I used to read these great picture books that were simultaneously beautiful drawings and intensive biographies of historical figures. It was Kathleen Krull’s “Lives of Extraordinary…” series. My favorite was Krull’s “Lives of Extraordinary Women.” Great composers were interesting, and I was definitely fascinated by the drawings of Ronald Reagan sitting in a lifeguard chair- United States Presidents – but there was nothing quite like learning about kick butt ladies.
From Joan of Arc to Eva Perón, the book showcased a wide range of women who did a wide range of incredible things. To casually paraphrase Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that biographies on important heroines are scarcer than those on men. It’s just a thing, and if anyone cares to contest that, I guess I can look up statistics, but for now, just trust me: I am a huge reader, and there are way more books on men than woman. For whatever reason, that’s the case. Boom.
Anyway, that’s why I LOVE learning about a woman I haven’t heard of before. It incenses me in some ways, but it also inspires me to do as much research as possible on her. Her being Hypatia, a female philosopher, astronomer and mathematician who lived during the fall of Alexandria.
I learned about Hypatia while watching the film “Agora,” yesterday during class. Not only was Hypatia’s work the precursor to Johannes Kepler’s understanding of elliptical orbits, but she was also a trusted political advisor during a time of intense religious conflict. This, all taking place during the late 300’s. The THREE HUNDREDS!
I don’t want to spoil anything about the film, and I also need to do a ton more research before I can become an even remote authority on Hypatia…so that’s all folks! (For now.) Check out “Agora.”