Hypatia and Egypt

In Egypt, following on Islamic demands (unlikely to be granted) to ban the centuries-old 1001 Nights as too racy, Christians are asking the same for a new novel that presents a Christian saint in a bad light. That saint is St. Cyril, who was responsible for the murder of Hypatia, one of the last pagan Greek philosophers and a rare woman among the ancient philosophers. He ought to be portrayed in a bad light.

As it happens, there is a new movie coming out about Hypatia starring Rachel Weisz called Agora (see trailer here)

I suspect that the novel depicting ancient Christians as fanatics is really an oblique attack on contemporary Egyptian Islamic fundamentalists, since a direct attack on them would be too dangerous. In order not to offend, the author really should have set his story even further back, in the times of the Pharohs perhaps.


1 Response to “Hypatia and Egypt”

  1. June 24, 2011 at 12:47 am

    “Agora” – the film was useful because it reminded us of who Hypatia was. Other books on the same subject remind us that we need different points of view to approch the elusive Truth, In my latest book “Hypatia’s Feud” I portray Hypatia as a Humanist who lived and died among religious zealots. Hypatia’s feud with the zealots is our feud for her foes under different names are ever present. “Hypatia’s Feud” is available as a book or e-bool from Amazon. Nicholas Fourikis

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