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A scholarch (Ancient Greek: σχολάρχης, scholarchēs) is the head of a school. The term was especially used for the heads of schools of philosophy in ancient Athens, such as the Platonic Academy, whose first scholarch was Plato himself. He held the position for forty years, appointing his nephew Speussipus as his successor; later scholarchs were elected by members of the Academy.

A list of scholarchs of the four main philosophy schools in Athens during the Hellenistic period, with the approximate dates they headed the schools, is as follows:[1]

Academy Lyceum Stoa Garden

388-348 Plato
348-339 Speusippus
339-314 Xenocrates
314-270 Polemo
270-265 Crates of Athens
265-241 Arcesilaus
241-225 Lacydes
225-167 Telecles & Euander
167-165 Hegesinus
165-137 Carneades
137-131 Carneades II
131-127 Crates of Tarsus
127-110 Clitomachus
110-84 Philo of Larissa

335-322 Aristotle
322-287 Theophrastus
287-269 Strato
269-225 Lyco
225-??? Aristo
  c. 155   Critolaus
???-110 Diodorus of Tyre

300-262 Zeno of Citium
262-230 Cleanthes
230-205 Chrysippus
205-??? Zeno of Tarsus
???-145 Diogenes
145-129 Antipater
129-110 Panaetius

307-271 Epicurus
271-250 Hermarchus
250-215 Polystratus
215-201 Dionysius
201-??? Basilides
  c. 175   Thespis
???-100 Apollodorus
100-75 Zeno of Sidon
75-70 Phaedrus


  1. ^ Tiziano Dorandi, Chapter 2: Chronology, in K. Algra, J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld, M. Schofield, (editors) The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, page 53. Cambridge University Press


  • Gondek, Maria J. (2005). "Academy, Plato's". Universal Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Polskie Towarzystwo Tomasza z Akwinu. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 
  • Urdang, Laurence (1986). -Ologies & -Isms. The Gale Group. Retrieved 2008-06-27.