Elena Piscopia

Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia born in a poor family on June 5, 1646 in Venice, Italy. He died July 26, 1684. His father, Giovanni Baptista Cornaro, was the San Marco Prosecutor. His mother, Zanetta Giovanna Boni, was not a privileged class member prior to their union. Elena's father spent his life establishing the name of Cornaro, a name that should be remembered forever because of his eldest daughter's intellect.

Beginning at the age of 7, Elena Piscopia received knowledge of the classical languages ​​of Latin and Greek, studying grammar and music. In addition to speaking Latin and Greek fluently. Elena dominated Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Arabic. His command of languages ​​brought the title Oraculum Septilingue. Elena also exhibited wonderful powers of reasoning. She was a student of science as well as languages, and studied mathematics and astronomy as well as philosophy and theology. Elena's great love was to philosophy and theology. Her father in 1672 sent her to the distinguished University of Padua to continue her studies.

Elena Piscopia did not seek graduation from the university of Padua. However, Giovanni Cornaro insisted that the world recognize his daughter's incredible knowledge. Thus, with her insistence, Elena applied for a Doctorate of Theology at the University of Padua. She met resistance in her study. Roman Catholic church officials refused to confer the title of Doctor of Theology on a woman. Elena applied herself again at her father's insistence. This time the church committed and allowed Elena Piscopia to receive a doctorate in philosophy.

Elena Piscopia's examination for a doctorate in philosophy was to be held in the hall of the University of Padua, but due to the large number of spectators, she was transferred to Padua's cathedral. Throughout her examination, Elena's brilliant responses amazed her examiners, who determined that her vast knowledge surpassed the Doctorate of Philosophy, and on June 25, 1678, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia received the Doctorate of Philosophy at the University of Padua. At 32, she was the first woman in the world to receive a doctorate degree. In addition to her doctorate degree, Elena Piscopia received the cape of eminent teacher, and the laurel crown of the poet.

At 17 years old Elena Piscopia was considered expert in music, she played various instruments, among them: the harp and the violin. His musical heyday was crowned by the music he composed.

Elena Piscopia was an esteemed member of various academies throughout Europe, and has received visits from students from all over the world. Elena enjoyed teaching, teaching music, theology, and composition. Margaret Alic indicates that she became a math teacher at the University of Padua in 1678. Her writings were published in 1688 in Parma, Italy after her death. Today Elena Piscopia's reports are widely quoted by other masters and writers.

During the last seven years of her life, Elena focused on learning and teaching the poor. Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia died at the age of thirty-eight on July 26, 1684. Her death is believed to have been caused by tuberculosis. Elena's last wish was to be buried in the church of Santa Giustina in Padua, Italy.

In 1685 the University of Padua had a struck medal in honor of its great student. Today the statue of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia Esteemed University of Padua.


  1. Forbush, Gabriell E. "Lost Women." MS vol. 3, no. 56, January 1975, p.56 compiled by Judith Wilson.
  2. Fusco, Nicola. Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia: 1646-1684. Pittsburgh: The United States Committee for Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia Tercentenary. 1975. First Limited Edition.
  3. Rhythm. AND THE . "Cornaro." New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4, 1967.
  4. Remiddi Marcia "a woman of high degree." Unesco Mail, Vol. 31, July 1978, 12-13.
  5. Alic, Margaret. Hypatia Heritage: A history of women in the science of antiquity throguh the nineteenth century, beacon press, boston.