Hypatia in Science

About thirty-five years ago when I studied physics at Dhaka University, half of our class was girls. After completing my studies at Dhaka University, I did Ph.D. in the United States. There was only one student in our class. I was quite surprised – I thought “developed countries must have more female students studying science and technology. 

The interesting thing is that when I went to that country, I discovered more strange facts, where girls are very thoughtful and stay away from science and technology. It is generally believed that science and technology subjects are not girls' subjects – they are boys' subjects! Not only that, if a girl is studying science and technology, then the boys stay away from her, if the girl is good in studies, then there is no question, that girl may not find any boy to marry! Although the words are said in a light tone but there is truth in it. 

Not only is this true today, but it has always been true. Boys and girls have never been able to participate equally in science and technology or general education. So in the history of the world we don't get the same number of girls as male scientists or technologists, comparatively their number is very less. Although women scientists and technologists are visible nowadays, they were few and far between in the past or in the Middle Ages. In the distant past – about one and a half thousand years ago, there was such a woman scientist, Her name was Hypatia. She was a remarkable woman who is remembered with great respect even after all these years. 

In the period under discussion, girls were not given the slightest respect, whether they had the opportunity to study or do anything else. To be honest, at that time girls were the property of men! At that time Hypatia was not only a brilliant mathematician, a successful physicist, a brilliant astronomer, and the head of Neoplatonic philosophy. He was the last scholar of the Library of Alexandria. The researcher of the Library of Alexandria seems to need a little more explanation. 

Science is the driving force behind the civilization we see today on Earth. Once more that scientific civilization appeared on Earth, and it happened around the Library of Alexandria. This library was built in the city of Alexandria in Egypt about two thousand years ago. The city of Alexandria was a truly cosmopolitan city. People from all countries of the world lived in this city. The Greek emperors who ruled Egypt after Alexander's death were truly enlightened. 

Two thousand years ago they realized the importance of research, so they created a research environment around the Library of Alexandria, where researchers in mathematics, physics, biology, astronomy, He used to study from medicine to geography or literature. Books were needed for research, so a large library began to develop in Alexandria. It can be said that Alexandria was the paradise of this publication in those days. Two thousand years ago, books were not at all like what we now understand by books. 

They were written by hand as there was no printing press. The original copy was written by the author himself and others saw it and wrote his other copies elsewhere. For that reason the books were extremely valuable and those who possessed them guarded them like yakshas. The Greek emperors of Egypt took great pains to collect priceless books from all over the world. 

No one wanted to lose their original book – they would deposit a lot of money to get the books copied! The Greek emperors of the time thought the books so valuable that they would let the bail money be forfeited and put them in the Alexandrian library - and return a copy! No one knows exactly how many books were in the library, but it is estimated that there were more than a million. 

The work done by researchers around this huge library was groundbreaking. Just as Erasthenes was the first to accurately map the radius of the earth, Hipparchus gave an accurate explanation of the nature of the stars, creating a perfect catalog of them. Euclid wrote his famous book on geometry, Galen wrote books on medicine and physiology. Not one or two such examples of library-based research in Alexandria can be given. One of the researchers in that library was Hypatia. He was born in 370. 

His father was also a great philosopher. The name is Theon. In that era, when girls were confined to the house as the property of men, Hypatia roamed the world of men. Hypatia was as beautiful as anyone, men were crazy to marry her but she never agreed to marry. It is said that one of his students once fell in love with him, which he disillusioned with an example of feminine irony! This beautiful woman regularly lectured at the Library of Alexandria – learned people would come from far and wide to hear her speak, literally buying tickets to hear Hypatia speak! Not only was Hypatia skilled in science, but she also had a close relationship with Orestes, the mayor of Alexandria. 

Then the spread of Christianity began, The name of the Christian archbishop is Cyril. The practice of Gnosticism was considered heretical by fanatical Christians, so Hypatia, the holder of Gnosticism, was an eyesore to them. Cyril especially frowned upon his friendship with the mayor Orestes. Hypatia read the Christian scriptures very carefully but believed that religion should be rational and scientific. Hypatia preached it in her speeches, which orthodox and fanatical Christians disliked. Being a girl, people were very annoyed by her bold talk. 

They tried to make sure that no one came to hear Hypatia's speech, that no one could hear her discourse on science. But they could not stop this bright and beautiful woman in any way, so they decided to kill her. One day in AD 417, Hypatia left her house in a horse-drawn carriage to go to work. He is a fanatic on the way. 

People surrounded. In no time the men dragged him from the car, stripped him naked, and dragged him to a church, where they stripped his body of flesh with sharp weapons, then dismembered him and threw him into the fire like a crazed monster. It is not known that there are many examples of such brutal killings in the history of the world. Immediately after this murder, Archbishop Cyril was elevated from commoner to saint – what could be a more extreme joke in the world? With the murder of Hypatia, the days of the Library of Alexandria also ended. 

The civilization that was born around this library came to a standstill – not for a day or two, but for almost a thousand years. Hypatia was like a flame of light, and after blowing it out, the whole world was plunged into darkness for a thousand years. Copernicus, Galileo, the whole world was covered in darkness for a thousand years until Newton came and started trying to dispel that darkness! The Library of Alexandria was burned to the ground one day - there is much debate as to who exactly did it. It is said that the library's books were burned and the bath water was heated – it took more than six months to finish burning over a million books! There is no more heartbreaking event in the history of the world. 

All of Hypatia's books, research samples, and the library were burned down. A few examples of his work have been found in particular New World peoples—some lists have been compiled from a variety of sources; They are amazing as any. This brilliant scientist and mathematician was hacked to death by fanatics for being born as a girl. Fanatics could not erase him from the pages of history. Humans on modern Earth have named a region of the Moon after Hypatia. As long as the moon rises in the sky, Hypatia will live on as a symbol of wisdom to the people of the world.

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