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Ὑπατία). A mathematician of Alexandria, daughter of Theon , and still more celebrated than her father. She was born about the end of the fourth century. In her studies she applied herself in particular to the philosophy of Plato. Following the example of her master, she resolved to add to her information by travelling; and, having reached Athens, attended there the lectures of the ablest instructors. On her return to her native city, she was invited by the magistrates to give lectures in philosophy, and Alexandria beheld a woman succeed to that long line of illustrious teachers which had rendered its school one of the most celebrated in the world. She was an Eclectic; but the exact sciences formed the basis of all her instruction, and she applied their demonstrations to the principles of the speculative sciences. She numbered among her disciples many celebrated men, among others Synesius, afterwards bishop of Ptolemaïs, who preserved during his whole life the most friendly feelings towards her, although she constantly refused to become a convert to Christianity. Hypatia united to a masculine intellect many of the attractions and all the virtues of her sex. Her dress was remarkable for its simplicity; her conduct was always above suspicion; and she knew well how to compel the respect of those of her auditors who felt the influence of her charms. All idea of marriage was constantly rejected by her as threatening to interfere with her devotion to her favourite studies. Orestes, governor of Alexandria, admired the talents of Hypatia, and frequently had recourse to her for advice. He was desirous of repressing the too ardent zeal of St. Cyril, who saw in Hypatia one of the principal supports of paganism. The partisans of the bishop, on their side, beheld in the measures of the governor the result of the counsels of Hypatia; the most fanatical of their number, in March, A.D. 415, seized upon Hypatia as she was proceeding to her school, forced her to descend from her chariot, and dragged her into a neighbouring church, where, stripped of her vestments, she was put to death by her brutal foes. Her body was hacked to pieces with oyster-shells, and the bloody remains were dragged through the streets and finally burned.

The works of Hypatia were lost in the burning of the Alexandrian Library. In the number of these were a commentary on Diophantus, an Astronomical Canon, and a commentary on the Conics of Apollonius of Perga. The very names of her other productions are lost. The Greek Anthology contains an epigram in praise of Hypatia, attributed to Paulus Silentiarius. Canon Kingsley's historical romance (London, 1853) has done much to make her name familiar to English readers. See the exhaustive monograph on Hypatia by Hoche in the Philologus, xv. 435 foll. (1860).

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