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The Academy was a philosophical school established by Plato that safeguarded the continuity and the evolution of Platonism over a period of about 300 years. Its contribution to the development of Hellenistic philosophical and scientific thinking was decisive, but it also had a major impact on the formation of most of the other philosophical trends emerging during this period. This volume surveys the evidence for the historical and social setting in which the Academy operated, as well as the various shifts in the philosophical outlook of Platonism during its existence. Its contribution to the evolution of special sciences such as mathematics is also examined. The book further includes the first complete annotated translation in English of Philodemus' History of the Academy, preserved on a papyrus from Herculaneum. It thus offers a comprehensive picture of one of the most prominent and influential of all educational institutions in ancient Greece.