European Pagan Memory Day

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LIFE OF HYPATIA

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This is the life of Hypatia in the version by Socrates Scholasticus, told in his Historia Ecclesiastica; English translation based on the Italian version found on the site Maat, we would like to thank.

In Alexandria there was a woman named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such big attainments in literature and science, that she surpassed 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 listen to her lessons.

On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she often appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel embarassed in going to an assembly of men. All men, because of her extraordinary dignity and virtue, admired her the more.

Anyway, she fell victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. Since Hypatia had frequent interviews with Orestes, the Christian populace calumniously thought that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop.

Some of them, therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, and led by reader named Peter, waited her returning home in ambush. They dragged her from her carriage, and took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them.

This affair didnít bring the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church. And surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, violences, and things of that sort.

This happened in the month of March during Lent, in the fourth year of Cyril's episcopate, under the tenth consulate of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius.

 

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