Random Film Festival Factoids: Agora

Agora (imdb page) recounts the events around and subsequent to the destruction of the library at Alexandria in 391AD, telling the story of Hypatia, a notable female mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher. After Emperor Constantine declared Christianity legal, Alexandrian society was shaken to the core, with the political and religious machinations of Cyril, Pope of Alexandria, and Orestes, Prefect of the Diocese of Egypt, leading to a tragic climax.

Read the review of Agora in Sight and Sound here (you’ll need your library card number). Director Alejandro Amenábar was also responsible for The Others (2002), starring Nicole Kidman, and The Sea Inside (2005) with Javier Bardem.

The Library at Alexandria features in Library: an unquiet history, by Matthew Battles and also Libraries in the ancient world, by Lionel Casson

(Incidentally, the new library of Alexandria is an impressive building. Visit the website here, or have a look at the architecture here.)

If you would like to read more about Hypatia try these titles:
The book of dead philosophers, Simon Critchley
Doubt: a history: the great doubters and their legacy of innovation, from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson, Jennifer Michael Hecht

Search for books on the history of astronomy, and early Church history.

Hypatia is also the subject of the novel Hypatia: New Foes with an Old Face by Charles Kingsley, published in 1894. The library has a copy, or you can download it for free from Project Gutenberg here.

1 thought on “Random Film Festival Factoids: Agora”

  1. I saw the movie last Saturday and I was wanting to find more information. Great post! Thanks 🙂

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