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2238Re: Please Post Message-Thanks

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  • John Uebersax
    Nov 6, 2008
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      --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "vaeringjar" <vaeringjar@...>
      wrote:

      > Odd I thought I knew all the Pre-Raphaelites and representations of
      > Hypatia, but not this one. Somehow, given her famous or infamous
      > comment to one of her admirers who fancied her, I don't think she
      > would be amused by this portrait at all.
      >
      > Now that this subject has come up, does anyone have any opinions of
      > this (relatively) new biography of Hypatia by Michael Deakin?
      Here's
      > a link to it at Barnes and Noble:
      >
      > http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Hypatia-of-Alexandria/Michael-A-B-
      > Deakin/e/9781591025207/?itm=5

      I've not seen this book yet (thanks for mentioning it) but I did read
      the biography of Hypatia by Maria Dzielska:

      http://www.amazon.com/Hypatia-Alexandria-Revealing-Antiquity-
      Dzielska/dp/0674437764/

      The editorial review of the Deakins book says: "Her life ended
      tragically in violence at the hands of a rampaging mob of Christian
      fanatics, who killed her for her 'pagan' beliefs" -- which is of
      course the popular view (epitomized by the portrayal of Edward
      Gibbon).

      It seems implausible to me that Hypatia would have been killed merely
      for "pagan beliefs." First, from the Dzielska book, it seems that
      there was a serious political struggle going on in which Hypatia was
      centrally involved', and a political motive seems more likely.

      Further, it seems implausible that an accusation merely of pagan
      beliefs would incite a mob action; I seem to recall in the Dzielska
      book that the accusations more concerned specific charges of
      witchcraft -- alleged magical activities which intentionally produced
      certain evils that befell the Alexandarians (or the Christian
      community).

      John Uebersax
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