There was a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more.
After the murder of Hypatia, the classical age of learning came to a crashing, dismal end. Countless "pagan" books which contradicted the Roman church's view of the cosmos were destroyed never to be recovered. Civilization plummeted into the Dark Ages, where it remained for 1,000 years. - Brian Trent, in his book Remembering Hypatia