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Transcript of Hypatia
The Life and Times
Hypatia lived in Greece from c370-415
She was born in Alexandria and studied in Athens
She returned to Alexandria to teach philosophy, geometry, algebra, and astronomy at the university
Women in the time of Hypatia
Hypatia lived in a world where, if a woman was privileged enough, she could study and teach and was encouraged to do so. She was renowned for her intelligence and not her beauty. Hypatia was only granted this privilege because her father was also a scholar and philosopher. While this worldview wasn't exactly egalitarian, it was certainly more open than that of the Christian saint Cyril, who ordered the brutal murder of Hypatia (he was declared a saint after her death). Cyril was threatened by Hypatia's philosophical teachings, which often spoke out against the church.
Hypatia worked along side her father to translate and provide commentary on a number of philosophical works, including: "commentary on the Almagest, Ptolemy’s astronomical canon," "commentary on the Astronomical Canon of Diophantus," "geometrical work on the Conic Sections of Apollonius of Perga," and "her most significant work was on algebra, a commentary on the Arithmetica of Diophantus.”
Hypatia also worked to improve a number of scientific instruments, including an astrolabe and hydroscope.
More about the Arithmetica of Diophantus.
The following webpage provides an explanation of Hypatia's commentary on Diophantus' Arithmetica http://hem.bredband.net/b153434/Works/Hypatia.htm
Philosopher, Scholar, and Teacher
In the description is a link to a video demonstrating Hypatia's work with the astrolabe.
(watch until 7:40)
Unfortunately, with Hypatia's death, came the death of this worldview. In the words of the poet Ursule Molinaro, "The torture killing of the noted philosopher Hypatia by a mob of Christians in Alexandria in 415 AD marks the end of a time when women were still appreciated for the brain under their hair." Hypatia's death also marks the beginning of the "modern age," where women were even more oppressed and silenced by patriarchal religious structures which now governed the world.
This clip, from the movie Agora, demonstrates Hypatia's work in geometry and astronomy
Further Information About Hypatia, and Alexandria
The following video series (approximately one hour long) takes a look at Alexandria in the time of Hypatia