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  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

3 - Organization and structure of the philosophical schools

This chapter deals with the organization and structure of the philosophical schools during the Hellenistic period. It first discusses and objections to the theory of Wilamowitz, according to which the philosophers' schools were religious societies (thiasoi), dedicated to the worship of the gods, or the Muses in this particular case. From Wilamowitz on, the Academy has been seen as the prototype for every school, and reconstructions of all other schools (primarily the Peripatos) have been modelled on the blueprint of its organization and structure. There are important differences between the Academy and Peripatos, on the one hand, and Epicurus' Garden on the other. In some schools there was in use a distinction between younger students (neaniskoi) and older ones (presbuteroi), perhaps corresponding to a different level of attainment. The methods of upkeep of the schools took different forms. Epicurus followed a system of free donations (suntaxeis) that were given to the Garden by influential persons.
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The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy
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