Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hypatia .... the last Librarian at Alexandria.

A woman who was one of the most brilliant minds during her time.  She was a teacher of all of the grandest subjects at Alexandria.

Hypatia monument in Vienna University

There was a woman at Alexandria named 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.

Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions.

On account of the self-possession and ease of manner which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not infrequently appeared in public in the presence of the magistrates.

Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.  Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical HistoryÆ 

Hypatia detail of astrolabe
Hypatia was the earliest woman mathematician recorded in Western history. This is my imagined portrait of her in a first edition linocut print in copper and purple-blue on lovely Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper, 12.5 inches by 12 inches (31.7 cm by 30.5 cm). There are 12 prints in the edition.
Hypatia lived in the 3rd century AD in Alexandria, Egypt, which was part of the Roman Empire. She was born at some time between about 350 and 370 and died in 415 C.E. She was the head of the Platonist school, where she taught philosophy, astronomy and mathematics. She believed in empiricism and natural law. She was the last librarian of the famed Library of Alexandria in the Museum of Alexandria, largest and most significant library of the ancient world. She was the daughter of a famous mathematician, Theon Alexandricus (ca. 335–405), with whom she worked and published edited versions of Classical texts in mathematics. She also pursued her education in Athens and Italy before returning to Alexandria and becoming the head of the Platonist school.
My Images are located @ Eminpee Fotography

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