Hypatia of Alexandria (350-415) - Essay Example

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She was the first woman astronomer and a talented mathematician. She was politically powerful and people admired her in Alexandria. Hypatia used to attend male dominated civic assemblies alongside other few women…
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Hypatia of Alexandria (350-415)
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Hypatia of Alexandria (350-415) Explanation Hypatia of Alexandria was a wise and beautiful woman of grace.She was the first woman astronomer and a talented mathematician. She was politically powerful and people admired her in Alexandria. Hypatia used to attend male dominated civic assemblies alongside other few women. The jurists used to seek for her advice in the determination of certain cases that had complicated premises. She was not discriminatory and used to accept students from all over, regardless of their religion. Hypatia was not a religious person, though this did not qualify her as a pagan, most preferably; a rationalist philosopher. She followed the school of thought that was derived by Plato and developed by Plotinus. She was multitalented and this made people envious until they condemned her as a witch, which led to her murder in 415. All her works were burnt in the Great Library.
Time period
Hypatia lived during a time of great change, in the late fourth and the beginning of the fifth centuries. She was born in around 350 A.D., though the time of her birth is not well known. During that time women were not allowed to contribute much in the society and were only treated as property. They had few options but Hypatia managed to freely move and maneuver in a tradition that was male dominated. Slavery was a dominant issue during that time, as it had sapped the vitality of classical civilization.
In about 400 A.D. the philosophy of Neo-Platonism was taught. The philosophy was founded by Plotinus. Hypatia at that time taught philosophy and was the head of the school of Platonist at Alexandria. Religion was a major development at that time and most of the Christians were converted to paganism through the teachings of Hypatia. In the city, there used to be several riots between the Christians and non-Christians. The Christians felt that the works of Hypatia undermined and threatened the stability of their faith. These events became the turning point of the life of Hypatia. It was during the reign of the Roman governor, who had a good relationship with Hypatia. During this time, the people in the city of Alexandria were naïve and lacked formal education. Hypatia was a symbol of scholarship, especially due to the scientific knowledge she possessed. This made other people in the city, particularly the Christians to despise Hypatia and they decided to murder her.
Historical Significance
The works and remains of Hypatia’s body were burnt with an aim of the termination of her teachings. Although the Christians managed to undertake her murder, the teachings and works of Hypatia remain significant. The death of Hypatia and the burning of the Alexandrian Library marked the end of what was meant to be the beginning of civilization. Most of the works that were destroyed would have created a great impact in the society today. History depends on archived articles, documents, and records. The records that survive may be used as sources of references, which aid in finding solutions to particular problems in the society today. Women have been almost entirely eliminated from the intellectual history of philosophy until the recent century. Some of the women were omitted purposefully, others were neglected, and others were eliminated through violence; like Hypatia. There is a transition of the historical balance in the society today and more women look up to the works of Hypatia in the creation of intellectual impact in the classical world.
Work cited
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