Hypatia, a Neo-Platonic philosopher, born in Alexandria about 370, killed in 415. She was the daughter of Theon, a distinguished mathematician and astronomer. She went to Athens near the close of the 4th century, and studied under the Neo-Platonist Plutarch, who expounded to a small circle of disciples the Chaldean oracles and the secrets of theurgy. On her return to Alexandria, her talents, beauty, eloquence, and modesty made her an object of admiration. She revived the school of Ploti-nus, and became its head. But both as a pagan and as a philosopher she provoked the hostility of Cyril, bishop of Alexandria. Not only was her lecture room thronged, but she was consulted by the most considerable persons of the city, among others by the prefect Orestes, who was at constant feud with the bishop. The city was a prey to the violence of parties, and it was to the influence of Hypatia that Cyril attributed the refusal of Orestes to come to a reconciliation. "Certain persons, therefore," says the ecclesiastical historian Socrates, "of fierce and over-hot minds, who were headed by one Peter, a reader, conspired against the woman, and observed her returning home from some place; and having pulled her out of her chariot, they dragged her to the church named Caesareum, where they stripped her and murdered her.
And when they had torn her piecemeal, they carried all her members to a place called Cinaron, and consumed them with fire." Hypatia was the author of two mathematical treatises, which are lost, and there remains from her only an astronomical table inserted in the manual tables of Theon. She is the heroine of Charles Kingsley's "Hypatia."