Biography of Hypatia of Alexandria

Biography of Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia of Alexandria was a philosopher and mathematician who lived in the years when Christian religion began to be the official religion of the Roman Empire, suffering its consequences.

Biography of Hypatia of Alexandria

Little is known about it, but with the little that has survived to this day, it can be considered a woman ahead of her time, since it was introduced in a masculine world where freedom and access to education for women was forbidden.

Born in Alexandria in 370, although other sources date it to the year 355. At that time, Egypt was under Roman powerIt was one more province of the empire.

It is not known who his mother was, but his father was Theon of Alexandria, a renowned philosopher and mathematician who greatly influenced his daughter and made her who she was.

Theon raised his daughter to the ideal of greek guy, that is, I wanted enrich both your body and your mind with virtues such as wisdom, beauty and reason.

To cultivate the body, the essentials were physical exercise and baths.

To develop wisdom he instructed his daughter in subjects such as arts, sciences and music, in addition to making him study philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, physics and logic during his trips to Rome and Athens.

When they returned to Alexandria, worked together with his father in Neoplatonic school helping him to prepare texts for his students.

It is believed that many of the works attributed to Theon were actually written by her daughter.

Hypatia: astronomy and mathematics

His main interest was the astronomy. He drew up tables with movements of celestial bodies and contributed to the invention of objects such as the astrolabe or the aerometer.

He even went so far as to defend the heliocentrism, the theory that the sun is the center of the universe.

It was devoted to study and teaching of mathematics. He had a tolerant character and did not discriminate any type of students, having some as prominent as Bishop Sinesio of Cyrene Y Orestes, who years later became the Roman prefect of the province of Egypt.

This, together with its rationality, was creating envies and hatred in Bishop Cyriland his followers, who claimed that he influenced Orestes too much.

A key factor is that by 391 Christianity had become the sole and official religion of the Roman Empire, which had as a consequence that all the pagan and the scientific he was persecuted.

During the time that Teófilo was as bishop, everything that kept scientific knowledge or that was not related to the Bible.

Many pagans decided become because of the pressure they were putting against them. However, Hypatia did not want to.

The death of Hypatia

Initially managed to save thanks to the intervention of Orestes. But the new bishop, Cyril, accused her of being a witch and to practice sorcery. In 415 it was assaulted in her chariot by parabolans.

They undressed her, raped her and dragged her through the city until they reached Cesáreo, the cathedral of Alexandria, where they beat her with tiles to death to later dismember her, walk her remains through the city and finally burn them.

Orestes reported the events to Constantinople but Cyril came out practically unscathed of the facts.

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