Hypatia's Feud - a literary novel
On the third of August 2011 Dr Jane Lomax-Smith of the Royal Institution of Australia launched my book Hypatia's Feud at the Barr-Smith Library at the University of Adelaide. The book tells the story of Hypatia, who was a genius in astronomy, philosophy and mathematics. Her feud with religious zealots at the dawn of the 5th century CE and her brutal murder at their hands is our feud too because the foes of free inquiry and the Humanist frame are ever present.
Hypatia lived and died as a humanist in a world obsessed by religious fervor.
Hypatia of Alexandria researches the heavens and explores the everlasting questions of our existence when the Church preaches there is no need to probe into the nature of things.
She imparts new knowledge to the world when the churchmen counsel women to seek knowledge from their husbands.
She tutors Jews, Christians and Pagans while men of different religions wage wars.
Her feud with the Church reaches a climax during a debate with the Patriarch of Alexandria who believes the pagan scrolls of the Royal Alexandrian Library prevent the populace from accepting Christianity.
“If we torch the pagan scrolls of the Library,” the Patriarch proclaims during the debate, “we would uproot the weeds of confusion in God’s New Jerusalem.”
“In the Elysian Fields,” Hypatia retorts, “myriad flowers bloom and Truth, like the flowers is registered in the scrolls of the Library. If the half a million nonChristian scrolls are torched mankind, without a memory, would descend into darkness.”
Hypatia’s feud at the dawn of the fifth century CE is our feud too because her foes under different names are ever present.
Book review of "Hypatia's Feud" from the premier Greek newspaper, Neos Kosmos