In the late fourth and early fifth centuries of our era, Hypatia of Alexandria was the world’s greatest living mathematician and astronomer. A strikingly beautiful. In the introduction to this book, Michael Deakin expresses surprise that there have been so few full-length treatments of the life and work of. Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr, by Michael A. B. Deakin, , pp., hardcover, ISBN , $ Prometheus Books,
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This is a rather scholarly work, so if you’re looking for some sort of detailed history of Hypatia, this isn’t it. In fact, there is far too little evidence left to produce such a work. Instead, this book attempts to reconstruct the conditions of the time period she is thought to have lived and what we know of her work in mathematics and philosophy.
Mathfmatician was hoping for more historical information regarding the circumstances of her murder at the hands of the early christian church, but again, there i. I was hoping for more historical information regarding the circumstances of her murder at the hands of the early christian church, but again, there is only a limited amount of evidence to paint a more detailed view. Overall, if you are not put of by more scholarly writing this is a good book mathe,atician understand a little bit about who Hypatia was, and the affect she had on the culture and conditions in which she lived.
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Mathematician and Martyr by Michael A. A strikingly beautiful woman and a devoted celibate, she lived in a city as turbulent and troubled as Baghdad or Beirut is today. She achieved fame not only in her special field, but also as a philosopher, religious thinker, and teacher who attracted a large popular following. Her life ended tragically in violence at the hands of a rampaging mob of Christian fanatics, who killed her for her “pagan” beliefs, some say at the instigation of St.
This is the first biography of Hypatia to integrate all alrxandria of her life. Mathematician Michael Deakin emphasizes that, though she was a philosopher, she was first and foremost a mathematician and astronomer of great accomplishment. In a fascinating narrative that brings to life a richly diverse ancient society, he describes her work so that the mathematics, presented in straightforward terms, finds its true place in the context of her life as a whole.
He also analyzes the pattern of her life and thought, hypagia finally gives an account of the events leading up to her lynch-mob execution.
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Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr – Michael A. B. Deakin – Google Books
Dec 30, Faith Justice rated it liked it Shelves: In doing my original research, for my novel Selene of AlexandriaI ran across Professor Deakin and his most useful website where he posted all the primary sources that mentioned Hypatia.
Over the years, he spoke of her at conferences and wrote articles. Finally, in he published his book and I got to add another resource to my research shelf. Mathematician and Martyrseems drier an In doing my original research, for my novel Selene of AlexandriaI ran across Professor Deakin and his most useful website where he posted all the primary sources that mentioned Hypatia.
Deakin lays out his book like a syllabus with discrete chapters and sub-chapters.
Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr
He evaluates the sources, her death and her mathematics. But he adds one important piece: He very considerately puts the more arcane mathematical discussions in his appendices, letting us choose how much we want to delve into the minutia of the Greek alphabet, and its relationship to numbers and long division. However, if one considers that the times were not at all conducive to mathematical research, that the institutions that mathematciian supported such work were gone, and the mathematicians themselves were under great suspicion, then this should not really surprise us We see in her life little of the compartmentalization of knowledge that such a recitation of achievement imposes upon modern ears.
Rather, geometry was a route to the One, just as was a celibate lifestyle. Arithmetic and even astronomy were similarly sacred. We may well imagine that the conservation and transmission of knowledge was a matter of passionate concern for her So much is lost and is now quite irrecoverable.
But the main outlines of her life and her accomplishment are clear and they command our admiration. gypatia
Taken together, they give a fuller picture than either alone. Dzielska adds the literary tradition and Deakin the mathematical. This is part of a post on my blog where I review both Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr and Hypatia of Alexandria. Feb 22, Meredith Fickes rated it it was ok.
Really should only read if you are interested in mathmatics. Jul 08, Hannah Cobb rated it really liked it Shelves: Who would have guessed that the greatest mathematician in the Roman Empire, at one time, was a woman?
Anyone looking for a compact and unromanticized approach to a difficult time in history will enjoy this book. Deakin supplies concise summaries of philosophical, reli Who would have guessed that the greatest mathematician in the Roman Empire, at one time, was a woman?
Deakin supplies concise summaries of philosophical, religious, and mathematical concepts without going into mind-bogging detail. Hypatia was a female scholar, she did make important mathematical and astronomical discoveries, she held a great deal of influence over important male political figures, and she was murdered at the command of a Christian bishop during a religious war that tore apart the city that had once been the shining beacon of the academic world.
Dec 05, Karin Gastreich rated it really liked it Shelves: In Hypatia of AlexandriaDeakin does an excellent job of creating a complete picture of this remarkable mathematician for whom the historical records are scarce and incomplete.
I read this book with an eye toward using it in one of my classes, Women and Scienceand came away ready to make it required reading for my students. Deakin’s approach to documenting Hypatia’s history is different from other popular histories that I’ve read.
Rather than integrating the different aspects of her story into In Hypatia of AlexandriaDeakin does an excellent job of creating a complete picture of this remarkable mathematician for whom the historical records are scarce and incomplete. Rather than integrating the different aspects of her story into a single chronological whole, he separates out the historical, intellectual and religious context into digestible chunks.
Only after completing his illustration of the temporal stage on which Hypatia’s life and death took place does he present the scant information that survives regarding her achievements as a mathematician, philosopher and political figure.
The approach works extraordinarily well. About half the volume maghematician dedicated to appendices and notes, and while this section is more disjunct than the primary text, it also makes for interesting reading. Here we are given the details of Hypatia’s mathematics; the intriguing story of Pandrosion, another woman mathematician that preceded her; a comentary on the legend of St.
Catherine; and my personal favorite translations of the original sources. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the history of the ancient world, women’s history, women and science, and the conflicts that plagued the early Christian church.
May 12, Alicia rated it liked mathematican Shelves: After only hearing mention of the name, I was curious to know more about Hypatia through my own reading instead of just in class and this seemed to be one of the better books on the subject.
And yes, while Deakin does cover Hypatia’s life and as much as we can learn from the little documentation around her, there were pf when he seemed to be really pulling at straws for content.
I enjoy the occasional biography and heavier reading in my life, but in comparison to other biographies, this seeme After only hearing mention of the name, I was curious to know more about Hypatia through my own reading instead of just in class and this seemed to be one of the better books on the subject.
I enjoy the occasional biography and heavier reading in my life, but in comparison to other biographies, this seemed weakly constructed hypxtia unprofessional. The structure was methodical but partitioned off in small chapters that made it seem like he just wrote up his notes instead of integrating all of his research into one comprehensive biography. I understand there aren’t many primary sources, but if that’s the case, then maybe a book with the occasional reference isn’t the best option?
This isn’t necessarily a bad book, just be aware before you read. The first hpyatia that comes to mind is “disjointed. The first half was easily accessible, but the last half of the book was all notes and appendices, most of which could have been written into the bulk of the text. Good content, poor presentation. Not recommended for those looking for an easy narrative to follow, but might interest those lo The first word that comes to mind is “disjointed.
Not recommended for those looking for an easy narrative to follow, but might interest those looking for a more scholarly read.
Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr by Michael A.B. Deakin
Aug 08, Judy rated it it was ok. This guy missed a great opportunity to examine a fascinating woman. Marion Meade needs to take this biography up and do it justice. He spent too much time on the math. I would have like more of the time period – to really place her in the culture and setting.
Sep 25, Paulina rated it liked it Shelves: A very succinct and academic book on Hypatia; which, while reliable, loses some of its appeal by not following a narrative, instead choosing to sketch out different sources and focus on the mathematics. Hypatia’s life was fascinating, despite us having so alexandrua sources.
What we mathematidian of her – as an esteemed philosopher, mathematician and astronomer in a time where women had little rights, who has chosen to stay unmarried implicitly to protect these rights – although Michael Deakin certainly does A very succinct and academic book on Hypatia; which, while reliable, loses snd of its appeal by not following a narrative, instead choosing to sketch out different sources and focus on the mathematics.
What we know of her – as an esteemed philosopher, mathematician and astronomer in a time where women had little rights, who has chosen to stay unmarried implicitly to protect these rights – although Michael Deakin certainly doesn’t suggest that, while listing other famous women philosophers and mathematicians as ‘wife of I am not sure if many people would like this book – it keeps to the facts and arguments at the expense of a certain kind of panache, and the author is definitely not gifted – the writing is very stilted, reminiscent of essays I’ve written shame-facedly at the university.
But it is thorough and genuine, so there’s that. Jul 11, Gabrielle Birkman rated it it was amazing. I can’t say enough about the depth of this book. As I’m currently doing research on Hypatia, this is my primary go to for information. Deakin’s information is exceptionally factual and perfectly presented. He thoroughly covers the social and political climate in A.