Talk:Hypatia of Alexandria

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Her death and Christian intolerance[edit]

How exactly is her death not a perfect example of Catholic (read: Christian) intolerance? A spiritual leader targets one of the most learned women of her age and tortures her to death because they were being condescending towards people complaining about a pogrom? Is this more Catholic apologetics like that Inquisition page? -- Lago — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

There are no actual "perfect examples" of anything, as anybody who has a passing familiarity with Plato should be well aware. In this case, Cyril did not "target" Hypatia; she was mobbed, the late-antique analogue of a lynching, and not for religious reasons. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:20, 4 August 2011 (UTC)


Actually, that's rather common around here, to list editors who think one way or another. I'd keep it, if you know of a way to list the people who USE that template. I don't know if you can do that, though. I'm not overly wiki savy.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:30, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:User Hypatia. That was what I just put in the reference. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:35, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, to be fair (and going with the "no perfect examples" argument above), I feel bugged with the "pinnacle of womanhood" paragraph in the first place. It implies that womanhood is a precisely quantifiable characteristic that can be measured and ranked. It also implies that since Hypatia was the pinnacle, nobody can raise above her. She was progressive for her time and is somewhat of a role model for women facing stigma in "traditionally male" careers, but the article should focus on facts rather than value judgements. I wasn't bold enough to remove the whole paragraph, however. - LucidFox (talk) 18:37, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That sentence is a factual statement, albeit one regarding an opinion. Also, it is unnecessary to get your knickers in a twist over hyperbole, which is a fact of life here on the Wiki. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:41, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
If I say "Some argue that George W. Bush is a monkey" and link to my userpage, it will technically also be a factual statement. And wow. I make a polite statement pointing out I wanted to refrain from making an edit war, and the response I get is "get your knickers in a twist". Are people here always that welcoming? - LucidFox (talk) 18:45, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I've done that several times. "some would argue (user) that abortion should never be regulated." IT's been a sorta tonuge in cheek move, here at RW for years. I think it is only really "pulled back" on the front page/bronze, silver and gold articles. and even then, only *somtimes*. so, if you want to make a "some people would argue" go for it. again, I think it's understood that the "some" with an editor's name is a play on the Weasel Word argument of "some people' in real articles.--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:50, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
We cite personal experience occasionally. Citing "some people think..." and then "this user" just takes the biscuit on many levels. Tell you what, I'll sock up and say "Stalin was fucking awesome!!" and then we'll bung that on his article, how about that? ADK...I'll advocate your hot dog! 18:53, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Don't bother... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:55, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Granted, it may well have changed in the two years I've not been here, but I see it all the time as i wander around editing. I don't think it really harms anything, unless we are talking a quality argument. Not to be petty, but some day look at how many people read these things. for the non "front page" (as it were) articles, the vast majority of people reading this stuff is us. and the humor of "this user thinks", or the validity of it in some rare cases, is part of the environment of this place, i think. part of why i love reading these articles myself.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC) (edit con)
(EC2) As several users had that user box up, before the article was written, it is not really comparable to one user citing his own statement.
LucidFox, stick around for a week and you will find that we have a sense of humor around here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:58, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
But it's not actually funny. ADK...I'll mature your document! 19:05, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I smiled. :-) I guess that is the trouble when saying "we have a sense of humor". some people think it's cute, other funny, and others stupid. I've always held the idea that "if i don't like something, i'll change it. if the person who made the statement originally, cares about it, they'll change it, and I'll either let it go or bring it up on Talk. To me, having stuff like that in there changes nothing (again, on non front page articles) but taking it out changes nothing, either. What i REALLY want to know is why the fuck we have an article on her in teh first place. ;-)Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 19:08, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

The Gallery[edit]

Now the gallery - THATS funny! "it is well known that..."  :-)Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 19:10, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, apparently the Pre-Raphaelites really liked to paint tits with historical/mythological motifs (ref.: this guy and Waterhouse).
Anyway, I was much more amused by the fact that there's a guy whose real name is Mangasar Mugurditch Mangasarian. Is he really real?--ZooGuard (talk) 19:25, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

St. Catherine of Alexandria[edit]

While it is true that St. Catherine's Feast Day was removed by the Church back in the 1960s, it was later reinstated. It was one of many Saints' Days to be removed, but, so far the only one to be put back in. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 05:57, 12 February 2014 (UTC)


Am I the only one who finds this section odd? I would hardly call those opinions "distortions" and more like reasonable inferences. B4Xiphos (talk) 07:55, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

@B4Xiphos They're distortions because all Hypatia's known students, friends, and supporters were Christians, all Christian sources written within a century of her lifetime portray her murder as an atrocity, and, according to the earliest historical sources on the subject, the motivation for Hypatia's murder was political, not religious. Hypatia's murder seems to have been more of a political assassination than a witch hunt.
Although the murder certainly doesn't reflect well on Cyril of Alexandria or his supporters, to reduce the whole situation to a paradigm of righteous pagans versus evil Christians is an egregious distortion of the historical record. I talk about some of the ways the story of Hypatia's murder has been twisted for political ends in this article from August 2018 and this article from February 2020. —Spencer the Skeptikos (talk) 00:35, 9 March 2020 (UTC)

Hypatia's beauty[edit]

I'm not going to change anything with regard to this, but it is worth noting that we don't actually know what Hypatia looked like. The report that she was extraordinarily beautiful comes from Damaskios of Syria, who wasn't even born until half a century after Hypatia's death and certainly never saw her in person. We don't know if he ever met anyone who had known Hypatia while she was alive and I get the impression he was just imagining her as extraordinarily beautiful. The earlier and therefore more reliable sources such as Synesios and Socrates Scholasticus don't mention anything about her appearance. When people talk about how beautiful she was, they're basically relying on one man's fantasy. We don't actually know what she looked like. —Spencer the Skeptikos (talk) 20:15, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

References to her alleged beauty are probably worth deleting, since they're not germane to RationalWIki's mission, are sexist, are subjective, and are likely secondhand. Bongolian (talk) 20:35, 8 March 2020 (UTC)