"We went first to Athens, where Cicero had promised himself the treat of studying philosophy at the Academy."
The Academy, mosaic from Pompeii
Public DomainThe Academy, mosaic from Pompeii - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Academy was the school set up in Athens by Plato in the 4th century BC to teach philosophy. To the ancients, this encompassed more than the modern concept of philosophy, including science and maths. Taking a trip to Greece to study the arts of philosophy and rhetoric was a common and popular choice for young Roman men starting out in political or professional life. The Academy might be thought of as the first form of the university.