Customer Review

1 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the sublime rounds the dangerous, 6 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hypatia of Alexandria (Revealing Antiquity) (Paperback)
This book really doesn't say practically nothing about Hypatia but this isn't an obstacle to extract an obvious conclussion that ever repeats itself across history of mankind: you can be different... but these is not very sane. Hypatia was no doubt a very notorious personage but curiously the only well known fact about his life is his death by terrible murder. Other things we can only scarcely suposse: she was a wise woman scientific, wealthy and philosopher, but she confronted with the obscure primitive Christianism that by then wanted to made his way, so many times plenty of blood and by nothing remembering the teachings of Jesus. Summing up, a figth for power between Paganism and Christianism. Furthermore it seems no very risky to say Hypatia, even recognizing his wisdom, commited some capital mistakes. It's said she was plenty of virtue, intelligence... but also that she had a vigorous and stern character and remained virgin all his foggy life rejecting in a harsh mode the love of some men. Too many chastity, too many stiffness sounds like near of too many pride and a loss of common sense. I suposse that, as other famous heroes or historical personages, Hypatia was a respected but at same times fearsome person perceived by many people as strange and dangerous. Such personages not rarely have a bad end. Accusations to be a witch, making evil and so on are easy to do and probably the same could be said about the Christians, in this case, the ominous St Cyril. There are many cases of punished virtue: Socrates, Galileus, the apostles... Mankind ever need wise people, but paradoxalment rarely tolerate they.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Oct 2012 20:09:15 BDT
can't quite decide whether you were on something when you wrote this, or you were simply and deliberately taking the proverbial

Posted on 17 Nov 2012 02:58:45 GMT
Bandit Queen says:
Hypatia was not a martyr she was the victim of mob violence. Whether that mob was inspired by Christian extremists of by the fact that there had been mob violence and attacks between the pagan, Jewish and Christian factions in Alexandria for several weeks without anyone doing anything to control the situation is a matter of debate. She was a maths scientist and she was a teacher. Cyril of Alexandria was outspoken and he made an enemy of Hypatia. Her cult was actually alive at the time of her teaching at the school there but it was getting out of hand and a group of rather weird 'Christian' extremists, and I do mean extremists and not mainstream Christians led a mob to the school that she was at and in the area she spoke in and on seeing her on her way home she was pulled down from her chariot and unfortunately murdered in a brutal way. Who actually caused the problem is debated as the original texts do not agree on who killed her or how. Some extreme Christian monks actually seem to have taken up the call to kill her because they decided that it was not seemly or moral for a pagan woman to have this amount of influence. Christian scholars at the Alexandrian school actually supported her and for the most part it was tolerant and the city was mixed for this reason. However, tension between Jewish and Roman authorities over Cyrils ideas and other foreign influences in the city were boiling over and there were attacks and fights every week. It was about to come to a head and with a Christian Roman army on the march under Theodosis coming to restore order, extremists took the law into their own hands. The mob was raised and got angry and took it out on an obvious target: Hypatia, although it has never been clear why she was a target. Cyril may have been the cause but it is not obvious why, although he was intolerant of new and old ideas. The idea of the school was debate and all cults and parties took part and flourished, but at times tensions ran high and order broke down. In the ancient East it was not uncommon for mob rule to turn into riots and for important people to be the aim of mob violence. Hypatia was simply that: the target of an unruly and extremist mob, not a sacrifice or a martyr but a victim of hatred and those who cannot stand the free voice of advancement.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jun 2013 21:01:56 BDT
I thought it was just me. From the sex change ('his'?) to the double negative in the first sentence......after reading it, I'm going to have to take some paracetamol and lie down :D
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