Violence against women, Nobel Parisi: “In Hypatia’s story, the patriarchy that survives in today’s feminicides”

The Greek scientist and philosopher “was killed because she was a woman who did not know her place, had a public life and public positions” said the physicist at the conference at the Accademia dei Lincei

Even in ancient times there was no shortage of “feminicides” that we are fighting today and that is an example of Hypatia “a scientist who was killed also because she was a woman who did not know her place, she was a woman who had a public life, who took public positions”, Hypatia “is an example of a patriarchal mentality very ancient which survives even now as can be seen by many feminicides that we still record”. This was revealed by the Nobel Prize for Physics, Giorgio Parisi, opening the two days of study which, today and tomorrow, the Accademia dei Lincei wanted to “consecrate” and entirely dedicate to Hypatia. A scientist who lived in Alexandria between the 4th and 5th centuries, Hypatia lived in that period of historical hinge between First and Second Rome, between ancient Roman civilization and Byzantium, which is defined as Late Antiquity. “The story of Hypatia – continued Parisi – has greatly struck the collective imagination, even outside the experts”. “The story of Hypatia contains many themes” also indicated the Lyncean and professor Giorgio Parisi, highlighting that “the story of Hypatia tells us how the persecuted, in this case the Christians, very quickly transformed into persecutors, once they took power “. But, the Nobel Prize winner for Physics observed, “it is also a moment of transition between different civilizations and shows us how the Greek scientific tradition disappears and is then also forgotten”. “Hypatia – Parisi continued – is a figure that is very dear to me” so much so that “in 2018, at the inauguration of the Academic Year of the Accademia dei Lincei, as president, I said: ‘We must not be sure that development of science is unstoppable'” because “blindly trusting in the inevitability of the need that technological development has for scientific development can be a tragic mistake”.

“The Romans – continued Parisi – preserved Greek technology without caring much about Greek science and the Christian fanatics, commanded by Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, calmly tore the mathematician-astronomer Hypatia to pieces without caring at all about the long-term consequences, on the contrary rejoicing at the disappearance of profane knowledge, considered useless if not harmful”.

“Now this conference which deals with the story of Hypatia is extremely important as it tells us the true story of Hypatia, freed from all the encrustations that gradually appeared and which prevented us from focusing on the true figure of the scientist” finally observed the scientist Giorgio Parisi. Scientists, philosophers and historians participate in the two days promoted at Palazzo Corsini by the Accademia dei Lincei. The contributions of the latter will focus not only on the biography of Hypatia and the context in which she lived – on the cultural morphology of the city of Alexandria, on its episcopal seat, on the theocratic aspirations and the power struggles that led to the instigation of the brutal murder of the philosopher – but they will focus, above all, on his Neoplatonic teaching, and as such also mathematical, physical and astronomical, on the characteristics of the school of Hypatia and on what can be reconstructed, with certainty, of his research dedicated to the subjects that the schools deal with today exact sciences. The reports of the scientists, in the two days of study at the Accademia dei Lincei, starting from these last specific interests of Hypatia, reconstructable thanks to the indirect testimony from the sources, will reflect on her figure and will be inspired by it to decline the themes of her research in the light of the developments and acquisitions of contemporary science. (by Andreana d’Aquino)