Hypatia (355? – 415 CE)

She is one of the more romantic figures in science. She was the daughter of Theon, a mathematician who taught at the great school at the Alexandrine Library. She traveled widely and corresponded with people all over the Mediterranean. We know of her only through her letters because all of her work was destroyed when the Great Library of Alexandia was destroyed.

She taught at the school in the Library in Alexandria, Egypt. Letters written and addressed simply to the philosopher were delivered to her. She taught mathematics and natural philosophy. She is credited with the authorship of three major treatises on geometry and algebra and one on astronomy. She invented several tools: an instrument for distilling water, an instrument to measure the specific gravity of water, an astrolabe and a planisphere.

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”

She wrote that “All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.”

“Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies.
To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing.
The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.
In fact men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.”

Ancient truth is still truth. I only disagree with her on that point. Truth is not a point of view, points of view are merely opinions. Truth is immutable, unchangeable and forever. On religion, no one has ever put it so plainly that all religions are equally false.


  1. x says:

    Absolutely. Not just religion though, some political and other beliefs are just as dogmatic and nonsensical. Pity we can’t identify the part of the brain associated with bullshit, we could chop it out.

  2. x says:

    PS I saw you had problems with your site again. I told you what would happen if I didn’t get my $5000.

  3. Ernesto Ribeiro says:

    In My Own Words & Pictures

    Hip├ícia de Alexandria — “Agora”


    The Woman and The Movie


  4. Black Sheep says:

    Didn’t know there was a movie about her, just ordered it up on ebay.

    And YES, Lord X, I was just about to send another $5000 to you in Somalia, when I decided to delete my entire ISP’s database instead. Seriously. Wiped it all out. This was after talking to these jokers 5 GODDAM TIMES trying to get them to fix it right.

    After totally clearing the board, I called them up again and said Oops, I mistakenly (a lie) wiped out all my files, would you mind doing a total reinstall from your backups?

    Of course, they did, it took a full day and a half for all of it to show back up, and now everything works like a penguin sliding down greased ice.

    So, sorry about not sending you any more money but your head is soon to be on a pike anyway, with all that I already sent you and you being in Somalia and all. I mean, not real safe there…..