HYPATIA DAY - 15TH MARCH
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Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman of remarkable intellect who advanced mathematics and the science of astronomy in her time. Her death at the hands of a christian mob in March 415ce has been described as marking the end of classical antiquity. If pagans and atheists had saints she would be foremost among them and it is for this reason that it is only right that she is celebrated. As only the mont...h of her death is known, the date for this occasion has been placed at the mid point of the Ides of March (the 15th). According to one story she was flayed alive by monks using scallop shells, so to mark this day I am suggesting the wearing of a shell as jewellery. And as a sign of reconciliation, as she was also killed during Lent, the giving up of a luxury or even fasting for the day. Perhaps followed by a feast in her honour. In doing so we remember the tragedy of the Christian destruction of classical learning, from which it can be argued the West did not recover for 1000 years. It is a sobering reminder to always be prepared to look again at history before assuming that things could not have gone another way. In her own words, as attributed to her: "All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final." "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."
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