HYPATIA OF ALEXANDRIA MARIA DZIELSKA PDF

In this engrossing book, Maria Dzielska searches behind the legend to bring us the She takes us back to the Alexandria of Hypatia’s day, with its Library and. In this engrossing book, Maria Dzielska searches behind the legend to bring us the real story of Hypatia’s life and death, and new insight into her colorful world. John Toland. Hypatia or the History of a most beautiful, most virtuous, most learned and in every way accomplished lady, who was torn to pieces by the clergy of.

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Hypatia–brilliant mathematician, eloquent Neoplatonist, and a woman renowned for her beauty–was brutally murdered by a mob of Christians in Alexandria in She has been a legend ever since. In this engrossing book, Maria Dzielska searches behind the legend to bring us the real story of Hypatia’s life and death, and new insight into her colorful world.

Historians and po Hypatia–brilliant mathematician, eloquent Neoplatonist, and a woman renowned for her beauty–was brutally murdered by a mob of Christians in Alexandria in Historians and poets, Victorian novelists and contemporary feminists have seen Hypatia as a symbol–of the waning of classical culture and freedom of inquiry, of the rise of fanatical Christianity, or of sexual freedom.

Dzielska shows us why versions of Hypatia’s legend have served her champions’ purposes, and how they have distorted the true story. She takes us back to the Alexandria of Hypatia’s day, with its Library and Museion, pagan cults and the pontificate of Saint Cyril, thriving Jewish community and vibrant Greek culture, and circles of philosophers, mathematicians, astronomers, and militant Christians.

Drawing on the letters of Hypatia’s most prominent pupil, Synesius of Cyrene, Dzielska constructs a compelling picture of the young philosopher’s disciples and her teaching.

Finally she plumbs her sources for the facts surrounding Hypatia’s cruel death, clarifying what the murder tells us about the tensions of this tumultuous era. Paperbackpages. Published October 1st by Harvard University Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Hypatia of Alexandria

Lists with This Book. May 24, Ted rated it really liked it Recommends it for: I read this book several years ago. It’s not a long read, about pages of text. It has a serviceable index, and quite a few notes. But the notes will not be useful to readers unless they read French, since they refer mostly to original documents and secondary documents written in French.

In this sense it almost strikes one as hhypatia academic treatise. Maria Dzielska claims that her book has corrected some distortions of the Hypatia story, as it has grown up in the west over the last few centuries: From Toland and Voltaire to contemporary feminists, Hypatia has become a symbol both of sexual freedom and of the decline of paganism – and, with it, the waning of free thought, natural reason, freedom of inquiry Zdielska legend will continue to unfold along its own course, alexandrix to tastes and fashions, as we can observe in the latest historical novels on Hypatia Zitelmann, Ferretti, Marcel.

For those who choose to restrict their focus to the actual historical sources, it is possible to sketch out a clear profile of Hypatia, undistorted by ahistorical idealization. We have established that Hypatia was born around A. When she died in she was of an advanced age, mari sixty years old.

Thus there appears to be hupatia legitimate support for the picture of Hypatia, at the hour of alexqndria horrid death, as a young girl, endowed with a body worthy of Aphrodite, provoking the murderers’ sadism and lust. There are three sections in the book.

The Literary Legend of Hypatia This is a review of the Hypatia tradition mraia began in the eighteenth century, starting with John Toland incontinuing with an essay by Voltaire inand then branching and accumulating through the years down to the present day.

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Dzielska also mentions p. Feminist Studiespublished in Athens sinceand Hypatia: The alezandria is described at http: Hypatia and Her Circle This is a very interesting study of the place as far as can be determined that Hypatia held in the late fourth century group of Neo-Platonic teachers and philosophers.

This is probably the most interesting section of the book for anyone interested in the history of Neo-Platonism. Dzeilska has clearly researched the primary sources very thoroughly, and tells what I would assume to be, or at least to have been when her book was published, the most well-supported view of Hypatia ever put forth.

The Life and Death of Hypatia This section would be of most interest to a general reader. Here Dzeilska presents a short biography of Hypatia, and covers with a combination of facts from primary source material, and deductions and inferences that can be made from this material the circumstances of her hypztia.

These threes sections are followed by a Conclusion, from which the above quotation is taken. There is a nine page section on Sources, which is a alexanvria not just a list of both primary and secondary material. This section concludes with an interesting three page essay titled Other Learned Women of Late Antiquity. The most well-known and influential of these was a woman philosopher named Sosipatra, who lived in the first half alexanrria the fourth century, and taught in Pergamon.

Dzeilska admits that many women philosophers and teachers from this era dzielxka left behind little but their names mentioned in various textsaleaxndria she provide’s interesting, though limited, information about several of them.

Following this are the notes and index, mentioned at the top of this review. View all 7 comments. Jun 14, Trevor rated it really liked it Shelves: When my youngest daughter started high school they had to do this thing for SOSE Studies of Society and Environment — I think it was what I used to call Geography and History, but such names had to be replaced as they were a complete give-away called The Night of the Notables.

Basically, the kids had to pick someone from history that they would like to dress up as and to prepare a very brief talk about.

Hypatia of Alexandria by Maria Dzielska

Maddy asked for my advice as she wanted to do a woman that was really impressive — I sugges When my youngest daughter started high school they had to do this thing for SOSE Studies of Society and Environment — I think it was what I used to call Geography and History, but such names had to be replaced as they were a complete give-away called The Night of the Notables. Maddy asked for my advice as she wanted to do a woman that was really impressive — I suggested Hypatia.

Now, Hypathia of Alexandria was nothing if not impressive — she is the patron saint of Agnostics, Enlightenment Types, female mathematicians and anyone else annoyed with the Christian Dark Ages. Then, just for good measure, make her the embodiment of most of the virtues, but mostly and most impressively as everyone that meets her agrees was her sophrosyne. Answers dot com defines it as: What better symbol do you need for the death of rational thought that was brought about by the conversion of antiquity to Christianity?

Here is a Neo-Platonist, a mathematician, a scientist, a virgin, a follower of the Greek Gods and she is hotbeing viciously murdered by a bunch of fundamentalist Christian thugs hell bent on bringing down the shutters on the best of Greek thought and replacing it with their band of narrow-minded, closed-minded nonsense. A hero of Western Science and Feminism is born. Have you ever noticed how reality is never half as much fun as the myth? There are some little adjustments that need to be made to the standard myth in this case and this book does a good job in presenting its case — even convincing me, who really did want to believe all of this myth, to be honest.

So, the simple division of the world into Christians on one said and good guys on the other is a little difficult to sustain.

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The next problem is that she is a Neo-Platonist and so having her as the poster girl for the scientific team is obviously going to be a bit of a stretch. She was a virgin and she probably was also very pretty — the story of one of her students falling in love with her this was one of the stories that struck my daughter the most at the time and her presenting him with her used sanitary napkin and saying that this is what he loved, not her true self is rehearsed here. And while I do think there is a place for the contemplative life which is particularly fun after sex, I findI still do have problems with people who utterly reject sex.

Plato was very keen on this sort of thing – hence the phrase Platonic Love. The other bit of the myth torn down here is how old Hypatia was. In the myth she is around 30 and, as I said, HOT. In fact, it now seems she was probably in her 60s. While being in your 60s is no reason to be stripped and murdered, it probably does somewhat diminish the erotic undertone to the story. It seems she was brilliantly clever. She had a clever father who, since he was a Neo-Platonist, educated her Plato having famously been in favour of educating daughters — an interesting fact to remember when reading later philosophers who are generally excused of their sexism with reference to the age they lived in.

Her students seemed to have adored her. Not just the guy who ended up with her sanitary napkin, but some of the smartest people in the city at the time begged for her attention and advice.

The problem, as is often the case, was political. When Cyril became patriarch he was less than the most popular choice for the job. He did the standard things Christians of the age did to become popular — he persecuted the local Jews, eventually kicking them all or possibly only most out of the city.

Cyril was mostly opposed by Orestes and Orestes seems to have had his courage and arguments strengthened by Hypatia — her making the bullets and Orestes firing them. Cyril, or perhaps just his supporters, decided that getting Hypatia out of the picture was what was called for. Because she was so interested in plotting the courses of the planets they decided she was a witch always a good first guess and so they started to spread rumours about her.

This grew, commands were given and then all smiles stopped together. It seems she was stripped, was cut to pieces and killed and then was burned by a Christian mob.

This book hypatis an academic text and could have done with being re-drafted to tell the story in a bit more lively fashion. If you are thinking of reading this, you might just want to read the conclusion a mere 6 pages — which tells the story in a much more readable way than the book itself did. I found the book was just a bit too concerned with sources to be truly readable.

So, although there are some differences between the myth and the reality dzislska is still one of my heroes and still deserves to be remembered. My daughter once told me she will think about naming a daughter Hypatia. And that is a pretty cool idea, if you ask me. View all 20 comments. Aug 14, Alice Poon rated it really liked it Shelves: The author also dispels a widespread myth that Hypatia was a youthful woman at the time of her death, and contends that she was around 60 years old at her life’s violent end.

They killed a person who was the mainstay of the opposition against alexanndria. We contend against this silence aldxandria from the extant fragments we undertake to reconstruct the life and achievements of Hypatia.