Cristina Roccati

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Cristina Roccati (24 October 1732 in Rovigo – 16 March 1797 in Rovigo) was an Italian scholar and poet. She was on her way to an illustrious academic career following a degree at the University of Bologna (1751), only the third academic qualification ever bestowed on a woman by an Italian university,[1] when economic problems impelled her return to the Venetian provinces (Rovigo), where she nonetheless continued to teach physics for decades.


Roccati was a member of a noble family in Rovigo. She studied classical languages under Peter Bertaglia Arquà, teacher at the seminar at Rovigo, and at the age of fifteen she was admired by the Academy of Rovigo Ordna for her poems. In 1747, she was given permission by her parents to study natural philosophy at the University of Bologna under the guardianship of Bertaglia. She was accepted at the university the same year. She studied literature, logic, metaphysics, moral, meteorology and astronomy, but concentrated in physics and natural science. She was also decorated for her poetry. She became a member of the Academy of Concordia (1749), the Accademia degli Apatisti di Firenze (1750) and the Accademia nell'Arcadia under the name Aganice Aretusiana (1753), as well as theAccademia degli Ardenti di Bologna e dei Ricoverati a Padova.

She graduated in philosophy on 5 May 1751. She was active as a teacher in physics at the Accademia dei Concordi di Rovigo from 1751 until at least 1777. From 1751, she also studied at the University of Padua. In 1752, however, financial difficulties for her family made her interrupt her studies at Padua. She was elected president of the Accademia dei Concordi di Rovigo in 1754.

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  1. ^ William Clark, The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, University of Chicago Press, 1999, p. 318: "Cristina Roccati became the third woman to receive a university degree in Italy."


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