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St. Clair County Community College Library

Women in Science

Hypatia (c.350-370 - 415 AD)

Hypatia portraitHypatia of Alexandria was a mathematician and philospher born between 350 and 370 AD. While little is known about her life, it is known that she was the daughter of mathematician Theon, and that he tutored her in math, astronomy, and philosophy. She became a teacher and respected academic at the University of Alexandria something that had previously been unheard of for a woman. She eventually became head of a Platonist school in Alexandria known as the Museum of Alexandria. Her brilliance was well known and documented by many ancient writers. 

Hypatia's Pagan teachings were seen by an emerging Christian power as contradictory to the church, and she was murdered by a mob of radical monks in Alexandria in 415 AD, and her death has largely been cited as the end of the "classical era". Her writings were destroyed after her death during a raid on the Musuem of Alexandria.








"Hypatia." Brooklyn Museum: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, Accessed 1 Feb. 2019.

Mark, Joshua J. "Hypatia of Alexandria." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 02 Sep 2009. Web. 01 Feb 2019 

Image credit: Drawn by Jules Maurice Gaspard (1862–1919) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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