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Remembering Hypatia: A Novel of Ancient Egypt Paperback – February 23, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (February 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595342523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595342525
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A really interesting novel, based in great detail on what happened during the 5th Century. It's really quite a story. -- Faith Middleton on NPR's The Faith Middleton Show

A riveting character study and a haunting vision of an enlightened society on the brink of the Dark Ages. -- Yale Bookstore Author Series

An absolutely wonderful historical fiction novel with an almost lyrical rhythm to the writing. Hypatia and her contemporaries are captivating. -- Writer's Digest (13th Annual Self-Published Book Awards)

About the Author

BRIAN TRENT is a nationally-published journalist, essayist, and novelist. He resides in Connecticut.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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"Beautiful AND brilliant."
Fredrock
Often historical novels can read dryly, but Remembering Hypatia painlessly injected a lot of historical detail into the story without being overbearing.
Vivian Moongirl
Alexandria was one of the first great melting pots in history, the common ground for a multiplicity of races, religions, and ideas.
Michael F. Manna

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Vivian Moongirl on March 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading this book for the second time through and I recommend it without reservation. Hypatia is a woman forgotten by history. She was the leading intellectual of Egypt under Roman rule, in the waning days of empire.

The author's descriptive powers and wordcraft are magical. This time period came alive for me, the eccentric city of Alexandria and all the many cultures living there. Often historical novels can read dryly, but Remembering Hypatia painlessly injected a lot of historical detail into the story without being overbearing. It reads as easily as a beautiful poem. Entire scenes are permanently burned on my imagination...and the characters, even the minor ones like servants or city officials, feel like parts of my life now. They are alive on the page.

The story itself does not let go of the reader. This is an amazing window on a time period that's hardly ever been written about, and it is so completely convincing in its execution. Everything feels entirely real; I've never seen the ancient world painted with such ease and strength of detail. And the emotional impact lingers for days.

Remembering Hypatia is a must-read beyond doubt, absolutely haunting and beautiful.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By N. Greenfield on May 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
A long forgotten woman named Hypatia lived in Egypt, not at the time of the pharaohs, but much later, under Roman occupation, when education and learning were at a high point, and the "cultured" city of Alexandria was as much a melting pot as the major cities in America today. The story of Hypatia is as heart breaking as it is informative. Brian Trent's beautifully woven tapestry of events, based on the TRUE story, is one that will certainly be remembered.

Remembering Hypatia is an exciting and shocking piece of historical fiction. Comprehensively researched, this novel tells the story of Hypatia, the woman astronomer, mathematician and philosopher who was head of the Great Library in Alexandria, Egypt in 414 A.D.. It tells of her passion and her assassination. It contains polarities in religious and political/educational thinking, which are hauntingly similar to what we see in the United States and the world today.

Insightfully written, the book is captivating, moving from scene to scene like a motion picture. It excites the reader about education and knowledge, edifies with various historical facts, challenges belief systems, (steams up the room in a few unexpected brief scenes), and completely startles one with the similarity to today's society and its growing schism between differing political and religious views. One side breathes total intolerance, while the other side struggles to tolerate those who would have them killed.

Among the many events that run concurrently are the treatment of women and the persecution of the Jews. Hypatia rose through the ranks in a "man's world" and became highly esteemed during a time when most women still had only domestic roles.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Minerva on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this book last fall with "Hypatia of Alexandria" by Maria Dzielska
and have been recommending it ever since not just because of the author's
power as a story-teller, or its attention to details but because of the
skill in bringing these characters to life. Thasos, Orestes, Hypatia, Cyril,
and the whole cast are skillfully portrayed and believable. This is a
magnificent debut with a message as strong as its delivery and is in the top
three books I read last year.

I want to thank the below reviewer for inspiring me to finally post an
amazon review. Not only were chariots in use in this time period, but in
Dzielska's excellent study of Hypatia's life she writes: "Hypatia was
returning home... she was pulled out of the chariot and dragged to the
church Caesarion." (Page 93) Its also worth saying that the Nile river
breaks into many fingers and canals before connecting to the sea and some of
these are visible from Alexandria's west, south, and east. And the
necropolis scene when Thasos' mother visits her husband's tomb is powerfully
portrayed with a lyrical beauty and insight into the personality of a broken
woman, and the little details, like the Burial houses where the dead sleep,
the incense hangers, the iron key for the many gates. There was a special
History/Discover show on a recent dig into a necropolis in Alexandria, and
maybe the author saw it or maybe he's visited excavation sites, but his
description was perfect and put me into her sandals as she went deeper into
this unique burial site.

In fact its all the attention to the particulars of Hypatia's time that I
cherished and makes Remembering Hypatia a book to read and re-read.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Eliza on July 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Hypatia was a remarkable real life woman. An astronomer, physicist, philosopher, and head librarian of the famed Library of Alexander. She is credited with the invention of the astrolabe. She lived however, in a time of rising religious tensions and as a woman who was teaching and a representative of a scientific world view she made an easy scapegoat.

Brian Trent does an excellent job of interweaving the lives of the characters and the intersecting themes of religion, science, and sexism. The time period comes to life in his writing as well. The multi-cultural, pluralistic Alexandria with its Egyptian, Jewish, Christian, and other inhabitants feels vibrant. The author does a great job of adding the authentic touches of scenery and surroundings. It was easy to feel connection to this long ago time period while reading this book. Indeed the message of this tale is still relevant today. Fundamentalism is on the rise and with it a rejection of alternative world views including science as well as a desire to hold women more rigidly in traditional sex roles. While on the flip side commercial society often overly encourages young women to seek attention through their sexuality and obsess about their weight and appearance rather than to really challenge their minds. It seems to me there are better possibilities for women and society in general than either of these extremes. Remembering Hypatia is a well written, thought provoking story of the life and times of an accomplished woman that has parallels to today's world.
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