HYPATIA OF ALEXANDRIA
Hypatia of Alexandria (c. 370 CE – March 415 CE) was a female philosopher and mathematician, born in Alexandria, Egypt possibly in 370 CE (although some scholars cite her birth as c. 350 CE). She was the daughter of the mathematician Theon, the last Professor at the University of Alexandria, who tutored her in math, astronomy, and the philosophy of the day which, in modern times, would be considered science. Nothing is known of her mother and there is little information about her life. As the historian Deakin writes, "The most detailed accounts we have of Hypatia's life are the records of her death. We learn more about her death from the primary sources than we do about any other aspect of her life". She was murdered in 415 CE by a Christian mob who attacked her on the streets of Alexandria. The primary sources, even those Christian writers who were hostile to her and claimed she was a witch, portray her as a woman who was widely known for her generosity, love of learning, and expertise in teaching in the subjects of Neo-Platonism, mathematics, science, and philosophy in general.
In a city which was becoming increasingly diverse religiously (and had always been so culturally) Hypatia was a close friend of the pagan prefect Orestes and was blamed by Cyril, the Christian Archbishop of Alexandria, for keeping Orestes from accepting the 'true faith'. She was also seen as a 'stumbling block' to those who would have accepted the 'truth' of Christianity were it not for her charisma, charm, and excellence in making difficult mathematical and philosophical concepts understandable to her students; concepts which contradicted the teachings of the relatively new church. Alexandria was a great seat of learning in the early days of Christianity but, as the faith grew in adherents and power, steadily became divided by fighting among religious factions. It is by no means an exaggeration to state that Alexandria was destroyed as a centre of culture and learning by religious intolerance, and 1Hypatia has come to symbolize this tragedy to the extent that her death has been cited as the end of the classical world.
2By all accounts, Hypatia was an extraordinary woman __________. Theon refused to impose upon his daughter the traditional role assigned to women and raised her as one would have raised a son in the Greek tradition; by teaching her his own trade. The historian Slatkin writes, "Greek women of all classes were occupied with the same type of work, mostly centered around the domestic needs of the family. Women cared for young children, nursed the sick, and prepared food". Hypatia, on the other hand, led the life of a respected academic at Alexandria's university; a position to which, as far as the evidence suggests, only males were entitled previously. She never married and remained celibate throughout her life, devoting herself to learning and teaching. The ancient writers are in agreement that she was a woman of enormous intellectual power. Deakin writes:
“The breadth of her interests is most impressive. Within mathematics, she wrote or lectured on astronomy (including its observational aspects - the astrolabe), geometry (and for its day advanced geometry at that) and algebra (again, for its time, difficult algebra), and made an advance in computational technique - all this as well as engaging in religious philosophy and aspiring to a good writing style. 3Her writings were, as best we can judge, an outgrowth of her teaching in the technical areas of mathematics. In effect, she was continuing a program initiated by her father: a conscious effort to preserve and to elucidate the great mathematical works of the Alexandrian heritage.”
CE = Common Era, the same as AD, Anno Domini.
MARK, Joshua J. Hypatia of Alexandria. In: Ancient History Encyclopedia, 2017. Disponível em: <http://www.ancient.eu/Hypatia_of_Alexandria/>. Acesso em: 20/06/2017.
(Ime 2018) Choose the correct option.
Never had so many diverse cultural groups been observed in Alexandria at the same time.
In Cyril's opinion, if it were not for Hypatia, Orestes would have accepted the real religion.
Orestes thought Hypatia favoured Cyril in some aspects, and she was blamed for that.
The number of different religions was decreasing at that time in Alexandria.
Alexandria's culture and learning was built from religious precept.