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Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  5,375 ratings  ·  225 reviews
Ki Longfellow, author of the acclaimed The Secret Magdalene, has now written the astonishing life of Hypatia, famed throughout the Mediterranean world, a beauty and a genius, yet for 17 centuries ignored by history. As the Roman Empire fights for its life and emerging Christianity fights for our souls, Hypatia is the last great voice of reason. A woman of sublime intellige ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published August 20th 2009 by Eio Books
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 ·  5,375 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"I am a mathematician, a philosopher, an astronomer. The people believe what they are told. I believe nothing, consider everything."

I applaud any book that makes me reflect deeply about my own beliefs. I am always open to learning new things and considering the opinions of others - which is why in many ways I could relate to Hypatia of Alexandria as depicted in this story. Besides, she was also a mathematician, and I’ve always had a special place in my heart for numbers (right next to t
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
After reading The Secret Magdalene last March, I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer depth of the story she presented to me. Not just the depth of the story, but also the beauty of her language, the solid composition of the book thrilled me. Having read her latest novel, Flow Down Like Silver, Hypatia of Alexandria, I know that The Secret Magdalene was not a one-time high. This lady - I'm referring to the author now - contains gold and I can only hope that she's given the perseverance and th ...more
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
More of the rich storytelling and compelling research that Ki Longfellow brought to her previous book, "The Secret Magdalene". Unlike "Magdalene", "Flow Down Like Silver" is told through, not one, but several 1st-person witnesses - Hypatia herself, plus intimates and acquaintances of the legendary mathematician/philosopher during the latter half of her life. This approach tempers a bit of the reader's emotional empathy for the principal character, offering in its place the intimate perceptions o ...more
4 and a half stars, rounded up.

Knowing how much I love classical history, my darling husband suggested we watch "Agora", a fictionalized account of the life of Hypatia of Alexandria, who was once the most famous mathematician of the Roman Empire (poor thing, he had no idea what he was getting into...). That sounded fascinating to me, and the movie was beautifully shot and acted. But then. Then there was a scene when the Library of Alexandria is stormed by fanatics Christians and they burn everyt
Kate Noyes
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There's not much out there about Hypatia of Alexandria and what there is isn't world class. Kind of understandable considering what's left of her work and her life. But reading this "novel," got me as close to her as I ever expect to get. This is a wonderful book and though it might differ from the scanty research done by (perhaps) dubious scholars, I get the feeling that the rational and emotional jumps made by Longfellow are more Hypatia than any dry biased account could ever be. I'm also anno ...more
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Ever since I finished The Secret Magdalene, I've been waiting for the second in this writer's trilogy of the Divine Feminine. The Secret Magdalene stunned me. It took me places few books go. So obviously I was one of the first to get this book and to read it, or at least the first to review it here. {author:Ki Longfellow]'s first book was about Mary Magdalene, but not the Magdalene who's been so abused for so long. Flow Down Like Silver takes place 350 years later in the city of Alexandria, Egyp ...more
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Hypatia lived sixteen centuries ago. This was a woman who should be better known and much better respected than Cleopatra and certainly Nefertiti. She was a genius and a beauty and the last great teacher of what we call Paganism in all that was left of the Great Library of Alexandria. I grabbed this book as soon as I knew the subject, but I would have read it eaqerly anyway since I was changed by Longfellow's The Secret Magdalene A Novel...more than a read, an experience. And here she's done it ...more
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There's not much out there about Hypatia of Alexandria and what there is isn't world class. Kind of understandable considering what's left of her work and her life. But reading this "novel," got me as close to her as I ever expect to get. This is a wonderful book and though it might differ from the scanty research done by dubious scholars, I get the feeling that the rational and emotional jumps made by Longfellow are more Hypatia than any dry biased account could ever be. I'm also annoyed that a ...more
Hugh Malcolm
Oct 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book from Longfellow who wrote The Secret Magdalene A Novel. This one is set in the 4th and 5th century in Alexandria Egypt when Christianity is the state religion of Rome. But all over the Empire Hellenists still teach and ancient religions still compete for the minds of the people. Hypatia of Alexandria was one of the last of the great early mathematicians and hilosophers with complete access to what still remained of the Great Library of Alexandria. This is a fast racy tale ...more
Anne Riordan
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I saw the movie Agora and even though it wasn't quite the best movie I've seen, I became fascinated by the lead character, Hypatia of Alexandria. So I went looking for a book about her and this is what I found. Finding this book alone was worth sitting through the overlong Agora. I don't know my history but it seems the writer does, and the way she presents it is so alive. The book's vitality crackles. The city, the huge conflict as the Christian church seeks to dominate all minds, the disintigr ...more
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm a bit of a history buff and there are some writers who can really deliver. This writer is my latest discovery. The world in which she sets her characters blazes under the sun of the last gasp of Egypt, the characters themselves quiver with conflicted life. I've heard of Hypatia, so much so that she'd become one of my heroes. And I've been frustrated that she isn't as well known as Joan of Arc. But the Church has conspired to bury her, and they've done a pretty good job of it. But if this boo ...more
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prose-poetry
This is the second in Longfellow's trilogy of gnosis. This time she's chosen an extraordinary woman's whose history is sketchy at best but who she has given the role of a seeker rather than, as with Mary Magdalene (The Secret Magdalene: A Novel, a finder. Spiritual quests are at the bottom of these first two "historic" novels and I love them for two reasons. First, that the subject is treated in a novelists way rather than as some sort of "self-help" book is just up my street. And secondly, I th ...more
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A fan from the first few pages of The Secret Magdalene A Novel and now a bigger fan than before. FLow Down Like Silver takes place mostly in Alexandria just as that great free-thinking cosmopolitan city is feeling the first full effects of the new religion of Christianity. Hypatia, brilliant and famous, stands above it all shining out as the voice of generosity and reason. But times are growing darker. Just as I did with The Secret Magdalene I had to buy another copy of the book so I could highl ...more
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just read the latest review on amazon. I agree. This writer is fast becoming my favorite writer.
Sep 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This one didn't cost me so pain much as I read it or give me so much joy. I suppose that could be because the first book I read of hers was The Secret Magdalene A Novel and as a dissastified Christian looking for more, MORE is what I got from that first book. This one was written in Longfellow's fluid prose and had her touch. Some whole sections were so beautiful I thought I was reading prose poetry which I guess I was. I refer to where she sails out into the sea alone to live or to die. Or anyt ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Loved her first book, [The Secret Magdalene:], love this one. On a roll!
Amy Louise
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Just finished this since I adored The Secret Magdalene and it's another of her unique portraits of an amazing woman. ...more
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Flow Down Like Silver is a story set in ancient Alexandria when the Mediterranean world was at a cross-roads between traditional beliefs and philosophies, and the newly dominant Christian faith. The star of this remarkable novel is Hypatia, among the most accomplished and fascinating women in history. Her story, told by another of my favorite authors, Ki Longfellow, captivated and intrigued me. I did not know much about early Christianity or the Roman world of this period, before reading this bo ...more
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
As an amateur astronomer and mathematician, I went looking for this book, or any book about Hypatia. There aren't many which is understandable because unlike our big female historical heroes: Cleopatra, Elizabeth the First, and so forth, there's little we know about this woman thanks to her total eradication by the early Christian church. So both novelists as well as scholars have to piece together a human being out of very little indeed. And every one of them has their bias. A bit like: who was ...more
Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
When you love a book as much as I loved The Secret Magdalene, it's a hard act to follow. This book was so far above the common fodder that I should give it 5 stars but I can't because it didn't reach inside and rip my heart out. Although? Almost, at the end. It's not fair comparing one book to another, like the Academy Awards. Hypatia of Alexandria was a brilliant woman and this has all the flashes of brilliance I expect now from this writer. But it reads a little like an editor got hold of it a ...more
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved Flow Down Like Silver. I became a big fan of Ki Longfellow years ago when I read her first novel, China Blues. Then I read Chasing Women, which I also thoroughly enjoyed.

Then nothing, until the Secret Magdalene, a complete departure in style and content, but it blew my mind. What history, what story, what philosophy, what a Jesus, what an adventure.

I was so impressed with The Secret Magdalene, I had to buy her next book, Flow Down Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria.
This is another i
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If I was a writer I would write a wonderful review, I love this book so much. I do not understand people now or then. Why go out to hurt someone just because they don't feel or think like you do? It made no difference what you did or did not believe in...someone was out to get you. Why can't we be like little children and love everyone and everything? I don't know the answer. As brilliant as Hypatia was she didn't either. I love the characters and how they seem to intertwine together. To make it ...more
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ANYONE
Recommended to Maggie by: me
I waited and waited for this one after The Secret Magdalene A Novel and I was NOT disappointed! ...more
Erin J
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
How can I still be shocked when brilliance is silenced by ignorance? A heartbreaking book.
Tom Chandler
Feb 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this in two nights and howled at the end. Hypatia is now one of the my greatest heroines.
Rachel Knightford
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The film AGORA isn't a patch on this book about Hypatia. Read this one to get so much closer. ...more
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After reading The Secret Magdalene I was a little afraid that this book could be as astonishing. Well it is. Again, I don't care if the story is true (although I suspect it was close enough), what I care about is what this writer is saying in her books. Deep truths told in marvelous heart-breaking stories. ...more
Mar 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Don't know what to say. This was an amazing book and maybe as good or better than [The Secret Magdalene:]. I champ at the bit for the third in this series. ...more
Emily Beaton
So I have read this writer's other book The Secret Magdalene which is a great book. It is an important book. It brought me to this second book in which the writer comes at the idea of Consciousness in another way, through the mind of one of the most brilliant human beings who ever lived. No, it is not a man. It is a woman! And why do we not know this woman? Because men do not want us to know this woman, or any woman, could be like this. So they and their churches long ago threw her away like the ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Stunning. Just saw Agora about Hypatia. This is SO much better. A big must read folks.
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Retro Chapter Chi...: April 2019: Flow Down Like Silver 30 16 Jun 02, 2019 07:45AM  
Reading Through T...: May 2015 Read: "Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria" 2 8 Jun 16, 2015 06:55PM  
Ki Longfellow 2 34 Nov 06, 2009 11:28AM  

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Ki Longfellow, born on Staten Island, New York, to a French-Irish mother and an Iroquois father, grew up in Hawaii and Marin County, California, but ended up living in France and England for many years. She is the widow of a British national treasure, the complete artist Vivian Stanshall.

In England, she created and sailed the Thekla, a 180 foot Baltic Trader, to the port of Bristol where it became

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