All roads lead to death

All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final. Hypatia

Hypatia by Odoardo Tabacchi
1874. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Religious doctrine and practitioners with good intentions, have had their words distorted, manipulated and reinvented to suit the goals of and the ‘end-game’ of people who believe their own teachings or interpretation of ‘god’s word’ is the absolute truth. Violence and fear-mongering was a strategy applied to enforce their beliefs onto others, use of propaganda to create scapegoats, and targeted individuals who refused to bow down to these power-hungry leaders who hid behind religion and declared their abhorrence. All these elements led to Hypatia’s eventual downfall and demise.

Hypatia’s father, Theon, taught her that science demands continual investigation and research to uncover new knowledge, whereas religion was based on superstition, and in the study of philosophy there was no absolute truth. Hypatia, a follower of the ‘pagan’ religion, did not allow these tenets dictate her desire to learn or teach the ‘truth’ of science. She believed in exploration of the mind, to ask questions, learn as much as possible so that one can be best prepared to understand beyond the scope of humanity.

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

This quote demonstrated Hypatia’s underlying philosophy and one that did not sync with the new upcoming religion that garnered in strength and numbers. To undermine Hypatia, bishop Cyril, purposely slandered Hypatia, and in his sermons declared there were no female apostles or teachers, and hence female educators had no place in Christianity. He denounced her as a witch, who used used magic and the power of Satan to influence and tempt men of virtue and power. He went on to claim her work in astronomy was no different to astrology, and the work of a sorceress. The end for Hypatia led to the onset of suppression of women that lasted for centuries and still is happening in some countries, and also in the inequality of wages between men and women.

Death of philosopher Hypatia in Alexandria. Engraving by an unknown author. First published c. 1865. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hypatia’s demise was horrific and demonstrated the fanatical behaviour of zealots and that of those establishing their power who feared her influence. While travelling through Alexandria on her chariot, she was besieged by Cyril’s monks, dragged into a temple where they stripped her naked and beat her to death. They then tore her limb from limb and burned her remains. In version, she was beaten and then they used oyster shells to flay her skin, blood splattering the marble floor, and then they ripped her apart her body. Either way, it was horrendous and a terrible end of a woman with great intellect and notable discoveries.

I will let Hypatia have the last say here:

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. Hypatia

Thank you for your continued support and as always, I look forward to your comments and will respond.


The Ancient History of Sexism Begins with Hypatia’s Murder. (June 28, 2017).

Fiorio, S.F. (January 16, 2019). The Killing of Hypatia. Lapham’s Quarterly.

Mark, J.J. (January 18, 2012). Hypatia of Alexandria: The Passing of Philosophy to Religion. Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Hypatia Quotes. (n.d.). Brainyquote.

Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet.

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  1. Jacqui Murray

    How awful, worse than losing Socrates (in manner, not intellect maybe). Democracy had a difficult start, with the Greeks.

    I think I have reviews for the books I read on Goodreads, Amazon, but let me know if I missed something. I’ll add it! Hugs, girlfriend.

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