Hypatia's bloody murder
In the 4th century A.D. there lived in Alexandria a woman named Hypatia. She was the head of the Platonist school
where she taught mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. She was also said to be a woman of beauty, grace, athleticism,
and above all intelligence. In one of her lectures she is quoted as saying "Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths,
and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child-mind accepts and
believes them, and only after great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after-years relieved of them. 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. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of
punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." This infuriated Cyril the bishop of Alexandria and the local christians.
In March of 415 A.D., when Hypatia was 60 yrs old, she left the lecture hall one night to enter a carriage and go home. She was
viciously attacke by the Nitrian monks leading a fanatical, hatefilled Christian mob. After first stripping her naked, she was
barbarously murdered, then dragged through the streets, her flesh cut from her bones and finally burned piecemeal. Her crime?
She told the truth about the Christians' unreasoned and superstitious lies, she promoted learning and culture, and thereby undermined
the power of the tyrannical Jewish-christian power structure. Considering the religious and political climate of the time, she was of course
an incredibly brave woman. Compared to her I feel like a passive coward. Sure I speak my atheist mind proudly, but it's not enough. If
you have any similar stories or recommended literature I'd be interested in hearing them.
"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia