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Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy$
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Alan Cameron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190268947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190268947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 22 May 2022



Life, Death, and Works

(p.185) 9 Hypatia
Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy

Alan Cameron

Oxford University Press

Hypatia has been regarded historically as a pagan martyr, a great mathematician murdered by Christians, provoked by her outspokenness and jealous of her brilliance. The chapter, however, places what is known of her learning and her public utterances (mostly from Christian sources) in the context of fifth-century Alexandria. It discusses the role of women in late antique society and identifies the few women philosophers. It describes the preparation of texts of ancient mathematical classics, especially Ptolemy’s Almagest, in late antiquity. Hypatia’s father and tutor, Theon, prepared a commentary on the Almagest to which Hypatia may have contributed, and the influence of father and daughter on Synesius, later a Christian bishop, is discussed. Hypatia’s death, brutal as it was, arose out of the anti-Jewish riots of 415 and the feud between patriarch Cyril of Alexandria and the governor Orestes.

Keywords:   Hypatia, fifth-century Alexandria, women philosophers, Theon of Alexandria, Ptolemy’s Almagest, ancient mathematical texts, Cyril of Alexandria, Synesius

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