Hypatia, also spelled Ipazia, was a Greek mathematician.She lived during the fourth and fifth Centuries in Alexandria, Egypt.She taught philosophy and astronomy, the motion of planets,the number theory and conic sections at the Neoplatonic School in Alexandria.
5 facts about Hypathia:
She was the daughter of Theon of Alexandria.
She was trained as a mathematician by her father and eventually replaced him as the leading mathematician of Alexandria and, indeed as the pre-eminent mathematician of her time.
She was the last major mathematician of the Alexandrian tradition.
She studied and taught neo-Platonist philosophy, and astronomy, and was generally regarded as an excellent teacher.
She died a particularly grisly death, probably in 415 CE, at the hands of a Christian mob. Some say her slaughter was instigated by Saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria.
"All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.”
“To rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world, is just as base as to use force... Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”
“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”
Hypatia’s Childhood and Education
Hypatia was a fortunate child, raised by her father, Theon of Alexandria, who was a teacher of mathematics at the Museum of Alexandria and a keeper of the library in Egypt. He was her tutor and teacher; he trained Hypatia in thefields of arts, literature, science and philosophy. She was also taught to work onher speech, which gave her the gift of being a great speaker.
Hypatia’s father also wanted to make sure she was physically fit and herphysical education consisted of rowing, swimming and horseback riding.
She studied for some time in Athens where her talent for mathematics wasproved; she excelled in all of her studies and became the greatest philosopher of her time.
A Woman Ahead Of Her Time
Not only was her mind very forward thinking but so was her behavior. Hypatia went against what was thought to be the norm for women’s behaviour in public; she did not wear the usual women’s clothing but she wore that of scholars or teachers, she also moved around freely in her own chariot.
She held a high position as the head of the school where she taught and had a lot of political influence in the city.
The Great Teacher
When she returned from her studies in Athens, Hypatiawas asked to teach at the Neoplatonic School of Alexandria. She was loved and admired by her studentsand people came from all over the world to hear her lectures.
A lot of what we know about her is from letters that were written by some of her most famous students, likeSynesius of Cyrene, who became a very wealthy andpowerful Bishop of Ptolmais; He wrote a letter to one of his schoolmates talking about Hypatia, calling her the “true and real teacher of the mysteries of philosophy”.
Hypatias students fled to Athens, where the study of mathematics would later flourish. The Neoplatonic School continued in Alexandria until the Arab invasion.