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#1 S. David

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 06:00 AM

Hello all,

 

I just watched the movie Agora on Youtube, and it talks about how christians burned the library of Alexandria which contained about a million scrolls from all around the world, and killed the Jews and Pagans relentlessly, and finally killed Hypatia, a pagan philisophor and mathmatician, all under the command of Cyril the Bishop of Alexandria.

 

What the church says about this? and does it admit this is what happened or it has another story?

 

Thanks


Edited by S. David, 24 August 2014 - 06:03 AM.


#2 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 01:26 PM

Please remember that Angora as a film is dramatised it is also a lot of hype.

 

Doing some research it seems the Great Library of Alexandria would not have contained around a million scrolls from around the world (the world at that time referred only from Britain to India, Britain being a back-water province and India using very little Greek thus books at the time of Saint Cyril would have been from the major cities Roman Empire and possibly Persia) as the Great Library and its books had been destroyed during the invasion lead by Julius Caesar, the subsequent library was never as grand and the library never fully recovered, it is also unknown when this library was destroyed some place it to the time of St Cyril but others earlier, and it continued in some form until the Arab invasion.

 

Jews and Pagans were not killed relentlessly rather there were conflicts between the Christian and Pagan communities of the city which sometimes resulted in violent clashes, St Theodosius had made Christianity the state relgion and Theophilus of Alexandria had closed and demolished the Pagan temples around A.D. 391 - before St Cyril's time. The Jews due to a dispute with the governor and St Cyril infact killed many Christians which lead to there exile from the city by St Cyril.

 

Finally, the Pagan philosopher Hypatia was killed by "zealots" likely many of which were rouge monks, but this was not under the command of St Cyril of Alexandria, though he may have done more to prevent it or bring those responsible to justice he certainly did not orchestrate it.



#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

Whilst having the usual caution regarding Wikipedia, its entry for Hypatia of Alexandria looks helpful.



#4 S. David

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:35 PM

Please remember that Angora as a film is dramatised it is also a lot of hype.

 

Doing some research it seems the Great Library of Alexandria would not have contained around a million scrolls from around the world (the world at that time referred only from Britain to India, Britain being a back-water province and India using very little Greek thus books at the time of Saint Cyril would have been from the major cities Roman Empire and possibly Persia) as the Great Library and its books had been destroyed during the invasion lead by Julius Caesar, the subsequent library was never as grand and the library never fully recovered, it is also unknown when this library was destroyed some place it to the time of St Cyril but others earlier, and it continued in some form until the Arab invasion.

 

Jews and Pagans were not killed relentlessly rather there were conflicts between the Christian and Pagan communities of the city which sometimes resulted in violent clashes, St Theodosius had made Christianity the state relgion and Theophilus of Alexandria had closed and demolished the Pagan temples around A.D. 391 - before St Cyril's time. The Jews due to a dispute with the governor and St Cyril infact killed many Christians which lead to there exile from the city by St Cyril.

 

Finally, the Pagan philosopher Hypatia was killed by "zealots" likely many of which were rouge monks, but this was not under the command of St Cyril of Alexandria, though he may have done more to prevent it or bring those responsible to justice he certainly did not orchestrate it.

 

Of course, I didn't expect you to say that Cyril did all this, because he is a saint afetr all. I think the best thing to do is to read an unbiased historian book about the subject to check about this. But I suspect that christians did this. After all, it seems to me it doesn't matter what the scripture says, if christians are a majority and have the power, they will do what others do, like radical muslims.

 

You mentioned one thing like demolishing pagan temples, and I assume a severe persecuation of pagans followed, even though the christians were persecuted when they were a minority and have no power. We hear in the church only this latter part, that we were persecuted. Also killing Hypatia by some zealot christian monks is an awful thing, espeially if as the movie suggested that Cyril used some passeges from the scripture to justify her execution, i.e, that a female shouldn't teach in public. This is just a shot of the violent history of christianity. Later when some heresies began to appear, there were a lot of vioelnce and bloodshed as well.


Edited by S. David, 24 August 2014 - 10:37 PM.


#5 S. David

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 11:41 PM

Whilst having the usual caution regarding Wikipedia, its entry for Hypatia of Alexandria looks helpful.

 

Wikipedia affirms the story.



#6 Kosta

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:18 AM

Never seen Agora but I can tell you its complete rubbish. This is what happens when you allow secularists of the 'enlightenment era' to write history books. They have to slander the previous era in order to make their modern day history look and smell like flowers.

 

The remaining remnants of the Alexandrian Library was burned down by muslims in 642 AD, by the order of Caliph Omar. The Great Library was composed of a series of buildings not just one.

 

 All primary sources agree that the bulk of the library was burned down by Julius Caesar in 48 BC during the siege of Alexandria when Carsar and his forces were battling Ptolemy XIII.

 

 

The killing of Hypatia did not involve Cyril of Alexandria. There are other threads on this forum.  Christian parents would send their children to be educated by Hypatia. Her most famous student was the bishop  Synesius of Cyrene, some of his letters and correspondence to Hypatia still exist and can be found online

 

Hypatia was killed by a fanatic which the primary source (which is Socrates Scolasticus) says was a reader named Peter. The events leading  to her death was during an outbreak of violence between the jewish, pagan, and christian communities which at times turned to mob riots, . Hypatia was caught up in one of these mob riots, her murder brought condemnation upon the entire alexandrian church, The condemnation also came from christian communities as Scholasticus writes. 

 

This affair brought not the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church. And surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort. This happened in the month of March during Lent, in the fourth year of Cyril's episcopate, under the tenth consulate of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius. 

 

This idiotic myth of Cyril killing her comes from a 10th century source attributed to a pagan philosopher known as Damascius who lived in 500 AD.  According to this fiction the rulers of Alexandria all envied her, just like the leadership did in Athens when she first resided there.  Cyril got jealous of her one day after passing by her house as there was a crowd of admirers in front of her home. Interestingly Cyril is refered to as being the "bishop of the opposition sect'.  It is either a reference to the Arian heresy or mistakenly references the nestorian or monophysite heresies. 

Unfortunately western scholarship considers this bizarre story found in the 10th century Suda as a primary source



#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:00 PM

We should not be surprised if media people today, like so many others, seek to show the Church in a negative way.



#8 S. David

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:14 PM

Never seen Agora but I can tell you its complete rubbish. This is what happens when you allow secularists of the 'enlightenment era' to write history books. They have to slander the previous era in order to make their modern day history look and smell like flowers.

 

The remaining remnants of the Alexandrian Library was burned down by muslims in 642 AD, by the order of Caliph Omar. The Great Library was composed of a series of buildings not just one.

 

 All primary sources agree that the bulk of the library was burned down by Julius Caesar in 48 BC during the siege of Alexandria when Carsar and his forces were battling Ptolemy XIII.

 

 

The killing of Hypatia did not involve Cyril of Alexandria. There are other threads on this forum.  Christian parents would send their children to be educated by Hypatia. Her most famous student was the bishop  Synesius of Cyrene, some of his letters and correspondence to Hypatia still exist and can be found online

 

Hypatia was killed by a fanatic which the primary source (which is Socrates Scolasticus) says was a reader named Peter. The events leading  to her death was during an outbreak of violence between the jewish, pagan, and christian communities which at times turned to mob riots, . Hypatia was caught up in one of these mob riots, her murder brought condemnation upon the entire alexandrian church, The condemnation also came from christian communities as Scholasticus writes. 

 

 

This idiotic myth of Cyril killing her comes from a 10th century source attributed to a pagan philosopher known as Damascius who lived in 500 AD.  According to this fiction the rulers of Alexandria all envied her, just like the leadership did in Athens when she first resided there.  Cyril got jealous of her one day after passing by her house as there was a crowd of admirers in front of her home. Interestingly Cyril is refered to as being the "bishop of the opposition sect'.  It is either a reference to the Arian heresy or mistakenly references the nestorian or monophysite heresies. 

Unfortunately western scholarship considers this bizarre story found in the 10th century Suda as a primary source

 

The orthodox church has a different story for Diouscorus than the Copts. Why? This is the history outside academia, every side writes its own story with emotional investment. I think no one will deny, even in the church, that Cyril and his uncle before him, were very hard tempers, and their problems with John the Patriarch of Constantinople says it all.
 


Edited by S. David, 26 August 2014 - 08:14 PM.


#9 Kosta

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 03:13 AM

Dioscorus is a different subject altogether. For the Copts, Dioscorus upheld orthodoxy
Teaching. We consider him to have been the originator of schism and even heresy

Cyril was indeed very zealous and the Alexandrian Church was known for being influential among the political class. St. Cyril mellowed out after the Council of Ephesus . After the Council in 431, he decided to keep a low profile and opposed nestorianism through his writings rather than using heavy handedness.




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