At the time in the 5th Century Hypatia was considered to be the greatest living mathematician, a physically beautiful woman, and also the world's leading astronomer. Rachel Weisz plays the part of Hypatia in the film Agora She lived in Alexandria a city which was turbulent as Baghdad and Kabul are today. She was a teacher and
famous as a philosopher and religious thinker who attracted a large popular following. She lived in Alexandria a city which was turbulent as Baghdad and Kabul are today. She was a teacher and famous as a philosopher and religious thinker who attracted a large popular following. She was killed by Christians zealots in 451AD probably because she was not one of them. It appears that her death lies at the door of one of Christianity's most
honored saints: Saint Cyrus Alejandro Amenabar directs Rachel Weisz as Hypatia on the set of the movie Agora Hypatia was considered to be the greatest living mathematician a physically beautiful woman, and also the world's leading astronomer. She lived in Alexandria a city which was turbulent as Baghdad and Kabul are today. She was a teacher and
famous as a philosopher and religious thinker who attracted a large popular following. Beyond the Desert: Hypatia of Alexandria, the Last Librarian (355? - 415) "Imagine a time when the world's greatest living mathematician was a woman, indeed, a physically beautiful woman, and a woman who was simultaneously the world's leading astronomer. Imagine that she conducted her life and her
professional work in a city as turbulent and troubled as Ayodhya or Amritsar, Baghdad or Beirut is today. Imagine such a female mathematician achieving fame not only in her specialist field, but also as a philosopher and a religious thinker who attracted a large popular following. Imagine her as a virgin martyr killed not for her Christianity, but by Christians because she was not one of them. And imagine that the guilt of her death was widely whispered to lie at the door of one of
Christianity's most honored and significant saints." source: goodreads Hypatia of Alexandria...Selective Links "Many centuries before our time, in the learned circles of a wonderful city, men [and women] were greatly interested in the stars, in the elements, in the cosmic process, in time and space, in the relations of the spiritual to the material, in the possibilities of the ages yet to be and in the perennial riddle of the future of the human soul."... R. Tollinton, Alexandrine
Teaching.The last three years of her life were a highly charged time in the city. A new imperial Prefect named Orestes came to Alexandria and shortly afterwards the Patriarch Theophilus died leaving the church in the hands of his young and inexperienced nephew Cyril. Cyril wanted personal power and diligently pursued an agenda of ecclesiastical encroachment on secular prerogatives. Orestes resisted. Hypatia tried to mediate in this conflict between the new Patriarch and the Prefect but she was perceived as partisan by the ecclesiastical set. Hypatia came down on the
side of traditional Greek values - discourse over violence, tolerance over bigotry, secular authority over religious authority. Cyril faced a Prefect backed by an experienced woman with considerable authority, extensive influence, and the courage of her convictions. In addition, through her influential disciples, she might win support for Orestes among people close to the emperor. This aroused fear and consternation among Cyril's supporters....Hypatia
, Lady Philosopher of Alexandria...by Faith L. Justice Hypatia was a mathematician, astronomer, teacher, editor, inventor, musician, and author. In March, 415 A.D. she was murdered by a mob of fanatics on the steps of a church called The Caesarium in Alexandria, Egypt. She has become a symbol of martryed Reason, feminism, and Classical paganism. The year of her birth is unknown. The Polish historian Maria Dzielska, arguing that the career path of a 4th century academic might parallel a modern one, suggests that Hypatia was born around 355, which
would have made her 60 when she died. This chronology allows her to be significantly older than her more notable students, conforming to modern convention. One should bear in mind, though, that a Roman girl was a legal adult at the age of 12, and in an age when life was nasty, brutish and short, people did not have the luxury of prolonging childhood, adolescence and graduate school into their thirties. In the novel Alexandria I assume along with most historians that Hypatia was born between 370-380. Ive also assumed she was as brilliant as her attainments suggest and she was likely a child prodigy
along the lines of Mozart and Gauss. Historical accounts note her beauty and chastity, suggesting she was fairly young when she died. She edited a number of works in collaboration with her father, the mathematician Theon, last director of the Museion that was the center of scholarship in the classical She edited a number of works in collaboration with her father, the mathematician Theon, last director of the Museion that was the center of scholarship in the classical world. Among them were a commentary on the 13-volume Arithmetica by Diophantus, which
plays a role in the novel. She also edited Theons commentary on Euclid's Elements, which was likely the basis for every geometry text for the next fifteen centuries. She probably wrote The Astronomical Canon, which was part of Theons commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest: the book that defined the Western view of the universe until Galileos discoveries in 1610. Although Ptolemys geocentric theory was incorrect, his Almagest remains a model of rigorous mathematical exposition and in a roundabout way it led to the discovery of the Americas; Ptolemy was also a geographer, and he erroneously placed India far enough east to make Columbuss plan
seem plausible. The compilation of Ptolemys work that survived to let him be considered the ultimate authority at the beginning of the Renaissance likely derived from the edition prepared by Theon and Hypatia. Our only first-hand source materials are the letters written to Hypatia by her student, Bishop Synesius of Cyrene, who addresses her as mother and sister, suggesting not only his great respect but caution appropriate to a married cleric (he was granted a dispensation to retain his wife when he assumed the bishopric). He clearly adored Hypatia
and took pains to keep his letters on a lofty plane, lest she be irritated by his attention. Like many geniuses, Hypatia was likely a prickly personality, as evidenced by the only anecdote that offers an insight into her personal life, which has her hurling her menstrual rags at a lovesick student. One of Synesiuss letters asks plaintively why she has not responded to his last letter. Despite his best efforts to remain scholarly the letter has a tone suggestive of unrequited love. Hypatia became the fulcrum of a power struggle between the ambitious bishop Cyril and the Roman governor Orestes. Seen often in the company of the magistrates Hypatia had a rock star celebrity
uncommon to women in that time. Cyril was irked to see the crowds of students waiting outside her house and he blamed her for his estrangement from Orestes. In an effort to assert Church authority he cultivated a religious police force called the Parabolani a kind of Christian Taliban. One day, when she was riding in her chariot (more likely a coach) past the pagan temple that had been converted to Cyrils headquarters, a mob of Parabolani seized her, dragged her up the temple steps, and beat her to death with tiles. Orestes vanished from the historical record shortly after that probably recalled by order of the regent Pulcheria. Cyril continued as Patriarch of Alexandria
for three decades and was eventually canonized. The Renaissance artist Raphael, defying the Pope who commissioned the work, painted Hypatia into his 1510 masterpiece The School of Athens. The only woman among the sages, Hypatia gazes provocatively at the viewer as if she knows her story will be mined for rich polemical ore by social critics for centuries to come. In the years before the French Revolution the liberal firebrand Voltaire cited Hypatia's murder as one of the more
egregious crimes committed by the Church, setting the tone for the 1853 novel Hypatia: Or Old Foes with a New Face by Charles Kingsley, chaplain to Queen Victoria. Kingsley's novel is a screed against Catholicism that depicts Hypatia as a mystic torn between paganism and Christianity. Ironically, although Hypatia was murdered by a Christian mob she was probably the model for St. Catherine of Alexandria, whose dubious historicity prompted Church leaders during Vatican II to demote her to a saint worthy of merely "optional" veneration.
Astronomer Carl Sagan, guiding TV viewers through a recreation of the Great Library of Alexandria in his 1980 PBS series Cosmos, portrayed Hypatia as the last of the great classical thinkers, whose demise marks the beginning of the Dark Ages. She is considered by many to be the first female scientist and a lunar crater located about 100 miles south of Tranquility Base is named after her. (Bishop Cyril, her enemy, is commemorated by a much larger crater in the same region).
Despite her dramatic story, Hypatia has never been the subject of a movie until recently. The $72 million English language film Agora by Chilean director Alejandro Amenabar was released in Spain in late 2009. Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz stars as Hypatia. The plot revolves around the struggle of Hypatia's slave who is torn between his love for her and the promise of freedom offered by rioters who have besieged the Great Library. The Caesarium was a temple built by Cleopatra VII to
commemorate the deification of her murdered lover Julius Caesar and to honor her husband Marc Antony. When Octavian, Caesar's heir, conquered Antony and occupied Alexandria he destroyed every statue of the "Egyptian whore" but preserved her monument, rededicating it to himself. So travelers entering Alexandria's harbor might notice the temple he set before it two fifteen-centuries-old pylons from the temple of Ra in Heliopolis, one of which now stands behind the Metropolitan Museum in New York's Central
Park and the other in London's Thames Embankment. Until the middle of the 4th century the Caesarium was the center of a temple complex that included gardens, lecture halls, and satellites of the Great Library. Converted to a Christian church in the late 4th century, The Caesarium served as headquarters to Bishop Cyril who led a campaign to stamp out all non-Christian influences in Alexandria. The philosopher Hypatia was murdered on the steps of this temple in March, 415. (artwork 2008 by Don Dixon)
Eleven hundred years later, Raphael was commissioned to paint The School of Athens for Pope Julius II. The fresco was to be painted above the philosophical section of the Pope's personal library. In his original draft, Raphael placed Hypatia in the center, just below the central figures of Plato and Aristotle. The church fathers ordered her removal. Raphael still managed to sneak her into the fresco, however, disguised as another figure. Hypatia is the woman
dressed in white in the lower left of the painting, looking directly out at the viewer. Hypatia, once condemned by a church father, now gazes out over the church fathers. The Significance of Hypatia Hypatia and her father Theon played a pivotal role in human history. Together they fought to stop the world from descending into the Dark Ages. They were not successful in this, but their life's work ultimately played
a crucial role in helping to bring about the Renaissance a thousand years later. "Renaissance" means rebirth the Renaissance was the rebirth of the Hellenistic Age of Reason. Hypatia may very well have been history's greatest teacher. Hypatia of Alexandria: Defender of Reason by Jim Haldenwang written April 7, 2008 revised July 28, 2012
Who was Hypatia? She was the last great Greek teacher, philosopher, mathematician, and scientist of antiquity. She devoted her life to defending and preserving the great Greek tradition of rational thought. Her cruel murder in 415 AD marked the end of humanity's first Age of Reason and the beginning of the Dark Ages. Her life's work may have helped to spark the Renaissance and the second Age of Reason. Here I present what little is known of her life, and why she may have been one of history's most influential figures. The 5th century Christian historian Socrates Scholasticus (c. 379 c. 450 AD) said of Hypatia, "There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time." 
Theon (c. 335 c. 405 AD), Hypatia's father, was the last recorded scholar-member of what still remained of the great Library of Alexandria. The Library of Alexandria was the greatest repository of knowledge in the ancient world. For six centuries prior to Hypatia's birth, the finest intellectuals of the Western world made their home in Alexandria and studied at the great Library. The Library was probably established in the third century BC, during the reign of Ptolemy II of Egypt (281 BC 246 BC). The Library probably contained over half a million scrolls. It is possible that much of this collection was lost in a fire when Julius Caesar conquered Alexandria in 48 BC. There is a legend that the collection was partially restored by Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), who plundered the Library of Pergamon (the second largest library of the ancient world) in order to present a wedding gift of over 200,000 scrolls
to Cleopatra. Whether or not this story is true, it appears that the collection at Alexandria decreased over the centuries, due to fires and the wear and tear of age. By the time of Theon, who lived in the 4th century AD, the only surviving building of the Library complex may have been the "Mouseion" or Museum (the "Temple of the Muses," from which we get the modern word "museum.") The Museum appears to have been a research institute, perhaps the world's first. It was in the Museum where Theon probably worked as a distinguished mathematician and scholar. It is not known exactly when Hypatia was born. The dates commonly given are between 350 and 370 AD.  It appears her father gave her an enlightened education, which may have
included trips to Athens and Italy to study. When she grew up, she far surpassed her father and became the world's foremost teacher and scholar, working in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, mechanics, and philosophy.  She became the head of the Neoplatonist school of philosophy around 400 AD. Students came from throughout the known world to be taught by her. Her renown was such that she was able to move freely in a world dominated almost exclusively by men. In the world's first reference to a hydrometer, an instrument used to measure the specific gravity of fluids, her pupil, the bishop Synesius of Cyrene (c. 373 c. 414), wrote her a letter asking her to make one for him.  She also helped Synesius to construct an astrolabe, an instrument used to measure the position of the Sun and stars.  She wrote extensively, but most of her writings have been lost, or at least the
acknowledgments to her have been lost.  She and her father worked together to write commentaries on important texts, such as Ptolemy's Almagest. These commentaries, known as recensions, were very extensive and amounted to complete revisions of the original works. We know that father and daughter worked together because in Theon's commentary on Book III of Ptolemy's Almagest, he tells us that the work is "in the recension of my philosopher-daughter Hypatia."  She was known for her eloquent style and her ability to simplify and clarify complex concepts.  Indeed, her father seems to have considered Hypatia his superior in this regard. Although modern historians often credit Theon for an important recension of Euclid's
Elements,  it is reasonable to hypothesize that Hypatia was also involved. The extraordinary eloquence and clarity of the Elements that has been handed down to us suggests the hand of Hypatia. As Theon's comment on Book III of Ptolemy's Almagest mentioned above shows, Hypatia modestly did not take credit for her own work. In this paper I will refer to this edition of the Elements as the recension of Theon and Hypatia. This recension survived the Dark Ages and re-emerged in Europe a thousand years later. How did this happen? The Neoplatonist philosopher Proclus (412 485) probably made use of the recension of Theon and Hypatia when he added his own commentary to Book I. Proclus resided in Athens. After the School of Athens was shut down by the emperor Justinian in 529 AD, the surviving Greek recensions, including the Elements, made their way to Byzantium.
In Byzantium, the Greek works were translated into Arabic around 800 AD. The Arabic version of the Elements was translated into Latin in the 12th century, and then spread throughout Europe over the next few centuries. How important was the survival of Euclid's Elements to the course of human history? The Elements was the most influential textbook in history.  As reformulated by Theon and Hypatia, the Elements became more than just a textbook on geometry. It became the definitive guide on how to think clearly and reason logically. The scientists Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton were all influenced by the Elements. Newton's interest in mathematics was awakened when he bought and read a copy of this book.  He used the style of the Elements, with formal propositions and rigorous proofs, in his Principia, the book
which forms the foundation of modern physics. All of modern mathematics employs the logical, deductive method that was introduced by the Elements. In short, modern science and technology rests on the firm foundation laid down by Euclid's Elements. Hypatia lived in turbulent times. It was the twilight of the Hellenistic era and the dawning of the Age of Faith. The Christians were the rising power, and the concept of the separation of church and state did not exist at that time. In 391 AD, the Christian emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples. In Alexandria, the bishop Theophilus implemented this order. The Museum where Theon worked was probably destroyed at this time. Hypatia was opposed to the new religion and vigorously defended traditional Greek
Hypatia dedicated her life to preserving and promoting traditional Greek rational thought. In addition to collaborating with her father on various recensions, she also wrote commentaries of her own on The Arithmetica of Diophantus and The Conics of Appollonius. Additionally, she wrote a text entitled The Astronomical Canon. Some of these influential works have survived to the present day. How much of the surviving text was written by her remains a matter of fierce debate. Hypatia was close friends with the prefect (secular governor) of Alexandria, Orestes. In the year 412, the bishop Theophilus died. His nephew Cyril took his place as the patriarch of Alexandria. Cyril was determined to wrest all power away from Orestes. Hypatia was caught in the middle of this political struggle. In the year 415, a Christian mob led by Peter the
Reader dragged her from her carriage as she was returning home. They took her to the church called Caesareum, stripped her naked, and tore her flesh apart with tiles or oyster shells. They took her mangled body to a place called Cinaron and burnt it. Shortly thereafter, Orestes disappeared. The emperor took no action, apparently due to a bribe. Bishop Cyril became the sole ruler of Alexandria. The remaining scholars fled to Athens. Alexandria, once the intellectual light of the Western world, soon faded into mediocrity. Europe gradually descended into the Dark Ages. Democritus's atomic theory and Aristarchus's heliocentric model of the universe are not subjects that can often be said
to delight audiences at the Cannes film festival. But Alejandro Amenabar's Agora did just that in its premiere today, with Rachel Weisz starring as the 4th-century mathematician and astronomer Hypatia, who was killed by an angry Christian mob in Romano-Egyptian Alexandria. The film, part of the festival's official selection but not competing for the Palme d'Or, received cheers. According to Edward Gibbon, in his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Hypatia's "flesh was scraped from her bones with sharp oyster-shells". Amenabar spares his heroine quite
such a grim end but he does portray her as an areligious, Enlightenment heroine destroyed by brutal fanatics. "Once we started researching the film we recognised a lot of echoes with contemporary times and realised we could make a film about the present," he said. Some viewers have even likened the depiction of the members of the parabolani, an early-Christian brotherhood, to the modern Taliban. "It's true the parabolani [in the film] resemble a little bit the Taliban," said Amenabar. But it is not deliberate.
Agora, which co-stars Max Minghella as Hypatia's slave Davus, gives all religions a hard time: Jews, Christians and pagans are all depicted as, at times, vengeful and violent, with Hypatia and her pupils representing the forces of reason. The historical Hypatia was probably around 60 when she died, rather than the youthful martyr depicted here. A neoplatonist, she was said to have edited the works of Apollonius and Diophantus on geometry and arithmetic. One of the more colourful anecdotes told about her in antiquity was that she presented a besotted suitor with a blood-stained
sanitary towel - an episode Amenabar incorporates into his script. Her father was Theon, the last president of the Mouseion, the centre of Alexandria's higher education. Ypatia1 Agora is a new movie about the pagan philosopher and martyr Hypatia, who was murdered by a mob of Christians in the latter days of the Roman Empire. Hypatia is sometimes taken as a martyr of
science and thus a hero for atheists, but in reality she was a deeply religious person. Specifically, she was a Neoplatonist, which was a powerful late pagan philosophical and mystical movement. None of her writings have survived, but she was universally considered to be an important philosopher. The city of Alexandria in Roman Egypt was a hotbed of rival religions, mystical sects and philosophical schools. Gnosticism was born there, as was Neoplatonism, and Christianity absorbed a lot from both movements. However, all of Alexandria's rival religious factions were violently antagonistic to each other, and the struggle for spiritual
supremacy was often mixed up with local political rivalries. Hypatia, as an influential figure in the pagan community, was in it up to her neck. At some point she made too many enemies, and they managed to get the mob riled up against her. The result was her murder, the most famous example of pagan martyrdom in the ancient world. Apparently the Church has been complaining about the movie because it portrays Christians as a bloodthirsty mob of intolerant fanatics. Such a sweeping generalization would not be fair, but the facts are the
Death of Hypatia, 1930s William Mortensen(18971965) *more of William Mortensen in this album with Nobe Oddy, Det Som Engang Var, Rosalia Chingona, Andrea Garcia Martin, Arlindo Batista da Silva, Salvador Flores, Ken Oiler and CeAce Harris. Hypatia Circa A.D. 375 - 415
Who was Hypatia? In the estimation of some, Hypatia was historys greatest woman. By all accounts stunningly beautiful, dazzlingly brilliant, yet always modest and kind, in an age when women were but chattel, she was historys first female mathematician, as well as the first female astronomer, inventor, and natural philosopher. She was the last keeper of the flame of knowledge in that great Alexandrian University the Museum the center of all the worlds learning. As the daughter of the last head professor of the Museum, she practically grew up in the Great Alexandrian Library, where all the worlds knowledge was kept, for in addition to being a child prodigy, she was a voracious reader. Already, by the age of womanhood in those days (i.e., twelve), she was considered to have
assimilated the sum total of all significant human knowledge. Books in those days, before the advent of printing, were in the form of hand-written scrolls, each one a priceless original, and when what was left of the Great Alexandrian Library was burned down by the Christians at the command of Christian emperor Theodosius The Great in the year 391, the books were all gone. But Hypatias mind still contained the best of what was lost in the flames, and so, throughout the rest of her life, whenever someone was stumped by a problem, there were no more books to turn to to see if some brilliant ancient Greek hadnt already solved it there was only Hypatia to turn to.
By the time her career as lecturing natural philosopher culminated, she was considered an oracle, and citizens and heads of state streamed in from all over the two empires to consult with her on important matters. Indeed, so great was her renown, that letters from all over the far-flung empires addressed simply to the Philosopher would unerringly find their way to her. Her lifes mission was to preserve the ancient knowledge of the brilliant Greeks, and to preserve their tradition of free-thinking rational thought, but the world around her was in upheaval, and the Christians were consolidating their power, turning the mind of man away from reason, to faith. Hypatia was the last obstacle to the Churchs goal of world domination, and when the Christian mob under Saint Cyril came to make of her historys greatest martyr for science in the most
gruesome way imaginable the scholars left Alexandria in disgust, Alexandria ceased to be the worlds center of learning, the Dark Ages descended upon the world, and the mind of man stagnated for a thousand years. Her life has all the heroic elements of a Greek tragedy, and if this were all that we knew, her place in history would already be assured, as a great tragic soul, standing alone against the coming darkness. But this is not all we know. Recent research suggests that the Christians did not succeed in destroying her lifes works, as was previously believed. Hypatia did not live in vain. It is now believed, by those competent to judge such matters, that the very primers of rational thought, Euclids the Elements, Ptolemys Almagest, and Diophantus Arithmetica have come down to us only through the Hypatian
recension that is, through copies made of Hypatias own hand-written notes on these masterpieces. These books bear the very seed of the ancient Greek genius, and when these books were rediscovered, at the end of the Middle Ages, that seed sprouted and a New Age of secularism and rational thought dawned upon the world, a period in history which we today know as The Renaissance, meaning, quite literally, The Re-Birth of the Classical Age of Greek wisdom. Today, we are in effect, the children of the wise and rational Greeks, not of the ignorant superstitious medievals, in large part because Hypatia preserved and disseminated the seed of Greek wisdom. Although that seed lay dormant for a thousand years, eventually it sprouted and bore the fruits which produced the Modern Age, and in the end, the great woman triumphed, after all. The waning of pagan Roman secular power concided precisely with the waxing of Christian theocracy.
The pagans who were being stamped out felt that this was no random concidence, but that, once in power, Christianity caused the fall of the Roman world which it predicted. This was also essentially the view of Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) as presented in his monumental work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire a work which has widely been regarded as the greatest historical work in the English language. Rome fell when it became a Christian theocracy when all those in power trembled before the cross, believing that the divinelydecreed end of the world was near. When the Roman Empire fell, everyone at the helm was a Christian who felt that it was not this world, but the next, which mattered. As we have seen, Hypatias life mission was simply to preserve the ancient knowledge of the brilliant Greeks, and to preserve their tradition of free-thinking rational thought. Surely, such a
pursuit would not be a threat to anyone, you might think. But, surely, you would be wrong. The world in Hypatias time was in upheaval, and the Christians were consolidating their power, turning the mind of man away from reason, to faith. Though she was highly revered in her time, Hypatia was not a Christian, and she stood at the epicenter of momentous earth-shaking events. The non-Christian Greek tradition of freethinking which Hypatia strove to preserve and disseminate was perceived to be a political threat to the mind-controlling power of the Christian theocrats, and Hypatia came to be regarded as the last obstacle to the Churchs goal of world domination. Everything not in line with Christian dogma was at the time being systematically eliminated by the Christians in power. First the Christians destroyed the full collection of books of the Great Library of Alexandria (housed in the Serapeum at the time), then they eliminated publiclyfunded secular education, by shutting down the Museum for good, and finally the mob of
monks under Saint Cyril came for Hypatia herself, and made of her historys greatest martyr for science and Reason in the most gruesome way imaginable. The conflict which was occurring in Alexandria in Hypatias time was clearly the conflict between Church and State a conflict which the Christians correctly assumed would be resolved when the separation between Church and State was removed. When an example was made of Hypatia, no non-Christian dared to challenge the authority of the Church (even in secular matters) and the separation between Church and State crumbled and fell, and the Church ruled the world. The result, of course, was that the mind of man stagnated for a thousand years, for, as history has shown, time and again, Religion stops a thinking mind.
When Hypatia an eminent and beloved woman renowned for her un-Christian wisdom was publicly assassinated for standing in the way of Christian political power, this sent a chilling message to anyone who had not yet converted. The prefect Orestes (even though he was baptized a Christian) disappeared after Hypatia's murder and was never heard from again, leaving the Churchmen fully in control of even secular matters, and for the millennium that followed no one ever again dared to say, or write, or even think anything that was not in line with the views of the Churchmen in power. Hypatias assassination was very public, as it was intended to send a message, and this butchery carried out in a church evidently achieved its goal, for the scholars fled
Alexandria in shock and disgust, Alexandria ceased to be the worlds center of learning, the Dark Ages descended upon the world, and with the Church finally in control of all the mind of man stagnated for a thousand years. Hypatia stood alone between the Age of Classical Greek Wisdom and the Dark Ages, and when she was snuffed out, so was the light of Reason, and the darkness of ignorance fell at last across the world. It was as if she was the very pivot upon which history turned. That is why Hypatia is regarded by some to be historys greatest woman. History does not record the year of Hypatias birth, and all estimates are nothing more than guesses guesses which invariably reflect the bias of the person making the guess. Most estimates with the notable exception of Maria Dzielskas have placed the year of
Hypatias birth in the range from A.D. 370 to 380. That is to say, most historians before Ms. Dzielska have regarded this to be a plausible range of years for Hypatias birth to have fallen in. In fact, Charles Singer, in his book, A History of Scientific Ideas, specifies with a greater implied precision than any other, the year of Hypatias birth. He gives the year of her birth as A.D. 379 a figure which was adopted for Khan Amores Hypatia, for it best suited the needs of his fiction.