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elaborated many details of the Platonic teaching, which we | interpose one's judgment, to approve what seems most pro couid ill have spared; but of Plato's originality and specu- bable, to compare together different opinions, to see what lative power, of his poetry and enthusiasm, they inherited may be advanced on either side, and to leave one's listeners nothing; "nor amid all the learning which has been pro- free to judge without pretending to dogmatise." fusely lavished upon investigating their tenets, is there a ACADEMY, in its modern acceptation, signifies a society single deduction calculated to elucidate distinctly the or corporate body of learned men, established for the adcharacter of their progress or regression.” 1 There is a vancement of science, literature, or the arts. saying of Polemo's, which will illustrate their virtual The first institution of this sort we read of in history abandonment of philosophy proper: “We should exercise was that founded at Alexandria by Ptolemy Soter, which ourselves in business, not in dialectical speculation." he named the Museum, Movociov. After completing his
Arcesilaus, the successor of Crates, the disciple of Theo- conquest of Egypt, he turned his attention to the cultivaphrastus and Polemo, was the founder of the second or tion of letters and science, and gathered about him a large middle Academy. He professed himself the strict fol- body of literary men, whom he employed in collecting lower of Plato, and seems to have been sincerely of opinion books and treasures of art. This was the origin of the that his was nothing but a legitimate development of the library of Alexandria, the most famous of the ancient world. true Platonic system. He followed the Socratic method Passing by the academies which were founded by the of teaching in dialogues; and, like Socrates, left no writ- Moors at Grenada, Corduba, and as far east as Samarcand, ings,—at least the ancients were not acquainted with any, the next instance of an academy is that founded by CharleBut we have no evidence that he maintained the ideal magne at the instigation of the celebrated Alcuin, for theory of Plato, and from the general tendency of his promoting the study of grammar, orthography, rhetoric, teaching it is probable that he overlooked it. He affirmed poetry, history, and mathematics. In order to equalise ali that neither our senses nor our mind can attain to any ranks, each member took the pseudonym of some ancient certainty; in all we must suspend our judgment; proba- author or celebrated person of antiquity. For instance, bility is the guide of life. Cicero tells us that he was Charlemagne himself was David, Alcuin became Flaccus more occupied in disputing the opinions of others than in Albinus. Though none of the labours of this academy advancing any of his own. Arcesilaus is, in fact, the have come down to us, it undoubtedly exerted considerable founder of that academic scepticism which was developed influence in modelling the language and reducing it to rules. and systematised by Carneades, the founder of the third In the following century Alfred founded an academy at or new Academy. He was the chief opponent of the Oxford. This was rather a grammar school than a society Stoics and their doctrine of certitude. This is attested by of learned men, and from it the University of Oxford a well-known saying of his: "If there had been no Chry- originated. sippus, there would have been no Carneades.” To the But the academy which may be more justly considered Stoical theory of perception, the partagla katalytuń, by as the mother of modern European academies is that of which they expressed a conviction of certainty arising Floral Games, founded at Toulouse in the year 1325, by from impressions so strong as to amount to science, he Clemens Isaurus. Its object was to distribute prizes and opposed the doctrine of ákatalnyía, which denied any rewards to the troubadours. The prizes consisted of necessary correspondence between perceptions and the flowers of gold and silver. It was first recognised by the objects perceived. But while denying the possibility of state in 1694, and confirmed by letters-patent from the any knowledge of things in themselves, he saved himself king, and its numbers limited to thirty-six. It has, except from absolute scepticism by the doctrine of probability or during a few years of the republic, continued to the present verisimilitude, which may serve as a practical guide in life. day, and distributes annually the following prizes :-An Thus he announced as his criterion of truth an imagination amaranth of gold for the best ode, a silver violet for a or impression (pavracía) at once credible, irrefragable, and poem of sixty to one hundred Alexandrine lines, a silver attested by comparison with other impressions. The wise eglantine for the best prose composition, a silver marigold man might be permitted to hold an opinion, though he for an elegy, and a silver lily presented in the last century allowed that that opinion might be false. In ethics, how- by M. de Malpeyre for a hymn to the Virgin. ever, he appeared as the pure sceptic. On his visit to It was the Renaissance which was par excellence the era Rome as an ambassador from Athens, he alternately main- of academies, and as the Italians may be said to have distained and denied in his public disputations the existence covered anew the buried world of literature, so it was in of justice, to the great scandal of Cato and all honest Italy that the first and by far the most numerous academies citizens.
The earliest of these was the Platonic Academy, On the fourth and fifth Academies, we need not dwell founded at Florence by Cosmo de Medici for the study of long. Philo and Antiochus both taught Cicero, and with the works of Plato, though subsequently they added the out doubt communicated to him that mild scepticism, that explanation of Dante and other Italian authors. eclecticisin compounded of almost equal sympathy with Marsilius Ficinus, its principal ornament, in his Theologica Plato and Zeno, which is the characteristic of his philo- Platonica, developed a system, chiefly borrowed from the sophical writings. The Academy exactly corresponded to later Platonists of the Alexandrian school, which, as it the moral and political wants of Rome. With no genius seemed to coincide with some of the leading doctrines of for speculation, the better Romans of that day were con Christianity, was allowed by the church. His Latin transtent to embrace a system which, though resting on no lation of Plato is at once literal, perspicuous, and correct; philosophical basis, and compounded of heterogeneous and as he had access to MSS. of Plato now lost, it has in dogmas, offered notwithstanding a secure retreat from several places enabled us to recover the original reading. religious scepticism and political troubles. “My words," After the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, the says Cicero, speaking as a true Academician,“ do not Platonic Academy was dissolved. proclaim the truth, like a Pythian priestess; but I conjec In giving some account of the principal academies of ture what is probable, like a plain man; and where, I ask, Europe, which is all that this article professes to do, wo am I to search for anything more than verisimilitude ?" shall, as far as possible, arrange them under different heads, And again: "The characteristic of the Academy is never to according to-1st, The object which they were designed
to promote; 2d, The countries to which they belong. 1 Archer Butler, Lect. on Anc. Phil. ii. 315.
This classification, though, perhaps, the best available, is
necessarily imperfect, inasmuch as several of those we shall The Royal Academy of Sciences at Turin originated in Inention were at once literary and scientific, and many 1757 as a private society; in 1759 it published a volume associations for similar objects were known by some other of Miscellanea Philosophico-Mathematica Societatis privatæ name. Thus, with the doubtful exception of the Royal Taurinensis; shortly after it was constituted a Royal Academy of Arts, England has no academies in the proper Society by Charles Emanuel III., and in 1783 Victor sense of the word. For those institutions in England which Amadeus III. made it a Royal Academy of Sciences. It answer to Italian academies, we must refer the reader to consists of 40 members, residents of Turin, 20 nonthe article SOCIETY.
resident, and 20 foreign members. It publishes each I. SCIENTIFIC ACADEMIES.— Italy.—The first society year a quarto volume of proceedings, and has crowned for the prosecution of physical science was that established and awarded prizes to many learned works. at Naples, 1560, under the presidency of Baptista Porta. France.—The Old Academy of Sciences originated in much It was called Academia Secretorum Naturæ or de Secreti. the same way as the French Academy. A private society It arose from a meeting of some scientific friends, who of scientific men had for some thirty years been accustomed assembled at Porta's house, and called themselves the otiosi. to meet first at the house of Montmort, the mâitre des No member was admitted who had not made some useful requêtes, afterwards at that of Thevenot, a great traveller discovery in medicine or natural philosophy. The name and man of universal genius, in order to converse on their suggested to an ignorant public the prosecution of magic studies, and communicate their discoveries. To this and the black arts. Porta went to Rome to justify himself society belonged, among others, Descartes, Gassendi, before Paul III. He was acquitted by the Pope, but the Blaise Pascal, and his father. Hobbes, the philosopher academy was dissolved, and he was ordered to abstain for of Malmesbury, was presented to it during his visit to the future from the practice of all illicit arts.
Paris in 1640. Colbert, just as Richelieu in the case At Rome he was admitted to the Lincei, an academy of the French Academy, conceived the idea of giving an founded by Federigo Cesi, the Marcese di Monticelli. The official status to this body of learned men. Seven eminent device of the Lincei was a lynx with its eyes turned towards mathematicians, among whom were Huyghens and De heaven tearing a Cerberus with its claws, intimating that Bessy, the author of a famous treatise on magic squares, they were prepared to do battle with error and falsehood. were chosen to form the nucleus of the new society. A Their motto was the verse of Lucretius describing rain certain number of chemists, physicians, and anatomists dropping from a cloud—“Redit agmine dulci.” Besides were subsequently added. Pensions were granted by Porta, Galileo and Colonna were enrolled among its mem- Louis XIV. to each of the members, and a fund for bers. The society devoted itself exclusively to physical instruments and experimentations placed at their disposal. science. Porta, under its auspices, published his great work, They commenced their session the 22d December 1666 Magic Naturalis libri xx., 1589, in fol.; his Phytogno- in the Royal Library. They met twice a week—the monica, or, the occult virtue of plants ; his De Humana Phy- mathematicians on the Wednesdays, the physicists (as the siognomia, from which Lavater largely borrowed ; also various naturalists and physiologists were then called) on the works on optics and pneumatics, in which he approached Saturdays. Duhamel was appointed secretary by the the true theory of vision. He is even said by some to king. This post he owed more to his polished Latinity have anticipated Galileo in the invention of the telescope. than to his scientific attainments, all the proceedings
But the principal monument still remaining of the zeal of the society being recorded in Latin. A treasurer and industry of Cesi and his academy is the Phytobasanos, was also nominated, who, notwithstanding his pretentious a compendium of the natural history of Mexico, written by title, was nothing more than conservator of the scientific a Spaniard, Hernendez. During fifty years the MS. had instruments, &c. At first the academy was rather a been neglected, when Cesi discovered it, and employed laboratory and observatory than an academy proper. Terentio, Fabro, and Colonna, all Lynceans, to edit it and Experiments were undertaken in common and results enrich it with notes and emendations. Cesi's own great discussed. Several foreign savants, in particular the work, Theatrum Naturæ, was never published. The MS.
The MS. Danish astronomer Rømer, joined the society, attracted still exists in the Albani Library at Rome. After Cesi's by the liberality of the Grand Monarque; and the German death, 1630, the academy languished for some years under physician and geometer Tschirnhausen and Sir Isaac the patronage of Urban VIII. An academy of the same Newton were made foreign associates. The death of name was inaugurated at Rome 1784, and still flourishes. Colbert, who was succeeded by Louvois, exercised a disasIt numbers among its members some of our English philo- trous effect on the fortunes of the academy. The labours sophers. But the fame of the Lincei was far outstripped of the academicians were diverted from the pursuit of by that of the Accademia del Cimento, established in pure science to such works as the construction of fountains Florence 1657, under the patronage of the Grand Duke and cascades at Versailles, and the mathematicians were Ferdinand II., at the instigation of his brother Leopold, employed to calculate the odds of the games of lansquenet acting under the advice of Viviani, one of the greatest and bassett. In 1699 the academy was reconstituted geometers of Europe. The object of this academy was by. M. de Pontchartrain, under whose department as (as the name implies) to make experiments and relate them, secretary of state the academies came. By its new conabjuring all preconceived notions. Unfortunately for stitution it consisted of ten honorary members, men of science, it flourished for only ten years. Leopold in 1667 high rank, who interested themselves in science, fifteen was made a cardinal, and the society languished without pensionaries, who were the working members, viz., three its head. It has, however, left a record of its labours in geometricians, and the same number of astronomers, a volume containing an account of the experiments, pub- mechanicians, anatomişts, and chemists. Each section of lished by the secretary in 1667. It is in the form of a three had two associates attached to it, and besides, each beautifully printed folio, with numerous full print pages of pensionary had the power of naming a pupil. There were illustrations. It contains, among others, those on the eight foreign and four free associates. The officers were, supposed incompressibility of water, on the pressure of the a president and a vice-president, named by the king from air, and on the universal gravity of bodies. Torricelli, the among the honorary members, and a secretary and treasurer inventor of the barometer, was one of its members. chosen from the pensionaries, who held their offices for
Passing by numerous other Italian Academies of Science, life. Fontenelle, a man of wit, and rather a populariser of vie come to those of modern times.
sciences than an original investigator, succeeded Duhamel 35
The Electoral Academy at Erfurt was established by the The purpose and object of these travels will
from Elector of Mentz, in the year 1754. It consists of a pro the instructions given by the academy to the several pertector, president, director, assessors, adjuncts, and asso sons who engaged in them. They were ordered to institute ciates. Its object is to promote the useful sciences. The inquiries respecting the different sorts of earths and waters; memoirs were originally published in Latin, but afterwards the best methods of cultivating barren and desert spots; in German. The Hessian Academy of Sciences at Giessen the local disorders incident to men and animals, together publish their transactions under the title of Acta Philo with the most efficacious means of relieving them; the sophico-Medica Academic Scientiarum Principalis Hessiacæ. breeding of cattle, particularly of sheep; the rearing of bees In the Netherlands there are scientific academies at Flush and silk-worms; the different places and objects for fishing ing and Brussels, both of which have published their and hunting; minerals of all kinds; the arts and trades; transactions.
and the formation of a Flora Russica, or collection of indiRussia. - The Imperial Academy of Sciences at St genous plants. They were particularly instructed to rectify Petersburg was projected by the Czar Peter the Great. the longitude and latitude of the principal towns; to make Having in the course of his travels observed the advan- astronomical, geographical, and meteorological observa tage of public societies for the encou
couragement and promo tions; to trace the courses of rivers; to construct the most tion of literature, he formed the design of founding an exact charts; and to be very distinct and accurate in re academy of sciences at St Petersburg. By the advice marking and describing the manners and customs of the of Wolff and Leibnitz, whom he consulted on this occasion, different races of people, their dresses, languages, antithe society was accordingly regulated, and several learned quities, traditions, history, religion; in a word, to gain foreigners were invited to become members. Peter him every information which might tend to illustrate the real self drew the plan, and signed it on the 10th of February state of the whole Russian empire. More ample instruc1724; but he was prevented, by the suddenness of his tions cannot well be conceived; and they appear to have death, from carrying it into execution. His decease, how- been very zealously and faithfully executed.
The conseever, did not prevent its completion; for on the 21st of quence was that, at that time, no country could boast, December 1725, Catharine I. established it according to within the space of so few years, such a number of excellent Peter's plan, and on the 27th of the same month the society publications on its internal state, its natural productions, assembled for the first time. On the 1st of August 1726, its topography, geography, and history, and on the manners, Catharine honoured the meeting with her presence, when customs, and languages of the different tribes who inhabit Professor Bulfinger, a German naturalist of great eminence, it, as issued from the press of this academy. In its researches pronounced an oration upon the advances made in the in Asiatic languages, and general knowledge of Oriental theory of magnetic variations, and also on the progress of customs and religions, it proved itself the worthy rival of ress 60 far as regarded the discovery of the longi- our own Royal Asiatic Society.
hi ft time afterwards the empress settled a fund The first transactions of this society were published in of of
annum for the support of the academy; and 1728, and entitled Commentarii Academic Scientiarum 15 m.de },"i eminent for their learning and talents, Imperialis Petropolitanæ ad annum 1726, with a dedicawere admittew Y-tpensioned, under the title of professors tion to Peter II. The publication was continued under in the various branches of science and literature. The most this form until the year 1747, when the transactions were distinguished of these professors were Nicholas and Daniel called Novi Commentarii Academiæ, &c.; and in 1777, the Bernouilli, the two De Lisles, Bulfinger, and Wolff. academy again changed the title into Acta Academice Scien
During the short reign of Peter II. the salaries of the tiarum Imperialis Petropolitanæ, and likewise made some members were discontinued, and the academy utterly alteration in the arrangements and plan of the work. The neglected by the Court; but it was again patronised by the papers, which had been hitherto published in the Latin Empress Anne, who even added a seminary for the educa- language only, were now written indifferently either in tion of youth under the superintendence of the professors. that language or in French, and a preface added, entitled Both institutions flourished for some time under the Partie Historique, which contains an account of its prodirection of Baron Korf; but upon his death, towards the ceedings, meetings, the admission of new members, and end of Anne's reign, an ignorant person being appointed other remarkable occurrences. Of the Commentaries, 14 president, many of the most able members quitted Russia. volumes were published: the first of the New CommenAt the accession of Elizabeth, however, new life and vigour taries made its appearance in 1750, and the twentieth in were infused into the academy. The original plan was 1776. Under the new title of Acta Academice, a number of enlarged and improved; some of the most learned foreigners volumes have been given to the public; and two are printed were again drawn to St Petersburg; and, what was considered every year. These transactions abound with ingenious and as a good omen for the literature of Russia, two natives, elaborate disquisitions upon various parts of science and Lomonosof and Rumovsky, men of genius and abilities, natural history; and it may not be an exaggeration to assert, who had prosecuted their studies in foreign universities, that no society in Europe has more distinguished itself for were enrolled among its members. Lastly, the annual the excellence of its publications, particularly in the more income was increased to £10,659, and sundry other advan- abstruse parts of pure and mixed mathematics. tages were conferred upon the institution,
The academy is still composed, as at first, of 15 proThe Empress Catharine II., with her usual zeal for fessors, besides the president and director. Each of these promoting the diffusion of knowledge, took this useful professors has a house and an annual stipend of from £200 society under her immediate protection. She altered the to £600. Besides the professors, there are four adjuncts, court of directors greatly to the advantage of the whole with pensions, who are present at the sittings of the society, body, corrected many of its abuses, and infused a new and succeed to the first vacancies. The direction of the vigour and spirit into their researches. By Catharine’s academy is generally entrusted to a person of distinction, particular recommendation the most ingenious professors The buildings and apparatus of this academy are on a visited the various provinces of her vast dominions; and as vast scale. There is a fine library, consisting of 36,000 the funds of the academy were not sufficient to defray the curious books and manuscripts; together with an extensive whole expense of these expeditions, the empress supplied museum, in which the various branches of natural history, the deficiency by a grant of £2000, which was renewed as &c., are distributed in different apartments. The latter is occasion required.
extremely rich in native productions, having been consi.
derably augmented by the collections made by Pallas, of Bacon used to meet, some in London, some at Oxford, Gmelin, Guldenstaedt, and other professors, during their for the discussion of subjects connected with experimental expeditions through the various parts of the Russian em- science. This was the origin of the Royal Society, which pire. The stuffed animals and birds occupy one apartment. received its charter in 1662. See RoYAL SOCIETY. The chamber of rarities, the cabinet of coins, &c., contain Ireland.—The Royal Irish Academy arose out of a innumerable articles of the highest curiosity and value. society established at Dublin about the year 1782, and The motto of the society is exceedingly modest; it consists consisting of a number of gentlemen, most of whom of only one word, Paulatim.
belonged to the university. They held weekly meetings, Sweden.—The Academy of Sciences at Stockholm, or the and read essays in turn on various subjects. The members Royal Swedish Academy, owes its institution to six persons of this society afterwards formed a more extensive plan, of distinguished learning, among whom was the celebrated and, admitting only such names as might add dignity to Linnæus. They originally met on the 2d of June 1739, their new institution, became the founders of the Royal when they formed a private society, in which some dis- Irish Academy. They professed to unite the advancement sertations were read; and in the end of the same year of science with the history of mankind and polite literature. their first publication made its appearance.
As the meet- The first volume of their transactions (for 1787) appeared ings continued and the members increased, the society in 1788, and seven volumes were afterwards published. attracted the notice of the king; and, accordingly, on the A society was formed in Dublin, similar to the Royal 31st of March 1741, it was incorporated under the name Society in London, as early as the year 1683; but the of the Royal Swedish Academy. Not receiving any pen- distracted state of the country proved unpropitious to the sion from the crown, it is merely under the protection of cultivation of philosophy and literature. the king, being directed, like our Royal Society, by its own Holland.--The Royal Academy of Sciences at Amsterdam, members. It has now, however, a large fund, which has erected by a royal ordinance 1852, succeeded the Royal chiefly arisen from legacies and other donations; but a pro- Institute of the Low Countries, founded by Louis Napoleon, fessor of experimental philosophy, and two secretaries, are King of Holland, 1808. In 1855 it had published 192 still the only persons who receive any salaries. Each of volumes of proceedings, and received an annual subsidy of the members resident at Stockholm becomes president by 14,000 florins from the state. rotation, and continues in office during three months. Spain.—The Academy of Sciences at Madrid, founded There are two kinds of members, native and foreign; the 1774, after the model of the French Academy. election of the former take places in April, that of the latter Portugal.-The Academy of Sciences at Lisbon is divided in July; and no money is paid at the time of admission. into three classes_natural history, mathematics, and The dissertations read at each meeting are collected and national literature. It consists of 24 ordinary and 36 published four times in the yoar: they are written in the extraordinary members. Since 1779 it E
hed Swedish language, and printed in octavo, and the annual Memorias de Letteratura Portugueza; Memorii. ricas; publications make a volume. The first 40 volumes, which Collecçao de Livros ineditos di Historia Por were completed in 1779, are called the Old Transactions. II. ACADEMIES OF BELLES LETTRES. -Itay in the
Denmark.—The Royal Academy of Sciences at Copen- | 16th century was remarkable for the ni --- of its literary hagen owes its institution to the zeal of six individuals, academies. Tiraboschi, in his History of Italian Literature, whom Christian VI., in 1742, ordered to arrange his cabinet has given a list of 171; and Jarkius, in his Specimen of medals. These persons were John Gram, Joachim Fre- Historiæ Academiarum Conditarum, enumerates nearly deric Ramus, Christian Louis Scheid, Mark Woldickey, 700. Many of these, with a sort of Socratic irony, gave Eric Pontopidan, and Bernard Moelman, who, occasionally themselves names expressive of ignorance or simply ludimeeting for this purpose, extended their designs; associated crous. Such were the Lunatici of Naples, the Estravaganti, with them others who were eminent in several branches of the Fulminales, the Trapessati, the Drowsy, the Sleepers, science; and forming a kind of literary society, employed the Anxious, the Confused, the Unstable, the Fantastic, themselves in searching into, and explaining the history and the Transformed, the Etherial. “The first academies of antiquities of their country. The Count of Holstein, the Italy chiefly directed their attention to classical literature; first president, warmly patronised this society, and recom- they compared manuscripts; they suggested new readings, or mended it so strongly to Christian VI. that, in 1743, his new interpretations; they deciphered inscriptions or coins; Danish majesty took it under his protection, called it the they sat in judgment on a Latin ode, or debated the proRoyal Academy of Sciences, endowed it with a fund, and priety of a phrase. Their own poetry had, perhaps, never ordered the members to join to their former pursuits been neglected; but it was not till the writings of Bembo natural history, physics, and mathematics. In consequence furnished a new code of criticism in the Italian language, of the royal favour the members engaged with fresh zeal that they began to study it with the same minuteness as in their pursuits; and the academy has published 15 modern Latin." They were encouragers of a numisvolumes in the Danish language, some of which have been matic and lapidary erudition, elegant in itself, and throwtranslated into Latin.
ing for ever little specks of light on the still ocean of the England.-In 1616 a scheme for founding a Royal past, but not very favourable to comprehensive observation, Academy was started by Edmund Bolton, an eminent and tending to bestow on an unprofitable pedantry the scholar and antiquary. Bolton, in his petition to King honours of real learning.”] The Italian nobility, excluded James, which was supported by George Villiers, Marquis of as they mostly were from politics, and living in cities, Buckingham, proposed that the title of the academy should found in literature a consolation and a career. Such be “King James, his Academe or College of honour.” academies were oligarchical in their constitution; they In the list of members occurs the name of Sir Kenelm encouraged culture, but tended to hamper genius and Digby, one of the original members of the Royal Society. extinguish originality. Of their academies, by far the The death of the king proved fatal to the undertaking. most celebrated was the Accademia della Crusca or FurIn 1635 a second attempt was made to found an academy, furatorum; that is, of Bran, or of the Sifted. The title under the patronage of Charles I., with the title of was borrowed from a previous society at Perugia, the “ Minerva's Museum,” for the instruction of young noble- Accademia degli Scossi, of the Well-shaken. Its device men in the liberal arts and sciences, but the project was soon dropped. About 1645 some of the more ardent followers | Hallam's Int. to Lit. of Europe, vol. i. 654, and vol. il. 509.