The First Woman in the World to Graduate from a University – International Womens Day – 8 March 2016
Homage to Elena
The story of Elena, the first woman in the world to graduate from a University.And she was Italian.
In 1646, in Venice,Italy. The fifth of seven children, Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, came to the world. Nobody would have expected that, that day, would be born the first woman to graduate of history. And she was Italian.
The story of Elena is one of those that you leave a bad taste in the mouth. Shows since she was a kid to be a little genius, with amazing learning ability. In 1665, at 21 years old, Elena Subverts already the tradition: becomes a benedictine oblate, respects the votes of the nuns while continuing to live in a family. Her point of strength were the studies in philosophy, but culture is immense: knows how to speak , Latin, Greek, French, English and Spanish, and study Hebrew.
When, after she entered the University (in those days, defined study of Padua) to submit a regular application for admission to the degree that gave an unpleasant surprise. For a woman, in fact, she wasn’t allowed to receive the title of doctor in theology. Gregorio, Bishop of Padua (made holy ndr), Blocked Everything: the woman is inferior to the man and is not capable of thinking difficult, nothing to do, no college degree.
It began so, a long controversy between the study of Padua, who had agreed to graduation, and Cardinal Barbarigo. It took 32 years to get Elena, finally, her degree: he gave give it to her, however, in philosophy, not in theology. The ceremony of proclamation remains in the annals: Fully packed house, yes even decides to move the debate in a larger space. Someone says there were, that day, 30 thousand people.
Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia gets her rematch: now is a celebrity, all are looking for her, all they want to talk to her. Even Louis XVI sends his informants to verify the exceptional qualities of the woman.
The past life on the books, however, presents soon her account: on 1684 when Elena dies, only 38 years old. Between debt and will of the Benedictine Monks, there won’t be even the statue of Elena, erected on the thrust of the father.
Today, the reproduction of the statue of Elena is situated at the foot of the staircase of the bo ‘, In the seat of the university of Padua. It’s covered with plexiglas panels, full of excrement of pigeons.
Only in 1969, in the occasion of the anniversary, moves finally the university of Padua, that starts of research on Elena. The Study confirms the truth.
A shaking up, forgotten, opposed. Italy has the first woman to graduate to the world and not even know . Not a university classroom entitled, not an institution of higher education, not even a little stamp. Elena has a debt with our country, and it is time to weld.
Reported by: “Pagani point”, Written by: Raffaele Nappi
Source: Corriereuniv. GB