A short bio by Pamela Goldman
Hypatia was a philosopher and genius of astronomy and mathematics from antiquity. Born around 370 A.D. and died 415 A.D. she lived in Alexandria, Egypt and was the first female intellectual recorded in history.
Being a Neo-Platonist, she was burned alive by a mob of fanatic Christians. They also believed her mathematics were “the work of the devil.”
However, during her life she was beloved as a great lecturer and wise counselor to the rulers.
Beautiful and celibate, she never married. Described as having “self-possession of manner, which she acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she was admired for her dignity and beauty.”
She believed that curiosity was the soul’s yearning for intelligibility which was a direct route to the divine. She became known, with passing time, as being a martyr of philosophy. In the 20th century, she was an icon for women’s rights.
It is certain that she learned most of her groundwork from her father who was also considered the most promising scientist, astronomer and thinker of his day. Hypatia learned from him yet surpassed him during her life and in history.
Today she would be proud of all the female doctors, scientists, supreme court justices and just about any woman who lives a life of passion and grace. As the Virginia Slim’s advertisement used to say, “You’ve come a long way baby!”