She Was a Household Name

The burning of the Library at Alexandria happened a long time ago, and as Neal Stephenson has pointed out, "It's inherently difficult to get reliable information about an event that consisted of the destruction of all recorded information." Scholars seem agreed that it happened four times, though. Once Caesar did it by accident, dipwad; once an invading king did it, and once each for Christian and Muslim fundamentalists. These same Jesus freaks, most likely inspired by Theophilus, the Bob Dole of the ancient world, also abducted, hacked to pieces with oyster shells, and dragged through the streets a great philosopher named Hypatia. We know what you're thinking: "Wait, that sounds like a girl's name!" It is, or it was, and she was a famous rock star of a mathematician, too, whose only mistake was paganism. The Artship theater group presents the world premiere of a play called The Burning of the Ancient Library of Alexandria: It's about the life, both public and private, of Hypatia of Alexandria, all of whose work was burned. The play runs concurrently with a companion exhibit, "The Library of Maps," which includes original music by Pauline Oliveros, poems by Moira Roth, and visual art by playwright Slobodan Dan Paich and Dennis Ledbetter. It runs through March 1 at the Bonnafont Gallery.
Feb. 12-22, 2009

 
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