Hypatia

Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all. (Hypatia)

 

Hypatia of Alexandria} (born between 350 and 370; died 415) was a Greek scholar from Alexandria in Egypt, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. She lived in Roman Egypt, and was killed by a Christian mob who falsely blamed her for religious turmoil.

A Neoplatonist philosopher, she belonged to the mathematical tradition of the Academy of Athens represented by Eudoxus of Cnidus; she followed the school of the 3rd century thinker Plotinus, discouraging empirical enquiry and encouraging logical and mathematical studies.

John of Nikiu (7th century) writes:

  • And in those days there appeared in Alexandria a female philosopher, a pagan named Hypatia, and she was devoted at all times to magic, astrolabes and instruments of music, and she beguiled many people through Satanic wiles…A multitude of believers in God arose under the guidance of Peter the magistrate…and they proceeded to seek for the pagan woman who had beguiled the people of the city and the prefect through her enchantments. And when they learnt the place where she was, they proceeded to her and found her…they dragged her along till they brought her to the great church, named Caesareum. Now this was in the days of the fast. And they tore off her clothing and dragged her…through the streets of the city till she died. And they carried her to a place named Cinaron, and they burned her body with fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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