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Cassandra Fedele (1465–1558)

Author of Letter and Orations

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Cassandra Fedele was one of the most renowned women scholars of her age. Born in Venice, she studied languages and then her father sent her to be tutored in classical literature, philosophy, the sciences, and dialectics by the monk Gasparino Borro. She married the physician Johannes Mapellus (Giammaria Mapelli). In 1487, at age 22, she achieved instant success in Italy and abroad when she delivered a Latin speech in praise of the arts and sciences at the University of Padua. She exchanged letters with prominent humanists and nobility throughout Italy and Spain. In old age, she was appointed prioress of an orphanage for girls at the Church of San Domenico di Castello in Venice. In 1556, she was invited by the Doge of Venice to address the Queen of Poland, Bona Sforza, who was visiting the city. Cassandra Fedele's published works include the treatise De scientiarum ordine (On the Order of Sciences), Digressioni morali (Moral Digressions) and Elogi degli uomini illustri (Praises of Illustrious Men).
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