Today’s Women’s History Month post is about an ancient woman who fought some tough discrimination. With all the male bias against women at the time, she had to have been brilliant.
About 400 AD, Hypatia was the head of the University of Alexandria’s Neoplatonist School in Egypt. She taught male students philosophy, math, and physics.
Known for her dignity and her virtue, she still was a radical. She wore teacher’s clothes instead of the traditional women’s garb, taught philosophy on the street, and even drove her own chariot.
Caught up in a dispute between Christians and Jews factions, she was kidnapped by Christians who took her to a church, stripped her, and murdered her. They weren’t done. They mutilated her body and burned her limbs.
This version of her death is by Socrates of Constantinople, who lived about the same time as Hypatia.
In the seventh century, a Coptic bishop wrote she was killed because “she was devoted at all times to magic, astrolabes, and instruments of music, and she beguiled many people through Satanic wiles …”
You choose which account to believe.
Thanks to the Sam Maggs and her great book Wonder Women.