Elena Cornaro Piscopia (5.6.1646 – 26.7.1684) was a Venetian philosopher, born into a noble family. In 1678, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate in philosophy in a university.
Elena Cornaro Piscopia appeared on the Google Doodle logo on the 373 anniversary of her birthday.
She is the third daughter of Gianbattista Cornaro-Piscopia and his mistress Zanetta Boni. Elena's parents were not married at the time of her birth. Legally, Zanetta Boni is not a member of the Cornaro family.
As a child, Elena Cornaro Piscopia was seen as a prodigy. She studied Latin and Greek and soon mastered these languages when she was seven, including French and Spanish.
When a Philosopher teacher suggested to Padua University about giving Elena the laurel tree in theology, Cardinal Gregorio Barbarigo (Bishop of Padua) refused because she was a woman.
Elena Cornaro Piscopia. Photo: wikipedia
After a course demonstrating his ability, the Cardinal changed his mind, agreeing to give Elena the Philosopher's wreath on Philosophy on June 25, 678 at Padua Church, in the presence of the teachers students Besides, most Venetian Senators, along with many guests from Bologna University, Perugia, Rome and Napoli are also present.
Elena became a lecturer at many different institutions and has a reputation throughout Europe for her achievements.
The statue of Elena Cornaro Piscopia at the university where she attended.
The last seven years of her life are for learning and charity. She died in Padua in 1684 for tuberculosis, buried in the church of Santa Giustina in Padua, and her statue was placed in the university.
Her works were later published at Parma in 1688, including academic lectures, translations and devotional treatises.
Jane Smith Guernsey's book, The Lady Cornaro: Pride and Prodigy of Venice, published in 1999, is the first full study of Elena Cornaro Piscopia's life.