by John Spurling

BBC Radio 3: Sunday Play

Broadcast: Sunday 3rd June 2001 @ 6:30 p.m.

"There was a woman of Alexandria named Hypatia, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her time" - Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 5th Century AD.

The year is AD 412 and the glorious city of Alexandria is a lively centre of learning and intellectual curiosity, with the brilliant female philosopher and mathematician Hypatia at its very heart. With the appointment of the fanatical Cyril as Archbishop of Alexandria, fears arise that the days of tolerance are past as a power struggle begins between Cyril and Orestes, the Prefect of Alexandria and a friend of Hypatia. The play explores the conflict between early Christian orthodoxy and the less belligerent doctrines of neo-Platonism, and investigates the consequences of mixing politics and belief.

With Julia Ford [Hypatia, philosopher & mathematician], John Rowe [Orestes, prefect of Alexandria], and Robert Glenister [Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria].

Directed by Richard Wortley

Re-broadcast on Sunday 12th January 2003 @ 6:30 p.m. on BBC Radio 3: Drama on 3.

120 min.


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