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Old December 12th, 2012, 11:15 PM   #11
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Upon further research, I do owe the movie a little apology. The destruction of the Library at the Temple of Serapis was based on Edward Giibbon's "This History of the the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", so the movie may be forgiven for that. However, Gibbon's source, Sozomen, says nothing about the destruction of any library, only the Serapis temple. The destruction of a library, which might not have even existed that time, seems Gibbon's own creation. See The Perniciously Persistent Myths of Hypatia and the Great Library | First Things. However, if you are going to use a source as out of date as Gibbon, then you deserve some criticism. Even so, I find the portrayal of the riot and temple destruction still unrealistic. Leading citizens such as Theron (Hypatia's father) and Orestes (a future prefect) would not have taken part in such lawless acts as portrayed.

Also, Hypatia's father Theron died in 405 CE, more than a decade after the Temple of Serapis was destroyed and turned into a church (around 391 CE), so his death had nothing to do with its destruction, despite what the movie showed.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #12
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I am not sure about the historical accuracy of the film but there is one thing for sure: There were instances that Christianity spread with violence and even punishment. Consider for example how worshippers of the 12 gods were persecuted in Byzantium. If am not mistaken there were also laws to that effect.

Please also note how many 12 god statutes were beheaded or how many churches were built on pagan sites etc

P.S. I do not want to offend anyone just expressing my views.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:24 AM   #13

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armarium Magnum: "Agora" and Hypatia - Hollywood Strikes Again
Exactly how much of the genuine, purely political background to her death Amenabar puts in his movie remains to be seen. It's hoped that, unlike Sagan and many others, the whole political background to the murder won't simply be ignored and her killing won't be painted as a purely anti-intellectual act of ignorant rage against her science and scholarship
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And, as usual, bigots and anti-theistic zealots will ignore the evidence, the sources and rational analysis and believe Hollywood's appeal to their prejudices. It makes you wonder who the real enemies of reason actually are.

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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #14

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Originally Posted by Belloc View Post
I haven't seen the film, but I have heard about the anti-religious message of the film.

Concerning historical accuracy, I found this review helpful:
Armarium Magnum: "Agora" and Hypatia - Hollywood Strikes Again
That is an excellent review by Tim O'Neill, an Australian atheist. He followed it up with another comprehensive blog post in 2010: Hypatia and "Agora" Redux.

The blind fervour with which skeptics and atheists of all kinds have uncritically swallowed Alejandro AmenŠbar's laughable propaganda is a testament to the fact that irrationality is not the exclusive domain of religious belief. Unbelievers can be just as irrational as religionists, particularly when their personal prejudices are catered for.#

It takes a very special kind of ignorance to believe that Hypatia is historically accurate, but that ignorance was alive and well among the hordes of wide-eyed atheists who flocked to see AmenŠbar's amusing piece of nonsense.

Be sure to read O'Neill's latest smackdown of the Hypatia myth, posted earlier this year: A Geologist tries History (or "Agora" and Hypatia Yet Again).

Mike Flynn's analysis is even more extensive, and deserves the widest possible audience:

Hypatia I
Hypatia II
Hypatia III
Hypatia IV
Hypatia V
Hypatia VI
Hypatia VII
Hypatia VIII
Hypatia IX

Last edited by Sankari; December 13th, 2012 at 02:02 AM.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 04:21 AM   #15

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The film was nice, although not exactly historically accurate.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #16

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sankari View Post
That is an excellent review by Tim O'Neill, an Australian atheist. He followed it up with another comprehensive blog post in 2010: Hypatia and "Agora" Redux.

The blind fervour with which skeptics and atheists of all kinds have uncritically swallowed Alejandro AmenŠbar's laughable propaganda is a testament to the fact that irrationality is not the exclusive domain of religious belief. Unbelievers can be just as irrational as religionists, particularly when their personal prejudices are catered for.#

It takes a very special kind of ignorance to believe that Hypatia is historically accurate, but that ignorance was alive and well among the hordes of wide-eyed atheists who flocked to see AmenŠbar's amusing piece of nonsense.

Be sure to read O'Neill's latest smackdown of the Hypatia myth, posted earlier this year: A Geologist tries History (or "Agora" and Hypatia Yet Again).

Mike Flynn's analysis is even more extensive, and deserves the widest possible audience:

Hypatia I
Hypatia II
Hypatia III
Hypatia IV
Hypatia V
Hypatia VI
Hypatia VII
Hypatia VIII
Hypatia IX
Thanks, I'll take a look at it later today.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:46 AM   #17

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Originally Posted by Yaun‚ View Post
The film was nice, although not exactly historically accurate.
That's like saying an orange is nice, but doesn't exactly taste like banana.



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Thanks, I'll take a look at it later today.
You'll be well rewarded. One of my favourite quotes from Flynn:

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By this account, Hypatia, the last librarian of the great Library of Alexandria, and a fabulous mathematician, was murdered by a science-hating mob of science-hating misogynist Christian science-haters.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:51 AM   #18

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Originally Posted by Sankari View Post
That's like saying an orange is nice, but doesn't exactly taste like banana.

Haha, I enjoyed Agora as I would enjoy a fictional movie, that's what I mean. The same happened with 300, etc.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:54 AM   #19

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Didn't they kill her and cut her body up?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:40 AM   #20

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Didn't they kill her and cut her body up?
No:

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But no account of Hypatia is complete without the perpetuation of the myth that she was flayed alive:

And the ending, where her Christian former slave suffocates her to save her from a painful death for being a pagan and a witch, was not nearly as harsh as reality. According to historical records, a Christian mob kidnapped her from her chariot, stripped her naked, flayed her alive with sharp potsherds, and then dragged her skinned body through the streets.
We than thank our old pal Edward Gibbon for this one - a guy who is the point of origin for many persistent historical myths.

What Socrates Scholasticus tells us about the nature of her death was that the mob used "ὄστρακα" to kill her. An "ostrakon" could be a potsherd. Or it could be an oyster shell, which is how Gibbon interpreted the word and so came up with the idea Hypatia was flayed with sharp shells.

But while the image of a naked woman being flayed alive with sharp shells or potsherds is suitably lurid and dramatic, the word ὄστρακα here most likely refers to roof tiles. Hypatia was stoned to death with the projectiles that would have been most readily at hand in an Alexandrine street: terracotta roof tiles.

Of course, that's not exactly a pleasant way to go out, but for some reason people seem to prefer the idea of her being flayed alive.
(Source).
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