Q:

What are some interesting facts or anecdotes about Hypatia?

A:

Quick Answer

Hypatia was the head of the Platonist school in Alexandria, Egypt, during the early 5th century. She was the daughter of a prominent Greek mathematician and had trained in Platonist philosophy at the Academy in Athens. Her work in Alexandria, which was then a great center of scholarship in the ancient world, centered on teaching science and philosophy classes.

Know More

Full Answer

Hypatia was reputed to be very beautiful, and her close friendship with the Roman governor of Alexandria put her at the center of local political intrigue. At the time of her death, in 415 or 416, the governor, Orestes, was embroiled in a dispute with Cyril, the Bishop of Alexandria, over regulations relating to Jewish dancing competitions in the city. Tensions escalated into violence, with Cyril driving Jewish Alexandrians out of the city.

For her support of the governor and the suspicion that her counsel was frustrating efforts at reconciliation, Hypatia became a target of the local Christian congregation's wrath. One night, as she traveled home by carriage, a mob set upon her and dragged her to a local church. There, she was stripped and murdered with ostrakois, which is usually translated as "oyster shells" but which probably means either roofing tiles or pottery shards.

Learn more about Philosophy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a metaphysical conceit?

    A:

    A metaphysical conceit is a drawn out metaphor popular among poets from the 17th century. It likens the qualities of people to physical objects and tends to focus on ideas like love and death. Sonnets are a popular form of metaphysical conceit.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are the Free Masons so secretive?

    A:

    Freemasons in the 21st century say their fraternal organization is not nearly as secretive as many believe, with only a few elements of their conduct, such as a handshake and meetings themselves, being confidential. They contend that they are the victims of many conspiracy theories.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the origin of the phrase "you are a gentleman and a scholar"?

    A:

    The phrase "You are a gentleman and a scholar" most likely originated in England in the 18th century. During this time period, scholarly pursuits and noble manners were seen as important characteristics among men.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Karl Marx's theory of social change?

    A:

    Karl Marx's theory of social change relates to the class struggle that defined the 19th century, namely that of the ruling classes (the bourgeoisie) suppressing the working classes (the proletariat), and as a result Marx's theory of social change stated that economic needs should be pursued purely on the basis of need while providing general well-being for all. This theory is and was at odds with capitalism, which, according to Marx, only helped fuel class divisions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore