|Birth: ||May 16, 1718|
|Death: ||Jan. 9, 1799|
Maria Gaetana Agnesi (16 May 1718 - 09 January 1799) was a linguist, mathematician, philosopher, and professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the University of Bologna, Italy (1750 - 1752). She invented and discussed the curve known as the "witch of Agnesi" or versiera. She played the piano and composed music. Maria was born at a time when education was ruled by men. They believed it a waste of time to teach girls anything beyond cooking, house management, and making clothes. Her father was Dom Pietro Agnesi Mariami. He was well respected in the community and he came from an influential, wealthy family, who had made their money from silk. He held a post as mathematician at the University of Bologna. Her mother was Anna Brivia. Maria was the oldest of 20 children born from three different mothers, same father. Maria's father taught her language. She was fluent in French at the age of five. She mastered Greek, Hebrew, and Latin by the time she was nine. By the age of thirteen she was fluent in Spanish, German, and other languages. Her father arranged scientific and mathematical meetings and forced Maria to give speeches in front of educated men visiting in their home. When she was twenty, Maria considered joining a convent to fulfill her aspiration of aiding the poor. Her father refused. He wanted more out of her life. Maria was shy. She was attractive in manner and richly endowed in mind. But she never married. Instead, she published Propositones Philosophicae, a collection of essays that expressed her views that women should be educated and cultured. Then the next ten years she wrote books on algebra and precalculus, and differential and integral calculus into two easily understood manuscripts. When her father became ill, Pope Benedict XIV appointed her as an honorary professor at the same university her father had taught. After her father died Maria then fulfilled her life's dream. For the next 47 years she cared for sick and dying women. she used her wealth and her time to help those less fortunate. In 1759 she established a home for the poor. In 1771 she headed up a home for the poor and ill. After holding for some years the office of directress of the Hospice Trivulzio for Blue Nuns at Milan. It is debated whether she herself joined the sisterhood. By 1783 she was made director of a home for the elderly, where she lived among those she served. She had given away everything she ever owned by the time she died in 1799. She suffered from a long infirmity due to dropsy. She was eighty-one when she died. In the end she was buried in a common grave with 15 others who tended the ill. Maria Agnesi was buried in a pauper's grave. This was not uncommon at that time. The cemetery is on the outside of the Roman gate in the city walls of Milan. No monument was added at this tomb.
* Propositiones Philosophicae - 1738
* Instituzioni Analitiche, two volumes - 1748
* Oratio qua ostenditur artium liberalium studia femineo sexu neutiquam abhorrere
* TraitÚ analytique des sections coniques of the Marquis de l'H˘pital
Cimitero Monumentale di Milano
Provincia di Milano
Plot: Maria Agnesi was buried in a pauper's grave. She was buried in a common grave with 15 others who tended the ill.
Created by: sandpipertoo
Record added: Apr 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67937077