), a school
) founded by the Emperor Hadrian at
Rome, for the promotion of literary and scientific studies (ingenuarum artium
), and called Athenaeum from the
town of Athens, which was still regarded as the seat of intellectual
refinement. The Athenaeum was situated on the Capitoline hill. It was a kind
of university; and a staff of professors, for the various branches of study,
was regularly engaged. Under Theodosius II., for example, there were three
orators, ten grammarians, five sophists, one philosopher, two lawyers or
jurisconsults. Besides the instruction given by these magistri; poets,
orators, and critics were accustomed to recite their compositions there, and
these prelections were sometimes honoured with the presence of the emperors
themselves. There were other places where such recitations were made, as the
Library of Trajan [BIBLIOTHECA
]; sometimes also a room was [p. 1.237]
hired, and made into an auditorium, seats erected, &c. The
Athenaeum seems to have continued in high repute till the fifth century.
Little is known of the details of study or discipline in the Athenaeum, but
in the constitution of the year 370 there are some regulations respecting
students in Rome, from which it would appear that it must have been a very
extensive and important institution. And this is confirmed by other
statements contained in some of the Fathers and other ancient authors, from
which we learn that young men from all parts, after finishing their usual
school and college studies in their own town or province, used to resort to
Rome as a sort of higher university, for the purpose of completing their
education. (Aur. Vict. Caes.
14; D. C.
; Capitolin. Pertin.
11, Gordian. Sen.
3; Lamprid. Alex. Sever.
Cod. Theod. 14, tit. 9, s. 1.)