Google is celebrating 373rd birthday anniversary of Elena CornaroPiscopia, the first woman to earn a Ph.D., with a doodle today. Born on June 5, 1646, in Venice, Italy, Elena was recognised as a prodigy at the age of seven. Also known as Helen Cornaro, Elena was born in an Italian noble family and was an Italian philosopher and academic.
As Google celebrates the birth anniversary of Elena, who also became the first woman in the world to receive an academic degree from a university, here are a few things about the genius academician that you should know:
1.Elena CornaroPiscopia was multilingual
The first woman Ph.D. holder spoke seven languages fluently. She started learning Greek and Latin at the age of seven. Apart from her native language Italian, Piscopia could speak Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Arabic.
2.She was the first woman in the world receive a PhD
Piscopia was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in 1678. She studied at the University of Padua. Despite being an excellent scholar in theology, Piscopia was forbidden by the Roman Catholic Church to receive a degree in theology. Therefore, she was granted a Ph.D. in philosophy at the age of 32.
3.She was a celibate
Elena took a vow of celibacy at the age of 11. She remained celibate throughout her lifetime and turned down various marriage proposals without telling her vow to anyone. She dedicated the last seven years of her life to charity.
4.Elena was acknowledged to be the most learned woman in Italy at the age of 19
Being a child with extraordinary talents, Elena’s knowledge of philosophy, theology, grammar, mathematics, science and astronomy made her the most learned woman in Italy in her late teenage. She also mastered the harpsichord, clavichord, harp,and violin and was an excellent singer.
5.She died at the age of 38
Piscopia died on July 26, 1684 due to tuberculosis. She was buried in the Church of Santa Giustina at Padua and a statue was built at the University of Padua.
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