# The First Woman Mathematician and Religion - carina-wirtley/Group-Wiki-Project-1 GitHub Wiki

# The First Woman Mathematician and Religion

## Introduction

Hypatia was the first woman Mathematician whose works we know about and are more detailed. She was born in 355 CE and died in March 415 AD. She was about 45-65 years old when she died. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and then moved to the Eastern Roman Empire. Hypatia’s father was Theonand he is best remembered for playing a part in Euclid’s Element. Euclid was a Greek mathematician and one of his most influential books was called Euclid’s Element which talks about geometry and mathematics. Hypatia was also a teacher and a lecturer on philosophical topics. She attracted a lot of people and kept them entertained when she was giving lectures.

## Hypatia’s Religion

The religion Hypatia practiced was paganism. Paganism is a nature-worshiping religion. By this, it worships the earth, the natural world, believes in gods, natural spirits, and ancestral spirits. During this time Christianity was growing more and more people were becoming followers of the religion. On the other hand, Hypatia did not want to go with the beliefs about Christianity like the other people and instead practiced paganism which made the Christians very mad. A lot of people were converting to Christianity because of fear and persecution. So, since a lot of people did not agree with Hypatia practicing Paganism, a bishop ordered fanatics to kidnap her. The Christians did kidnap her and dragged her through the streets kidnapping her. After this, they stripped her naked and tore her limbs from her body.

## Hypatia’s Belief in Mathematics

Hypatia was a Neoplatonist which means she believed that mathematics had a spiritual aspect divided among the four branches of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. She thought that numbers had a connection with God. She said geometry was used as a meditative tool for understanding the dualism between matter and spirit.

## Hypatia’s Contribution in Mathematics

Hypatia revised the commentary made by his father on Ptolemy's Almagest which is titled “Commentary by Theon of Alexandria on Book III of Ptolemy’s Almagest”. Some scholars actually say that Hypatia did not revise it and instead, she corrected the text. here she contributed by providing a better method for long division that is used in astronomical computations. Also, Ptolemy mentioned a division problem to calculate the number of degrees covered by the sun in a single day as it orbits the Earth. In Hypatia's edition, did a tabular method for the calculation. Another contribution Hypatia made was to write a commentary on Diophantus's Arithmetica that contained 100 mathematical problems solved using algebra. The edition of this book was designed for students rather than for professional use. Hypatia taught Synesius how to construct an astrolabe. Astrolabe is an inclinometer used by past astronomers to predict local time by locating the positions of the stars, sun, and moon. Astrolabe was first discovered 500 years before Hypatia was born. It is believed that Hypatia learned how to construct an astrolabe by her father since he wrote two books about them. Hypatia and her father probably learned some calculations on how to construct an astrolabe. Hypatia was credited for inventing a device called the hydrometer. This device is used to determine the density of fluids. It was based on Archimedes 3rd century principle, and some believed it might be invented by him.

## Hypatia’s Math Skills

Hypatia wrote or lectured on astronomy, geometry, and advance algebra. she also made an advance in computational technique. She was also engaged in religious philosophy and aspiring to a good writing style. Her abilities were high when it came to geometry and advance algebra. She wrote a lot of math textbooks and was able to develop a more efficient long division method. Other math skills she had was all the contributions she did with other people like revising their works and making the text better.

## Summary

In conclusion, Hypatia was one of the first women to study and teach mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. She was also one of the last great thinkers of Ancient Alexandria. She did a lot of contributions which also her father, Theon, helped her. Hypatia was very entertaining when she gave lectures. She believed in the spiritual aspect of mathematics and thought that numbers are the spiritual language of the universe. She practiced Paganism even though a lot of people didn't like that she didn't care and decide to go on with what she believed. Hypatia is also known for contributing to a lot of math textbooks that she wrote, and she also revised other peoples. One of her best works was she invented the hydrometer device which determines the density of fluids.

**Sources:**

Stefon, M. (n.d.). Hypatia. Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Hypatia Chrysopoulos, P. (2024, March 27). Hypatia: The female Greek philosopher killed for her beliefs. GreekReporter.com. https://greekreporter.com/2024/03/27/hypatia-greek-philosopher/ Hypatia of Alexandria: Life: Contribution: Death. Cuemath. (2020, December 16). https://www.cuemath.com/learn/mathematics/geometry-hypatia-of-alexandria/ Aavriti. (2024, June 17). Hypatia’s contribution in Mathematics. StudiousGuy. https://studiousguy.com/hypatias-contribution-in-mathematics/#google_vignette Chrysopoulos, P. (2024a, March 27). Hypatia: The female Greek philosopher killed for her beliefs. GreekReporter.com. https://greekreporter.com/2024/03/27/hypatia-greek-philosopher/