This is one of three famous gymnasia or sports grounds located outside the walls of Athens. It is situated on the bank of a river and was named after the precinct in which it was located. We know from Plato that it was a favorite spot for Socrates, being the setting for two Platonic dialogues, the Euthydemus and the Lysis.

Unlike our age, which all too often separates intellectual from athletic sites, the Greeks professed integration of mind and body. There was no "dumb jock" mentality here! Because the Lyceum was a place for the free and uninhibited discussion of the truth, it forms a contrast to the courts of law in this dialogue where "winning" is what counted and the truth had, at best, secondary value.

Later, in the fourth century B.C.E., Aristotle founded a school here and, likewise, named it after the precinct.