- Oct 2018
- Adelaide south Australia
She edited one of the book of Ptolemy's Almagest and would presumably have taught astronomy by commenting on his works, which advocated the geocentric theory; there is no evidence to show that she ever gave any thought to the heliocentric system. Aristarchus of Samos advocated the heliocentric system in the latter part of the 3rd Century BC, but as far as I can remeber there are only a handful of references to it in ancient sources, so it doesn't seem to have been taken very seriously; Plutarch says somewhere that he developed the idea as a hypothesis and that a follower of his, Seleucus, tried to prove it. I think people probably would have viewed advocates of heliocentrism in much the same way as those who question Darwinian orthodoxies are viewed nowadays! On Hypatia, may I recommend Maria Dzielska's book, which is very short (under 200 pages) and very readable. The different ways in which she has been viewed at different times is one of the most interesting things about her.
I'll see if I can get hold of that book for a reasonable price (up to $20) from The Book Depository.----------5 minutes later; yep, they have it, $A21.11, delivered from England. I've bought it.