My hero(ine)

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.” Hypatia of Alexandria.

Hypathia is considered to have been the first woman to write on the subject of mathematics and an important pagan philosopher. When she was born in 370 A.D. in the cosmopolitan/Hellenistic Alexandria, her father Theon, a distinguished mathmatician/philosopher, was determined that Hypatia should develop into a “perfect human being”, which is remarkable since women were considered to be less than human. Theon then set up an educational plan for his daughter to ensure that her body would be as healthy as her well-trained mind. He also taught Hypathia to question any rigid system of religion and embrace new scientific truths. When Christendom took over Alexandria, she was murdered/flayed alive(?) by a mob of Christian monks, which marked the End of Reason. Her writings have all been lost. (Painting by Raphael, School of Athens, detail)

(AGORA is the most recent film about her life. Watch trailer.)

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  1. Pingback: The other Aphrodite | Julie O'Yang

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