Re: Christian Martyrs better? (Hypatia) appears to be going off at a tangent, forgive me.

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Re: Christian Martyrs better? (Hypatia) Organization: /usr/lib/news/organi[sz]ation From: yon@elf.dircon.co.uk (Anna He Yon Baik) All the previous messages on this thread have expired, so if this appears to be going off at a tangent, forgive me. Here's some info and sources on Hypatia so you can check things out yourself, from the nearest book I had to hand (Hypatia's Heritage, by M.Alic,1986). "When Hypatia was born in AD 370, the intellectual life of Alexandria was in a state of dangerous confusion. The Roman Empire was converting to Christianity and more often than not the Christian zealot saw only heresy and evil in mathematics and science: ` "mathematicians" were to be torn by beasts or else burned alive'[McCabe, Joseph, `Hypatia', Critic, 43 [1903], p267-72. ]. Some of the Christian fathers revived the theories that the earth was flat and the universe shaped like a tabernacle. Violent conflicts among pagans, Jews, and Christians were spurred on by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. It was not a propitious era in which to become a scientist, or a philosopher." "...In 412, Cyril, a fanatical Christian, became Patriarch of Alexandria, and intense hostility developed between Cyril and Orestes, the Roman Prefect of Egypt, former student and long-time friend of Hypatia. Soon after taking power, Cyril began persecuting Jews, driving thousands of them from the city. Then, despite the vehement opposition of Orestes, he turned his attention to ridding the city of neoplatonists. Ignoring Orestes' pleadings, Hypatia refused to abandon her ideals and convert to Christianity. Hypatia's murder is described in the writings of the fifth-century Christian historian, Socrates Scholasticus: [From `The Murder of Hypatia', in `A Treasury of Early Christianity', ed. Anne Fremantle. New York, Viking, 1953, pp. 379-80] `All men did both reverence and had her in admiration for the singular modesty of her mind. Wherefore she had great spite and envy owed unto her, and because she conferred oft, and had great familiarity with Orestes, the people charged her that she was the cause that the bishop and Orestes were not become friends. To be short, certain heady and rash cockbrains whose leader was Peter, a reader of that Church, watched this woman coming home from some place or other, they pull her out of her chariot: they hail her into the Church called Caesarium, they stripped her stark naked: they raze the skin and rend the flesh of her body with sharp shells, until the breath departed out of her body: they quarter her body: they bring her quarters unto a place called Cinaron and burn them to ashes.' This took place in March 415, just over a century after the pagans had murdered Catherine, a Christian Alexandrian scholar. Hypatia's murderers were Parabolans, fanatical monks of the Church of St Cyril of Jerusalem, possibly aided by Nitrian monks. Whether Cyril directly ordered the murder remains an open question. At the very least he created the political climate that made such an atrocity possible. " Hope that's of some help to you. Sorry if it's a bit long, but I had to work quite hard to restrain myself from going on about presumably irrelevant descriptions of how Hypatia invented the hydrometer, wrote lots of stuff on conic sections etc. etc. I've admired Hypatia for a long time, as you can no doubt guess... swsus, yon --------------------------------------------------------------------- > Also, is it not true that some Canonizations came to people who >had rendered an administrative value to the Chruch and were never in any >peril for holding their beliefs? Now, what am I suggesting? :-) > >Bruce Salem It's interesting to note that Gibbon reports of a pogrom against the Jews of Alexandria, burning and looting of synagogues with expulsion of 40,000 Jews from the city. This occurred immediately preceding the lynching of Hypatia and was instigated by "Saint" Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria. Cyril led the mob according to Gibbon. (I am referring of course to Edward Gibbon and the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) Now maybe someone can attempt to write off the accounts of Hypatia's death as a fiction of pagans seeking martyred saints of their own, but why should pagans write fictions about the persecution of Jews? Gibbon credits a Greek historian by the name of Socrates for his information on Cyril. While this person might possibly have been a pagan, he is very unlikely to have been a Jew. Of course it is _not_ unheard of for Christians to systematically persecute Jews. I see no reason whatsoever to doubt Gibbon's account. sincerely, arn lesikar@tigger.stcloud.msus.edu

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