Posts Written by FeministWhore

Hypatia – Last Light of the Library

I don’t know when this movie is supposed to be released in the US. I heard December 18th, but then I read this article from October 14th detailing the trouble finding a US distributor because of belief that it will have “limited appeal”. Apparently the patriarchy has a problem with it.
It’s the cinematic story of the last days of Hypatia, a mathematician and astronomer, and a pagan woman; a scholar in the ancient city of Alexandria. Some modern scholars consider her death to be the first “witch burning” of the long and brutal transition from pagan culture to christian rule. Socrates of Constantinople, an early church historian (c.380~) wrote of her death:

Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they 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 is from the Hypatia bio (via a pretty cool timeline of women’s history)
Hypatia was the first notable woman in mathematics and philosophy. Her death brought an end to the position of Alexandria as the centre of scientific activity in the ancient world. Hypatia was murdered because her humanistic philosophical ideas were resented by the Church.