. The body has the task of acting as an official authority on the language; it is charged with publishing an official dictionary of the language. Its rulings, however, are only advisory; not binding on either the public or the government.

Research academies

In Imperial Russia and Soviet Union the term "academy," or Academy of Sciences was reserved to denote a state research establishment, see Russian Academy of Sciences. The latter one still exists in Russia, although other types of academies (study and honorary) appeared as well.

United Kingdom school type

As a British school type, privately funded Academies first became popular in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. At this time the offer of a place at an English public school and university generally required conformity to the Church of England; the Academies or Dissenting Academies provided an alternative for those with different religious views, called nonconformists.

University College London (UCL) was founded in the early nineteenth century as the first publicly funded English university to admit anyone regardless of religious adherence; and the Test and Corporation Acts that had imposed a wide range of restrictions on citizens who were not in conformity to the Church of England, were also abolished at about that date.

Recently Academies have been reintroduced. Today they are a type of secondary school-they no longer teach up to university degree level-and unlike their predecessors are only partly privately sponsored and independent, being partly paid for and controlled by the state. They have been introduced in the early years of the twenty-first century and though mainly state funded have a significant measure of administrative autonomy. Some of the early ones were briefly known as "City Academies." In February 2007, the National Audit Office published a report about the performance of the first academies.3 In Scotland, the designation "Academy" usually refers to a state secondary school, with over a quarter of these schools using that title as the equivalent of the term "High School" used elsewhere in the United Kingdom.


  1. ↑ Simon Hornblower and‎ Antony Spawforth (eds.), "Philon of Larissa" Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0198661726).
  2. ↑ See the table in Keimpe Algra,‎ Jonathan Barnes,‎ Jaap Mansfeld,‎ and Malcolm Schofield (eds.), The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0521250283), 53-54.
  3. ↑ The Academies Programme, National Audit Office. Retrieved April 10, 2018.


  • Algra, Keimpe, Jonathan Barnes,‎ Jaap Mansfeld,‎ and Malcolm Schofield (eds.). The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 978-0521250283
  • Bechtle, Gerald. University of Berne, Switzerland. Rainer Thiel, Simplikios und das Ende der neuplatonischen Schule in Athen. Franz Steiner, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Stuttgart: 1999. ISSN 0002-2977. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  • Cameron, Alan. "The last days of the Academy at Athens," in Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 195(15) (1969): 7-29. ISSN 0068-6735
  • Glucker, John. Antiochus and the Late Academy. Göttingen, 1978. ISBN 978-3525251515
  • Haskell, Francis and Nicholas Penny. Taste and the Antique: The Lure of Classical Sculpture, 1500-1900. Yale University Press, New Haven: 1981. ISBN 978-0300026412

External links

All links retrieved November 3, 2019.

Plato's Academy

  • Plato: The Academy, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Map of ancient Athens with location of the Academy

Modern institutions

  • Academy of Athens, official website of the modern institution
  • The United States Air Force Academy
  • The Academy at Charlemont
  • Frankel Jewish Academy