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14-Nov-2017 06:16

This happened in the month of March during Lent, in the fourth year of Cyril's episcopate, under the tenth consulate of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius [AD 415]." Ecclesiastical History (VII.15) In AD 412, Cyril, the nephew of Theophilus, succeeded him as patriarch of Alexandria, the populace of which, says Socrates, "is more delighted with tumult than any other people: and if at any time it should find a pretext, breaks forth into the most intolerable excesses; for it never ceases from its turbulence without bloodshed" (VII.13).Orestes, the new imperial prefect of Egypt, had arrived shortly before and both men became embroiled in a struggle for political power as Orestes resisted ecclesiastical encroachment upon his civil jurisdiction.Editing works on geometry, algebra, and astronomy, the abstract nature of numbers and their properties no doubt appealed to her as a neoplatonist.One can understand that such a woman would have occasion to meet with the magistrates of the city, and that such familiarity would be offensive to her enemies.And the governor of the city [Orestes] honoured her exceedingly; for she had beguiled him through her magic.And he ceased attending church as had been his custom....The Jews were expelled from Alexandria and their possessions looted.The prefect objected to this forced expulsion and, having rebuffed any attempt at reconciliation, was himself assaulted by monks "of a very fiery disposition" who had come into the city in support of the patriarch.

When Christians were killed in a subsequent attack, Cyril led a mob against the synagogues.

He blames Hypatia for the prefect's recalcitrance and believed the rumors about her.

"And in those days there appeared in Alexandria a female philosopher, a pagan named Hypatia, and she was devoted at all times to magic, astrolabes and instruments of music, and she beguiled many people through Satanic wiles.

Part of a civic complex with both a public bath and theater, they are characterized by the arrangement of stone benches along the walls and an elevated chair situated on a dais at one end of the room.

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The complex seems to have been constructed in the late fifth century AD, although some lecture halls may have been completed as early as the mid-fourth century, and so may have been a potential venue for Hypatia, who well may have sat, as did the teacher mentioned by Libanius, "established in an imposing chair, like judges are" (Chriae, III.7).

"Revered Hypatia, ornament of learning, stainless star of wise teaching, when I see thee and thy discourse I worship thee, looking on the starry house of the Virgin [Virgo]; for thy business is in heaven." Palladas, Greek Anthology (XI.400) Of the little that is known about Hypatia, the following account by Socrates Scholasticus, which was completed sometime in the decade before the death of Theodosius II in AD 450, is the best and most substantial.



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