Susan Jacoby reviews “Agora”

And she likes it!

This idea of intellectual inquiry as a self-evident good died in the West for nearly 1200 years with the ascendancy of Christianity, and it is always–as we see in much of the Islamic world and in the precincts of far-right Christianity today–an object of hatred for those who would still criminalize heresy and blasphemy and, in the case of Islamists, murder those who defy their definitions.

One thought on “Susan Jacoby reviews “Agora”

  1. I saw the movie last weekend and agree Amenabar is using this story as a critique of fanaticism in all it’s forms. Although he did distort a lot of history in pursuit of his art–that’s what artists do. For real history, I highly recommend a very readable biography of Hypatia by Maria Dzielska, titled “Hypatia of Alexandria” (Harvard University Press, 1995.) I’ve also got a series of essays posted at my blog ( on the “reel” vs. “real” events and characters in the film.

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