The Ionian Academy on Corfu was in existence from 1824 – 1864. It was the first Greek university in modern times. The Ionian Academy was started by a British man by the name of Phil Hellene Frederic North who was the Count of Guilford. He first visited the island of Corfu in 1791 and was determined to have a good relationship with the island. When the island of Corfu came under British rule, North had a plan to set up a university. His mission was to create a place for Greeks to advance their education without having to leave the country.
The academy offered courses in sciences, ethics, humanities, botany, penal civil law, physiology, and political economy. Throughout the years, the Ionian Academy would experience ups and downs. After the death of North in 1827, many of the books he had donated to the academy would be sent back to Britain. By 1828, the medical school of the Ionian Academy was shut down. Scholars who taught at the Ionian Academy included: Greek poet Andreas Kalvos, Christoforos Filitas, Nikolaos Piccolos, and Konstantinos Typaldos.
Until 1941, the Ionian Academy building was used as a library and Corfu Town’s high school. In 1943, the building was burned by a German bombing. It was later restored.
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