A genius woman scientist was born in antiquity whose name is on the Moon now.
|Who was Hypatia of Alexandria?
A genius was born to the scientific community of antiquity around 370 AD which was under Roman leadership. Hypatia was born from Theon, the last mathematician of Alexandria library. Theon was an intellectual who wanted to raise his daughter as a perfect human being. Therefore, he taught Hypatia all sorts of scientific knowledge, and she surpassed all the philosophers of her time. She mastered astronomy, public speaking, as well as different scientific debates. She was historically the first woman ever became the head of Platonist (the philosophy of Plato) school at Alexandria. Hypatia taught philosophy and astronomy to willing students.
Hypatia’s extreme knowledge earned her the companionship and the position of advisory to Orests the Roman governor of Alexandria. Both Hypatia and Orests were pagans. Jone Lewis from woman’s history.com wrote, “Orests was an adversary of the new Christian Bishop, Cyril, a future saint. Orests according to the contemporary accounts objected to Cyril for expelling the Jews from the city.” (Lewis, Woman’s history.com)
Hypatia tutored both Egyptian and foreign students in privacy of her home. One of her preeminent students was Synesius of Cyrene, who reached the position of Bishop. Synesius had more than respect for Hypatia and was outraged of Hypatia’s intimacy with Orests.
Hypatia was an astonishing woman. Wikipedia writes about Hypatia’s work they were:
1-“A commentary on the 13 volume arthemetica by Diophontus “(200 A.D- 214 A.D, father of modern algebra)
2- “A commentary of the conics of Apollonius. “He was a Greek geometer and astronomer.
3- “Edited the existing version of Ptolemy’s Almagest.”
4-“Edited her father’s commentary on Euclid’s Elements.” (It is consisting of 13 books written by the Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria in 300 B.C)” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”
Hypatia was not only a teacher and author, but also an inventor. Lewis Wrote,” She invented the plane astrolabe, the graduated brass hydrometer and the hydroscope, with Synesius.” (Lewis, woman’s history.com) Hypatia was still thirsty for more knowledge. Therefore, she traveled to Greece and Rome in search of the latest scientific knowledge. She returned to her homeland at the age of 31 and became the first female director of Alexandria museum. Under her leadership many scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers from European countries, started their work with the museum. They did not mind that a young lady was their superior. Hypatia ordered that all the ships coming from foreign lands to Alexandria’s harbor to be searched for books. The books would have been borrowed from their owners and after copying them, it would have been returned to their original owners.
Synesius betrayed Hypatia’s friendship and became a close friend to Cyril in secrete. Synesius and Cyril first removed Orestes the protector of Hypatia by ordering the Christian Mob to murder governor Orests on accusation of being a pagan. Next, they plotted Hypatia’s barbaric death. Synesius contacted Peter, the leader of Christian Monks. Peter despised Hypatia because she was a free spirited and educated woman and not an obedient traditional one. Hypatia even rode her own chariot. Peter thought as Hypatia a poisonous pagan that must be eliminated.
It was a beautiful March night in Alexandria. Peter and his gangs were waiting for Hypatia in a dark corner. Hypatia’s carriage drew closer. Hypatia was coming back home from museum. Peter stopped the carriage and opened its door. Hypatia was sitting on the comfortable sit. On the order of Peter the mob attacked and dragged Hypatia’s fragile body out of carriage in the street and into the church called Caesareum. There, in the house of Lord, the defenseless Hypatia was stripped naked, and then the Christian Monks scraped her beautiful body with tile and broken shell fish to death. After her lifeless body was on the floor, the monks tore it into small pieces. Later, the Christian Monks took Hypatia’s mangled body to a place called Cinaron. They burned whatever was left of her body, and scattered her ashes in the streets of Alexandria.
To sum it up, Hypatia died at the age of 45 (in 415 A.D). Her scared name of has left planet Earth toward Moon. NASA has named the “Sea of Tranquility “Hypatia.” Her spirit is smiling at us from Moon. She is saying, the Christian Monks murdered my physical body, but my knowledge turned me into a goddess, I live forever.
References: Who was Hypatia of Alexandria?
Jone Lewis, Hypatia <http://womenshistory.about.com/od/hypati1/a/hypatia.htm>]
Hypatia form Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia>]