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Maria Angela Ardinghelli (1756–1825) was an Italian translator, mathematician, physicist and noble.[1]


Maria Angela Ardinghelli was born in Naples into a noble family of Florentine origin. She studied philosophy and physical-mathematical sciences under the physicist and mathematician Pietro Della Torre and Vito Caravelli.

As was obligatory for the aristocratic women of the time, Maria Angela was a literate poet and Latinist, as well as expert of mathematical physics. She belonged to the circle of the prince of Tarsia, founded in 1747, which, in intellectual circles in Naples, had the strongest association to Newton, experimental physics and electricity. The library and the laboratory of Tarsia was to be of much use to her.

Maria Ardinghelli had acted as an informal correspondent for the Paris Academy of Sciences. Ardinghelli had connected the scientific communities of Naples and France. When Maria Angela reached the apex of her popularity she devised a few strategies to maintain her anonymity, which Maria succeeded at. In spite of Ardinghelli's historical invisibility, she selectively chose from her works what she wanted visible to specific audiences in order to protect herself form social isolation.


Expert in mathematical physics, Ardinghelli's fame is mainly due to the translation of key works of the English physicist Stephen Hales Statical essays: containing haemastatics; or, an account of some hydraulic and hydrostatical experiments made on the blood and blood-vessels of animals, del 1750–52, e Statical essay: containing vegetable statiks; or, an account of some statical experiments on the sap in vegetables (1738–1740), in 1756.[1] She also performed scientific experiments inspired by the translations.

She corresponded with leading scientists of the time, including, to name a few, the mathematician and astronomer and physicist Alexis Claude Clairaut and Jean-Antoine Nollet.


  1. ^ a b Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (1986). Women in science : antiquity through the nineteenth century : a biographical dictionary with annotated bibliography (3. print. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-15031-X. 

Category:1730 births Category:1825 deaths Category:People from Naples Category:Italian physicists Category:Women physicists Category:18th-century Italian people Category:Women translators Category:Italian untitled nobility Category:Italian women scientists Category:Women mathematicians Category:Mathematicians

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