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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hypatia the Philosopher, the Tower of Babel, and The Gods.

PSA: THURSDAY we are revealing FATE FORGOTTEN's cover art and cover copy!! so be sure to check back for that very special Thor's Day Awesomesauce!!

The other night I watched the movie Agora, which chronicles the life of Hypatia, a prominent female philosopher of Alexandria in late antiquity, and touches on the constant conflicts between the rising influence of Christianity, the long established pagan schools of philosophy and religion, and the Jews, as they struggled to coexist -- and ultimately failed in finding a way to do so.

The film didn't gloss over the horrific nature of this ongoing conflict, and each religious sect took a turn in the spotlight of brutality. Persecuting and persecuted in turn, with the eventual triumph of Christianity, and culminating in the murder of Hypatia herself. It was a grim, depressing, and utterly necessary illustration of history and religion at its worst, including the sacking and destruction of the works housed in the Serapeum (which may or may not have happened, but was still symbolically awful, and terribly reminiscent of the grievous loss of the library of Alexandria, over which El Husband and I periodically agonize.)

The whole experience, and the discussion with my mother after the film had finished, got me thinking -- Why would ANY god want this? Why would any god want their people to commit murder in their name? Why would any god want the willful destruction of so much knowledge, either?

I thought about it. And I thought about it some more. And I thought about the FATE OF THE GODS series, and why the gods act out against Adam and Eve. And I thought about the Tower of Babel, too, and I wondered: what if the gods are afraid? What if, like the Tower of Babel, Hypatia and her compatriots were rising too fast, building too quickly this tower of knowledge and understanding and progress. What if God was afraid of the tower touching the heavens and man's potential, and maybe even the Olympians were, too, and maybe that's all it all is, all these holy wars, all this strife -- just the gods' way of making sure we don't rise too far, too fast, and we're playing right into their hands?

What could we be, if we didn't spend so much of our resources on destroying one another, that the gods, that even Old Testament God, should fear us?

Don't you kind of wish we could find out?

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