Saturday, October 12, 2019

Hypatia :: Essays Papers

Hypatia Hypatia was born in the year 370 AD in Alexandria, Egypt. She was the daughter of Theon, a famous mathematician and astronomer. He invented many things, but his most famous invention is the astrolabe, which measures the altitude of a star or planet. Hypatia studied with her father for many years at the Museum in Alexandria, but soon became unsatisfied with his instruction because she was smarter than him. She left Egypt, and traveled to Greece and Rome to do "post-graduate" work. Her brains and beauty gave her a wonderful reputation throughout the capitols near the Mediterranean. When she returned to her homeland, everyone wanted to be taught by her. She not only gave lectures on philosophy, but also tutored. Hypatia became good friends with Orestes, the Roman governor of Alexandria, and would later become one of his closest advisors. She also became pals with Synesius, who became bishop of Ptolmais thanks to Hypatia’s ingenuity. Much of what we know about Hypatia today is from the letters Synesius wrote to her. In one letter, Synesius wrote to his friend, "You always have power and long may you have it and make good use of that power. The ancient encyclopedia Suda also tells us a little bit about Hypatia. It tells us that when she was 31, she became director of the museum in Alexandria. This museum was brought the top scientists from all around Europe to work and do research there. Some of these mathematicians and scientists were Euclid, Galen, and Archimedes. This museum was considered to be one of the finest and most outstanding buildings at the time. It was built by Ptolemy, the ruler of Egypt after Alexander the Great, in 300 B.C. Next to the museum Ptolemy built a library which was considered the greatest library of the ancient world. However, the Julius Caesar’s army burned it down accidentally. Some archaeologists called this "the greatest disaster in the ancient world." During Hypatia’s life, there was bitter rivalry between the pagans and Christians of the Mediterranean. Hypatia was a pagan herself, but taught both Christian and non-Christian students. The pagans and Christians were battling over who had more power, and in March of 415 AD, it was the Christians who had the most power. These two groups were trying to drive each other out of Alexandria.

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