Hypatia of Alexandria was a bright woman living in Egypt, during a time when women weren’t encouraged to have ideas of their own. Nevertheless, her mathematical mind overcame the general public opinion.
Hypatia was born around 350 A.D. in Alexandria, Egypt. She was the daughter of a famous mathematician and philosopher (Theo of Alexandria) who granted her more freedom than many girls and women in ancient times. Hypatia was allowed to study math, astronomy, and philosophy, and with her father’s help, she also learned how to be a brilliant speaker.
Once she grew, Hypatia worked with her father to update old textbooks with discoveries in fields such as algebra, geometry, and astronomy. She was excellent at breaking down complicated subjects for them to be easy to understand. Hypatia’s notes influenced mathematicians and astronomers for centuries. Students came from all over the city to learn math and astronomy from Hypatia. She taught people how to use a portable astrolabe
(known nowadays as a compass).
Even though her teachings became very popular, they also introduced ideas different from Christianity, which enraged the Christian bishop of Alexandria, who not only forbade Hyaptia
from teaching but ultimately caused her death.
Thanks to Hypatia, women had a public voice for the first time, and she proved that women had the same level of intelligence as men.