The statue at the New Administrative Capital is dedicated to Hypatia, the first well-documented female mathematician who greatly influenced science and politics in Alexandria.
Legends like composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab, founder of National Bank of Egypt Talaat Harb and the ‘Prince of Poets’ Ahmed Shawky are just a few of the influential names to have been commemorated in statue form. If there’s something we've been missing, though, it’s a lack of statues dedicated to powerful Egyptian women. But the tides might be turning - a new statue of famed Alexandria-born scientist and philosopher Hypatia is being placed in the New Administrative Capital.
Hypatia (c. 350-370) was a Hellenistic Neo-Platonist philosopher, mathematician and astronomer who lived in Alexandria, back when it was part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was the first-ever female mathematician in the world - or at least, the first with such a well-documented life. Hypatia was known for her efforts to preserve her Greek mathematical and astronomical heritage, and wrote various commentaries on Apollonius of Perga’s Conics (geometry) and Diophantus of Alexandria’s Arithmetic (number theory), and an astronomical table. These writings were recorded in her three books, which – unfortunately – have gotten lost over the years.
Although Hypatia’s influence - both scientifically and politically - was extensive, her life was tragically cut short in the midst of a political, religious feud. She was considered by many to be the leading mathematician and astronomer on a global scale, leading her legacy to live on until this day.