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Women Prodigies—Anna Maria van Schurman, Elena Piscopia and Others

(804 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ The woman prodigy first developed in Renaissance Italy, though other nations were swift to follow the example. The point of these highly-educated women was their cultural capital, and it followed tha…

Poetic Genres—The Cento: Poetry

(947 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ The cento (a Latin word meaning ‘patchwork’) is a form which became popular in the fourth century ad, in both the Eastern and Western Roman Empire. According to Tertullian ( De praescriptione haereticorum xxxix), the first cento was the M…

Women’s Education

(8,108 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ A good mastery of Latin was essential to the personal and social formation of upper-class men in early modern Europe. By contrast, the education of their sisters was a battleground of competing ideol…

Secundus, Joannes

(439 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ Joannes Secundus (Jan Everaertz/Nicolai) was born in The Hague on 15 November 1511, the child of a humanist family. His mother was Elizabeth Bladel (1466–1547) and his father was Nicolas Everaertz (1…

Women Writers in the Elizabethan Period

(998 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ The idea that queens and noblewomen should receive a humanist education may have come to England with Catherine of Aragon, since Henry VIII’s sister Mary began learning Latin as an adult in the 1520s…

Women Writers in Italy: Martha Marchina and Others

(812 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ The first country where early modern women achieved renown as Latinists is Italy, where figures such as Cassandra Fedele and Isotta Nogarola became famous in the course of the fifteenth century. Late…

Women Writers’ Networks

(950 words)

Author(s): Stevenson, Jane
¶ Learned women of the Renaissance were sometimes physically reclusive, but they were highly visible as correspondents. For example, the letters of Isotta Nogarola ( c. 1416–1466), a member of a notable humanist family of Ver…