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Hipatia de Alejandría

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Hipatia –matemática brillante, neoplatónica elocuente y famosa por su belleza– fue brutalmente asesinada en el año 415 por una turba de cristianos de Alejandría. Desde entonces ha sido una leyenda. En su libro, Maria Dzielska va más allá de la leyenda para ofrecernos la historia verdadera de la vida y la muerte de Hipatia, además de nuevas ideas sobre su mundo. Historiador ...more
Published 2004 by Siruela (first published 1993)
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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. Maddy asked for my advice as she wanted to do a woman that was really impressive – I sugges ...more
Sep 17, 2014 Ted rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: feminists, students of Neo-Platonism and late antiquity
I read this book several years ago. It's not a long read, about 100 pages of text. It has a serviceable index, and quite a few notes. But the notes will not be useful to most readers, they refer mostly to original documents and secondary documents written in French. In this sense it almost strikes one as an academic treatise, which perhaps it is.

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:
I picked up Hypatia of Alexandria after hearing about Agora, a film which made some waves at Cannes this year and should be showing on U.S. screens soon. It'll be interesting seeing the movie after reading this book, as director Alejandro Amenábar's Hypatia is exactly the type of literary Hypatia that Dzielska spends the first chapter of her book debunking.

This is a rather boring book about a really interesting subject. Hypatia, noted Alexandrian philosopher and mathematician of the fourth and f
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Jan 12, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides marked it as decided-not-to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Snail in Danger (Sid) by: Greenblatt's The Swerve
Shelves: biography, philosophy
Unfortunately there is not much in the way of source material to base a life of Hypatia on. This seems so speculative that I've decided to give it a pass.
Faith Justice
This is an abbreviated version of a post on my blog titled: Hypatia of Alexandria: Two Books

In March AD 415, a Christian mob murdered Hypatia, the renowned Lady Philosopher of Alexandria. The vicious act shocked the city and shamed the early Church. Socrates Scholasticus tells the story in his Historia Ecclesiastica:

"...Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time...For all men on accoun
A scholarly paper turned to book form, this helpful review of documents and literary references to Hypatia goes a long way to clearing the view of this remarkable woman. While the referencing makes it difficult to follow at times, the arguments set up for seeking a clearer idea of the potential for Hypatia to have been a Christian herself, or just a learned woman exploring the range of ideas of those around her, are compelling. The sense that there were other women of the same name around in cir ...more
This book is one of my pet peeves. As a work of "scholarship" it leaves so much to be desired it's almost intolerable. And to think it's basically the one non-fiction book out there people depend on. Depressing. Poor Hypatia.
Yet another instance of what happens when a 'hard-lining' ecclesiastical minority infringes upon the Rights of others - leading to an iconoclastic destruction of Libraries, Monuments and Religiously-fueled violence ( including antisemitism ). . .

Hypatia of Alexandria ( ca. 350-415 ce ) was an innocent women who was caught in this turmoil and suffered mutilation at the hands of an angry mob - instigated by the Archbishop, Cyril.
It was Cyril who had started the accusations that Hypatia practiced
Hypatia has become a symbol for poets and feminists since her brutal attack and murder in 415 AD. She was a mathematician and a pagan philosopher with a large following. Dzielska uses the few primary sources available for her small biography, but does not shed much light on Hypatia herself. Little is known about her personal life outside of her philosophies, and there is plenty of speculation about Hypatia's role in the culture of Alexandria. While married to the philosopher Isidore, Hypatia wou ...more
Scholarly assessment of early historical sources on Hypatia of Alexandria, a scientist and well respected teacher murdered around 415 AD.

Dzielska makes a strong case that Hypatia was quite likely a Christian herself. Two of her students became Bishops. Hypatia was murdered by a mob of non-tolerant Christians who were most likely lead by Cyril, later venerated by the early Church, who arrived in Alexandria and swiftly built a private army of 600 or so.

Alexander the Great had founded the city of
This book does a good job of presenting the legendary figure of Hypatia as a real human being. There are a lot of questions and speculation, but that is inevitable given the small amount of source material. The author makes good arguments for her views and the book is well sourced.
I liked this book, but readers should be aware from the beginning that it is not a biography. You do not get a continuous narrative of the life of Hypatia. In fact, that kind of biography is simply not possible, given the dearth of source material, and all the accounts you've seen of that sort are semi-fiction. What this book does is review all the source material we have, picking out what seems established as true, comparing different versions of stories, speculating on the most likely interpre ...more
Robin Rivers
While the research done for this book is remarkable, bringing to light details of Hypatia's life that few have revealed before, I rate this book right in the middle of the pack for one reason - the glaring and continued lack of even simple acknowledgement that Hypatia's status as a female philosopher of incredible rank and influence was otherwise unattainable by women within the ancient world.

The other substantial omission, which I have yet to find a scholar willing to address, is the absence of
Great book. Full of references to important neo-platonists and figures in the church. Coolly-told account of the political machinations of the church, and the way that 'Saint' Cyril and Orestes' struggle for power led to Hypatia's murder. Cyril gained from her murder, even if he didn't directly press for it (which is not clear). Orestes was no saint either -- he used Hypatia for her political connections in Alexandria. Once she was torn apart by the mob, Orestes slunk out of town.

I always imagin
'Hypatia of Alexandria' by Maria Dzielska is the first book I have ever read specifically devoted to the exploration of the life of Hypatia, like many who enjoy reading about the Late Antique I was familiar with the name. This of course in connection with the ideological war for ' the mind of the empire' that was taking place at the time, vaguely remember mentions of her as I attempted to read Gibbon ' The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire', not easy I assure you.

Some may consider this book,

İ.S 4. yüzyılın sonunda ve 5. yüzyılın başlarında yaşamış olan filozof, matematikçi ve gökbilimci Hypatia'nın hayatı üzerine tarihi inceleme-araştırma kitabı. Peki kim bu Hypatia? Tarihin İskenderiye'nin çöküşünün habercisi olan vahşi politik cinayetlerinin kurbanı kadındır.

Zamanın önemli kültür merkezlerinden olan İskenderiye'de hala çoktanrılı dine inanan insanlar ve Hristiyanlar beraber yaşamaktadır. Bir yandan Hristiyanlığın yayılması için imparatorluk
This book intrigued me with the first chapter and the writing seemed concise and inviting, however, after having dragged myself through the whole book hoping that it was like the first chapter, I would never recommend this to anyone.

It seems like a movie based on a fifteen minute premise that this book has been dragged out to a whole book when it should have been a fifth grader's history summary on a barely known woman who lived in Alexandria. The book seemed to use the same points over and over
Fernanda Luppani
A short book densely packed with the results of an exhaustive investigation into what little is known about the Alexandrian philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer, Hypatia. The first part of the book explores texts on the subject of various antiquity. Some of these texts offer a fictional treatment of the legend of Hypatia or attempt to reconstruct her life based on calculated intentions to represent the christian church, or those in its opposition, under a certain light; while others are op ...more
Joseph Adelizzi, Jr.
I ordered this book by mail and anxiously awaited its delivery. It held such promise, this story of the life of a woman in ancient Alexandria, a philosopher, a mathematician, a respected leader of the community who ends up murdered - most likely on the orders of a Catholic Churh official who would eventually go on to sainthood. While the book certainly did outline the well-researched available history of Hypatia, her life and, especially, her times, it did so in a cold, scientific, detached mann ...more
My mother-in-law saw the film "Agora" (which I still haven't seen!), and became obsessed with finding out more about Hypatia, the 4th c AD female philosopher and teacher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. This book was recommended to her as the definitive study on Hypatia, but since my mother-in-law doesn't speak English, she asked me to read it for her. It's an interesting book that does a very good job of creating a convincing portrait of someone about whom we have very scant evidence. In particu ...more
Hypatia, a mathematician and neoplatonic philosopher with a devoted following, was killed by an angry mob wielding shards of broken pottery in 415. A fairly strong mythology has built up around her but little historical documentation survives regarding her life and teaching. In this biography, Dzielska attempts to provide the "real story" of Hypathia's life and death but her abundant use of qualifiers (may, probably) does not inspire confidence (at least in my opinion). Granted, primary sources ...more
This book was interesting, but not very cohesive. It read more like a disjointed set of facts surrounding Hypatia, rather than a biography of her. Apparently, very little of Hypatia's life and philosophy is directly known, but a lot can be inferred from the letters and documents from her students and the politicians, priests, etc. of her time. I kept waiting for the author to talk about Hypatia, but for the majority of the book, the writing was exclusively about other people.
Erika F
A dry work which does little to bring its subject to life. There are glaring leaps of supposition in it. For instance, in Dzielska's work, Hypatia's father was born 15 years before Hypatia. This allows Hypatia to be "old" when she is killed. Odd that Hypatia's "advanced" age at her death seems to be the author's favorite theme. For me, it calls the whole study into question. And who designed the cover? It's monstrous.
Jane Williams
Great research and reference book. If you're wanting an accurate representation behind the myths and legends of Hypatia skipping to the good parts will be with your while.
Dense and a little difficult to read, but a really good work of history. Also read for "History and Historiography through Film."
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