There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.
The passage was taken from Wikipedia, and it was in turn cited from Socrates’ Ecclesiastical History (ca 439 AD). I’ve been in love with Hypatia since I learned about her 1-2 years ago through Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series and also Wikipedia. She was this strong woman who died protecting the Library of Alexandria from riot (and the thousands of ancient documents within it) during the 4th AD, and – though she and the documents perished – her name was forever etched and marked by history.
And now my friends, I am of the utmost excitement to find out that the great woman’s story will be made into a movie, and she is portrayed by none other than English Rose Rachel Weisz!
Yes, Rachel is currently (or perhaps already done) filming Agora in Malta, and the movie will be available on screen on 19 December 2008 – only a few more months to go! At least, there are good things to wait for in December, other than the nightmare deadlines for my data analysis…
Here’s what Rachel-Weisz.net said about Agora:
Set in Roman Egypt in the fourth century AD, “Agora” toplines Weisz as real life figure astrologer-philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria. Trapped in the Library of Alexandria as religious riots flare on the city’s streets, Hypatia battles to save the collected wisdom of the ancient world. Meanwhile, her slave Davus (Minghella) is torn between his love for his mistress and the freedom he could attain by joining the rising tide of Christianity.
Hmmm… am not a fan of Minghella, but since I haven’t seen Rachel doing classical movie other than The Mummy 1 & 2 (and presumably with her lovely English accent), I’m SO looking forward to Agora!
Update 17 Dec 2008:
An annoying update, for Agora is scheduled NOT in Dec 2008, but Dec 2009! Around 18 Dec 2009, to be exact, for United States, but Spain will see it much beforehand on 2 Sept 2009. Check IMDB and Wikipedia for more updates. But OTOH, check this site out for latest pix of Rachel as Hypatia. Isn't she lovely!
Pic 1: Hypatia by Elbert Hubbard (1908), from Wikipedia
Pic 2: Rachel Weisz/Nefertiri, in the Mummy 1 & 2 from this site
Pic 3: Rachel Weisz and Alejandro Amenbar in Agora, from Photogramas