Date

5-1-2020

Description

Hypatia, an educator and philosopher in 4th-century Alexandria, has lived many lives and died many deaths since she reportedly took her last breath before the Caesarum's altar. She emerges in fifth-century texts as virtuous pagan philosopher murdered in the streets by a crowd of monks, with St. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria at the time, to blame. Contemporarily, a Greek text written for a pagan audience describes Hypatia as a beautiful martyr who unfairly reaped the destruction of true philosophy at the behest of Roman Christianization. Three centuries later, she would be called a witch who tricked men to turn against God. It is not just in these early centuries we hear about Hypatia; up to fifteen sources varying from historians to novelists and playwrights from the 18th-century to date, discuss her too-brief existence and the feminist or Christian meaning behind her death. Who really was Hypatia of Alexandria, and in which ways does her reprisals across centuries of literature and scholarly discussion mirror a changing culture?

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May 1st, 12:00 AM

Hypatia's Life and Death From Ancient to Modern Centuries

Hypatia, an educator and philosopher in 4th-century Alexandria, has lived many lives and died many deaths since she reportedly took her last breath before the Caesarum's altar. She emerges in fifth-century texts as virtuous pagan philosopher murdered in the streets by a crowd of monks, with St. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria at the time, to blame. Contemporarily, a Greek text written for a pagan audience describes Hypatia as a beautiful martyr who unfairly reaped the destruction of true philosophy at the behest of Roman Christianization. Three centuries later, she would be called a witch who tricked men to turn against God. It is not just in these early centuries we hear about Hypatia; up to fifteen sources varying from historians to novelists and playwrights from the 18th-century to date, discuss her too-brief existence and the feminist or Christian meaning behind her death. Who really was Hypatia of Alexandria, and in which ways does her reprisals across centuries of literature and scholarly discussion mirror a changing culture?