Example Cultural Site [draft in progress]

Note to readers: The intention of this online paper is to model the Culture Site online paper research and writing project, which focuses on an historical or modern figure from another country/culture. I intend to write about how women in that culture use(d) technology and offer my interpretations, comparisons, and conclusions of significant historical trends. I will site the sources inline, in the bibliography, and by linking to the sources if they appear online. The writing appears in a multi-page web site with menu items linking to each page. Visual material will be quick to download (each page under 20k) and include descriptive alternative text (alt tags) for students and peers who are listening rather than reading the paper. A description of this work is provided in a blog, along with lists of resources, key terms, potential interviewees, and trends to research. Please report all typos or inaccurate information to me.

Hypatia: A wild goose chase

Author: Pam Van Londen, 2005.

Introduction | Trends | Technology at the time | Astrolabe | Hydrometer | Mathematics | Conclusion | Bibliography

Profile of Hypatia


Hypatia of Alexandria Egypt, the mathematician, philosopher, educator, and inventor was allegedly brutally murdered because of her pagan beliefs and, perhaps jealous anger of another high-ranking city official who could not allow his "community" to consult with an intelligent women. She oversaw the greatest think tank of her time (Ptolemaic), the Museum of the University of Alexandria, after her father and mentor, Theon.

Several historical indexes cite her as the inventor of the astrolabe, planesphere, hydroscope (hydrometer), and editor of several important mathematical works, as well as an accomplished author of scientific and philosophical papers, few (if any) of which survive today. Her student, Synesius, wrote letters to her and some of these writings survive, though do not definitively state her as inventor or author.

At the time of Hypatia, Alexandria was a great center for scientific study, rivaling Athens and Rome (near its downfall). The international population there was not always tolerated, however, as the spread of Christianity into Egypt caused great unrest between Jews, Christians, and pagans.

This site's purpose is to explore the time in which Hypatia worked as well as her accomplishments (which you will see are widely disputed).

Introduction | Trends | Technology at the time | Astrolabe | Hydrometer | Mathematics | Conclusion | Bibliography