Documentary nonsense

So, I thought I'd try the documentary on Alexandria offered on Netflix.

First I learned that "Alexander united the Greek city-states." Um, did the writers mean that his father, Phillip, conquered them?

Next, the film shows Alexander's conquests as including the whole Persian empire, after which he "finally" had to conquer Egypt. Oy vey!

Then, the narrator describes Hypatia, who made "monumental breakthroughs in geometry and astronomy." Well, she clearly was an important thinker, but what "breakthroughs" did she achieve? There really doesn't seem to be any record of anything like a breakthrough by her.

And finally, as I feared at this point, the narrator misdescribes the death of Hypatia and finally blames a Christian mob for the destruction of a basically intact library at Alexandria, which is almost surely complete nonsense.

Don't rely for "historical" documentaries for your knowledge of history!


  1. Gene, they should have you on these documentaries. We could call it 'Documentaries from the Curmudgeon'. It would be an instant hit.

  2. Hmmm. Could some scriptwriter be thinking that say something like the 330s came after the 320s? BC ...