Agora

Jul 2017
25
California
I am wondering about others different opinion and critic about the movie Agora. I have yet to watch it but I am looking forward to watching it but I watched a History Buff do a review on it and about how accurate it was overall. But so far to me it looks pretty good.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
The movie is not historically accurate, not least because we just don't know enough about her to make a movie than can be said to be biographical in any meaningful way. Perhaps the most obvious error is that the Library was dust before her times. However, Hypatia was a real woman and, while nothing remains of her work, does seem to have been very clever. Apart from the by then vanished library, the period detail is good, it really does look believable. Her gruesome end is quite possibly accurate. But as there is a strong Christian versus Pagan element to the story, then it is a controversial movie depending on the viewers own religious beliefs, generally devout Christians do not like being depicted as fundamentalist ignorant murdering thugs. But for all that, it is an entertaining movie, IMO, and I would recommend it, but viewed as entertainment, not history.
 
Aug 2012
804
Washington State, USA.
Spoiler Alert!

I liked it a great deal, and thought it was one of the few films that somewhat fairly depicts the conflict between early Christians and Pagans. A lot of people run their mouths on this subject, but don't really know a lot. Of course, all movies are somewhat inaccurate, but this one is very good by history movie standards.
I had one main gripe with the movie. They show an image of the Serapeum at the start of the film with the words Library of Alexandria over it. The actual Library of Alexandria that is known as a wonder of the ancient world was destroyed by Julius Caesar in 48 BC when he set fire to his own ships and the fire spread to shore. He was under siege at the time. This is contested by some historians, as one source mentions only the ships and some houses burning at this time.

Some contents of the library survived of course, but much of the content is thought to have been lost when emperor Aurelian was quelling a revolt by queen Zenobia in the late 3rd century.

The Sarapeum once housed a part of the Great Library, and there is speculation that books that had survived the conflict of earlier centuries were kept there when it was destroyed in 391 AD by Christians (the events in the film), but there is no proof that a large amount of books were there – only speculation.
So, the film calls the pagan temple The Library of Alexandria, and depicts Christians pulling large amounts of books off of shelves and burning them in heaps. Since we are talking about Hollywood, people can have their own ideas of the reasons for this dishonesty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria

The film does accurately portray the street-war as being started by the Pagans, because Christians weren't having respect for their beliefs. In this the movie is very bold, and shatters many modern emotion-based notions.
 
Last edited:
Aug 2012
804
Washington State, USA.
Ooops, Corvidius beat me to the punch regarding the Library. This website has a lot of brainy people. I am never first in pointing out an error, even in the movie section.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
Ooops, Corvidius beat me to the punch regarding the Library. This website has a lot of brainy people. I am never first in pointing out an error, even in the movie section.
Oh I just have the brain of a dinosaur :)

I'm reasonably certain in my own mind that the Serapeum held many volumes and, it could be argued, was a more significant loss than the library, which tends to get all the headlines.

A non controversial take on the loss of the Serapeum is that the Pagan equivalent of the Vatican was destroyed.

A controversial, though admittedly not for me, take on the loss, is that the Christians destroyed their own origins, with the Ptah element, as "Apis", representing the Biblical creator, and the Osiris element, as "Ser", hence Serapis, representing his resurrected son, Jesus. In another thread I posited that the Hebrew god contained, among others, Ptah, and that this element became more obvious, to some, in the NT version of the Hebrew god. So it could be said that the loss of the Serapeum was the destruction of the old and new religion at the same time, at least in it's philosophical origins.
 
Aug 2012
804
Washington State, USA.
Oh I just have the brain of a dinosaur :)

I'm reasonably certain in my own mind that the Serapeum held many volumes and, it could be argued, was a more significant loss than the library, which tends to get all the headlines.

A non controversial take on the loss of the Serapeum is that the Pagan equivalent of the Vatican was destroyed.

A controversial, though admittedly not for me, take on the loss, is that the Christians destroyed their own origins, with the Ptah element, as "Apis", representing the Biblical creator, and the Osiris element, as "Ser", hence Serapis, representing his resurrected son, Jesus. In another thread I posited that the Hebrew god contained, among others, Ptah, and that this element became more obvious, to some, in the NT version of the Hebrew god. So it could be said that the loss of the Serapeum was the destruction of the old and new religion at the same time, at least in it's philosophical origins.
It is good speculation that there were volumes at the Sarapeum, but not enough to assume that it was a great library. We certainly cannot have a real conversation about the content of these supposed volumes.

As far as the similarily between Egyptian mythology and Christianity, there is a lot of misleading going on. Certain blogs that want to make a point about the similarities stretch meanings to make a point or simply convey false data.

An example: Horus like Jesus was conceived by a miracle birth – this has been altered by some lazy minds as a virgin birth, which is completely absurd.

If you read the mythology by unbiased people who only love the myths and study them, you'll learn of Osirus being but back together by ISIS, and of her having to make a wooden penis (that works!), and thus conceived Horus. Some variants simply have it that ISIS was already pregnant by Osisus when he was kidnapped by Set and chopped into pieces.

When you read the myths with all the data and not the religious argument, not many similaries are really there.

Gods of Ancient Egypt: Isis, Osiris and Horus
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
Well, for clarity as it seemed I made out that the Serapeum was a greater loss than the library due to the number of books it may or may not have held, what I actually meant was it's symbolic value in religious terms.

As for various blogs, and of course countless youtube videos, connecting Horus to Jesus, they are mostly total nonsense and, as I mentioned in another thread recently, are so way out with just basic facts that I sometimes think that they are deliberately made so badly in order to make any view in favour of an Egyptian link to Christianity seem unreasonable, irrational, and based on false interpretations. My view on this subject is informed primarily by the works of Jan Assmann and Erik Hornung, and secondarily by Bojana Mojsov and her book about Osiris, all three being Egyptologists, the first two being the world's leading thinkers on Egyptian religion. Other works by various Egyptologists over the years have also had an impact and, though not an Egyptologist by profession, historian Richard Gabriel, a Christian, who wrote the book, Jesus the Egyptian. So there is much more to this subject than sloppy blogs, youtube videos and D.M. Murdoch.
 

fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,378
Agora is interesting to watch at first because it rather convincingly brings to life a period of history when great change was happening, and Hypatia was clearly a remarkably intelligent woman. However the heroine's achievements are seriously inflated, for example implying that she came up with the idea that the planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits (a fact not known for another 1000 years) and there are other historical inaccuracies. After a while, I became somewhat bored with the film, maybe because none of the characters seemed very strong to me, somehow. I feel it was too long. I became confused (I'm easily confused) at what was happening at certain points.

Just one more thing, most people don't know what an Agora is/was, and I think the film-makers would have got a bigger audience if they had named it Hypatia, (or better yet "Hypatia, the Woman Scientist Killed by Christian Fanatics") because that would have struck a chord with the current interest in important women of the past.
 
Last edited:
Aug 2012
804
Washington State, USA.
Well, for clarity as it seemed I made out that the Serapeum was a greater loss than the library due to the number of books it may or may not have held, what I actually meant was it's symbolic value in religious terms.

As for various blogs, and of course countless youtube videos, connecting Horus to Jesus, they are mostly total nonsense and, as I mentioned in another thread recently, are so way out with just basic facts that I sometimes think that they are deliberately made so badly in order to make any view in favour of an Egyptian link to Christianity seem unreasonable, irrational, and based on false interpretations. My view on this subject is informed primarily by the works of Jan Assmann and Erik Hornung, and secondarily by Bojana Mojsov and her book about Osiris, all three being Egyptologists, the first two being the world's leading thinkers on Egyptian religion. Other works by various Egyptologists over the years have also had an impact and, though not an Egyptologist by profession, historian Richard Gabriel, a Christian, who wrote the book, Jesus the Egyptian. So there is much more to this subject than sloppy blogs, youtube videos and D.M. Murdoch.
Ok, I shouldn't suspect that any regular of Historum is swayed by the more foolish notions so common elsewhere on the internet. I come here, but I also frequent places of political argument, which are filled with political fencing; word re-definitions, and stretches of truth.
Historum has a rule against politics, and it is a brilliant idea. It draws people that actually read books.:)