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Author Topic: NPR publishes the "myth" about Hypatia, the influential women philosopher of ancient Alexandria
Stephen
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Post NPR publishes the "myth" about Hypatia, the influential women philosopher of ancient Alexandria
on: July 18, 2011, 15:22
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Even good old NPR gets duped by the anti-religion crowd.

Adam Frank, writing his blog on science and culture, praises the movie "Agora", (see http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2011/07/11/137743796/agora-most-intelligent-movie-on-science-and-religion-ever) about Hypatia, a women philosopher and pagan now revered as a 4th century proto-feminist and mythologized as a victim of Christian anti-science persecution. He even gets her interests wrong, apparently not double-checking to see if he got his facts straight:

Hypatia is only interested in the stars and Weisz is true to that particular form of scientific obsession that still holds true today.

Unfortunately, it wasn't so. Hypatia, an elite leader of a philosophically-inclined Platonist school, was indeed an powerful intellectual leader in an era when such were rarely women. But, the innocent, young, beautiful, and sexually liberated victim of sexual lust and anti-reason hysteria of a Christian mob is a myth invented in the enlightenment. In actuality, she was 60 and a virgin at her death, a victim of political infighting in Alexandria in 415. Her teaching presaged the intense interest in religious experience as the end of philosophy that was to follow in a world where Hellenistic thought found mathematics and astronomy to be necessary to advanced thinking.

For the real story, see http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=UCkgLBCh2m0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Hypatia&ots=81SJ-TsIVB&sig=8ZuwimK-32_CDOLOLh9Ll2rmV-c#v=onepage&q&f=false or look up Hypatia of Alexandria by María Dzielska on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Hypatia-Alexandria-Revealing-Antiquity-Dzielska/dp/0674437764).

Maya
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Post Re: NPR publishes the "myth" about Hypatia, the influential women philosopher of ancient Alexandria
on: July 27, 2011, 15:12
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I note that Hypatia is also treated in the book of essays entitled "Galileo Goes to Jail" which debunks a number of myths about the "war" between science and religion -- especially Christianity. I'm still reading the book; it's fascinating and has a diverse array of contributors.

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