ATHENAEUM, a name originally applied in ancient Greece to buildings dedicated to Athena, and specially used as the designation of a temple in Athens, where poets and men of learning were accustomed to meet and read their productions. The academy for the promotion of learning which the emperor Hadrian built (about A.D. 135) at Rome, near the Forum, was also called the Athenaeum. Poets and orators still met and discussed there, but regular courses of instruction were given by a staff of professors in rhetoric, jurisprudence, grammar and philosophy. The institution, later called Schola Romana, continued in high repute till the 5th century. Similar academies were also founded in the provinces and at Constantinople by the emperor Theodosius II. In modern times the name has been applied to various academies, as those of Lyons and Marseilles, and the Dutch high schools; and it has become a very general designation for literary clubs. It is also familiar as the title of several literary periodicals, notably of the London literary weekly founded in 1828.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)