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Hypatia or New Foes With an Old Face

by Charles Kingsley

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Category : Fiction

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In the four hundred and thirteenth year of the Christian Era, some three hundred miles above Alexandria, the young monk Philammon was sitting on the edge of a low range of inland cliffs, crested with drifting sand. Behind him the desert sand-waste stretched, lifeless, interminable, reflecting its lurid glare on the horizon of the cloudless vault of blue. At his feet the sand dripped and trickled, in yellow rivulets, from crack to crack and ledge to ledge, or whirled past him in tiny jets of yellow smoke, before the fitful summer airs. Here and there, upon the face of the cliffs which walled in the opposite side of the narrow glen below, were cavernous tombs, huge old quarries, with obelisks and half-cut pillars, standing as the workmen had left them centuries before; the sand was slipping down and piling up around them, their heads were frosted with the arid snow; everywhere was silence, desolation-the grave of a dead nation, in a dying land. And there he sat musing above it all,...

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Charles Kingsley

Charles Kingsley was a broad church priest of the Church of England, a university professor, historian and novelist. He is particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire. He was a friend and correspondent with Charles Darwin.

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    anonymous

    The story of Hypatia - mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher - who was caught up in a conflict between the Church and the Roman Empire, and murdered by a Christian mob in 415 AD. The Alexandrian school of philosophy died with her. Hypatia's murder was its deathblow, writes Kingsley, its light flickering down to the very socket. Although fictionalised, Kingsley's account of Hypatia's life is well researched and remains largely true to history. Very readable, very impressive.

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