New Alexandria is the first exclave of Hypatian society. Hypatia is also a legal entity, a cooperative corporation.
A Brief History of Ancient Alexandria
Before the Dark Ages, which threw western society into an impoverished, ignorant slump for a few hundred years, Greece had led the first western enlightenment. Names you have heard but may not really know came from the Greeks, including Socrates, Plato, and Homer.
It was from ancient Greece that ancient Alexandria was founded, and it was in the Greek tradition of western thought and philosophy that it thrived.
Ancient Alexandria was a society that valued the pursuit of knowledge. It was also a city of coexistence where people of many faiths lived. It was not perfect, but it represents an ideal that inspired Hypatian society. It was also the home of Hypatia, the Philosopher, the namesake of this cognitopia.
Alexander the Great was a Greek emperor who conquered most of the Mediterranean around 400 B.C. He chose a village on the northern shores of Africa, just west of Egypt’s Nile River Basin, for his capital and left instructions to build it. Alexander never saw the small village grow into his imagined metropolis. Still, others took charge after his death and created what is probably one of the most important cities in human history, Ancient Alexandria.
After Alexander’s death, his top generals fell into infighting and broke his empire into three or four major regions. Ptolemy (the ‘p’ is silent), one of those generals, took over Egypt and moved the capital city to the newly christened Alexandria. It was Ptolemy, who we should remember as the original custodian, if not founder, of ancient Alexandria. Under his rule and his successors, Alexandria grew from an irrelevant fishing village to the very epicenter of learning and knowledge that, in many ways, eclipsed Athens.
Central to Alexandria’s success was its location as a seaport, with its iconic lighthouse, which made it ideal for trade among Greek, Roman, Arab, and Egyptian societies. This commercial hub powered another significant aspect of the city, its Library, and museum. At its peak, Alexandria’s Library was the largest on the planet and was home to nearly all of the most important western science writing and literature of that period. The museum was what we call today a university, and some of the most renowned minds in mathematics and science were born or educated here.
It was in Alexandria that Euclid invented modern geometry, Archimedes studied and taught mathematics and astronomy. Eratosthenes of Alexandria calculated the circumstance of the earth nearly 2,000 years before Galileo was even born. Alexandria was also the home of Hypatia, the Philosopher, who was perhaps one of the first women scientists in history. Hypatia is also a martyr of feminism and science. She was killed by a mob of Christians for her beliefs and her influence in politics.
In 400 a.d. the Library of Alexandria was destroyed by a Christan mob, making it another martyr for science and philosophy. Since the Library’s destruction, there has never been a city to rival Alexandria in the concentration of knowledge and scientific method.
Had Alexandria never been conquered, had Christianity, Judaism, and other religions never taken power, the Library of Alexandria would have continued to thrive. Advancements of human knowledge and understanding would not have been lost to the Dark Ages, and western society would probably be 2,000 years ahead of today.