Hypatia And Gender Roles In Etia Essay

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Women in education and mathematics have been sparse in the world’s history, especially ancient history. Those women who practiced education faced challenges that men in the same profession have not. One such philosopher was Hypatia of Alexandria, a woman born around 360 CE and educated by her father, Theon. Said to have “progressed so far in her education that she surpassed by car the philosophers of her time ,” she became the head of the Platonic school in Alexandria and taught men philosophy, mathematics, chemistry and astronomy . She was stoned to death; a description of her death was written in 415 CE by Socrates Scholasticus (a church historian) in his Ecclesiastical History . Whether her murder was because Hypatia was a pagan, or because she was a woman, is debated. Another female philosopher is Ban Zhao, who lived in China from 45 – 116 CE (during the Han Dynasty), and, like Hypatia, educated mostly men, and faced challenges due to the patriarchal structure where she lived. She worked on writing the Han Shu, …show more content…
Socrates even writes of Hypatia, “And she had no hesitation about being in the company of men, since they all respected her more because of her extraordinary chastity.”
One of the major contributing factors to the difference between Ban Zhao’s and Socrates’s view of gender is Confucianism during the Han Dynasty. With the emphasis placed on filial piety and honor in an empire-wide worldview, the rigid rules of obedience and humility (among other traits) that Ban Zhao writes about would be difficult to move out of, as these rules—especially obedience to elders—would have kept both men and women in a specific place in society. However, the impact would have fallen mostly on