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Elena Lucrezia Corner was born on 5 June 1646 a Venice and is considered by some historians to be the first female graduate in the world. Between logical and creative disciplines, the noblewoman unequivocally recognized the subject in which she felt most at ease. What will it have been? How far did Elena Lucrezia want to go? His iconography with that laurel wreath on his head tells us so. Will she have managed to continue in her intentions?

Elena Lucrezia Corner

Dressed in an ancient dress, her hair gathered up, as befits a woman of her rank. Thus it appears in some representations. A representation therefore that already offers us some important details. In fact, it is easy to understand that it is a woman of the past, of high social extraction, certainly with a passion for studying. While he found himself living in a time when access to academic education was reserved for men, he managed to follow up on his inclinations. Thanks to the comfortable environment in which she was born, she was educated from an early age by a private tutor.

Portrait of Elena Lucrezia Corner
photo by Tiziana Giusto

So, as it must have been for a girl from a good family, at the age of seven he began studying Greek and Latin. But his abilities were many to be able to be satisfied with a common female education. Going against the logic of those times, Elena Lucrezia Corner became interested in the study of languages ​​and became a polyglot. His thirst for knowledge must certainly have been something great, perhaps insatiable. He then moved on to arithmetic, science, music.

A modern woman

Her personality is strong, but also acute as well as characterized by a high dialectical capacity. Here because philosophy and theology were two passions for her. Intertwined in the genes of her DNA, Corner certainly loved "getting lost" in the logical and rhetorical reflections of those disciplines. But how did the alleged "seventeenth-century modernity" see a female figure with such abilities? Perhaps for someone it could be a little uncomfortable. And this certainly Elena Lucrezia knew. Eager to pursue her goals on 25 June 1678 he graduated in Philosophy.

Elena Lucrezia Corner. Laurel wreath resting on the thesis book

All right then? Not really. It is true that some researchers recognize her the first graduate woman of history. However the noblewoman he would have liked to graduate in theology but this would have been too much!

The dispute with the Bishop

And so to make every cricket go through her head the bishop of Padua intervened reminding her of a detail that perhaps she had missed. "How can a woman study a subject whose teaching is reserved for men only?" Would it have been a waste of time perhaps? Something counterproductive because it is not directly expendable? A bickering that ended in an agreement that could somehow please both parties and above all not harm the social schemes. Why not opt ​​for a good philosophy degree? And so it was. With a thesis on Aristotle's physics and logic that the woman pronounced entirely in Latin. A nice ransom, isn't it? But there is more. The Corner was soon known outside the border.

Portrait of Elena Lucrezia Corner

Many powerful people in Europe wanted her to be a member of various scientific academies. His path is not an easy one, made up of obstacles and tenacity. And although the society of the time tried somehow to limit it, Elena Lucrezia Corner can be considered icon the right to education for women.

Elena Lucrezia Corner: the first woman to graduate in the world last edit: 2019-06-10T09:12:09+02:00 da Sabrina Cernuschi

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