Besides backing Alexandrian prefect, Orestes,
in opposition to archbishop Cyril,
Hypatia also inflamed Cyril's disciples
by being an acclaimed pagan
who flouted her proper "woman's place,"
so irate Christians dragged her to their church;
then, for a touch of piety,
tore her limb from limb
and burned her remnants in the street -
an early though effective form of censorship.
*Mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, exquisite Hypatia (370? - 415 AD)
was head of the Neoplatonist school of philosophy in Alexandria, Egypt.
Her death was mourned in the ancient world and she remains a potent symbol today.
© 2012 I.B. Rad