The Killing of Hypatia

What was it precisely that offended you? Was it my sex? That it never

Played a role, only in your mind-set? How did my knowledge discriminate

Against you? You were convinced you could do whatever you wished to my

Body because I was a woman. What did you think would my murder do for the

Greater good? I focused on what the world had to offer with the greatest admiration

And you felt threatened by a body different to yours and negated life itself, mine.


You enraged the mob’s corruptible hearts against me, scapegoated me in absentia.

What were your hopes for my assassination? Did you have to carry my sullied

Sentence out so cruelly? Why did you feel the need to strip me naked and lift up


Clandestine oyster shells? Why did you need to rip open my body and scar me beyond

Recognition? For me to be mute? Invisible? Erased? Anonymous? You left me in pieces.

It was never enough, I never knew my body had such a power over you, you needed to


Burn it, what frightened you so? Dragging my naked body through demonising streets

Until I smiled at death. What did I, what did my mind, my body, ever do to you to deserve

This vulgar and disheartening brutality?


What made you rip my eyes out? How could my killing ever purify the city we all share?

What crime must I have committed in your sickening mind to never find peace? If it is

A matter of biology you shall remain silent, I have no tolerance for a reason that is none.


“Hypatia” by Alfred Seifert (1850-1901)

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