Galindo, Beatriz (1465–1534)

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Galindo, Beatriz (14651534)

A Renaissance humanist and professor at the University of Salamanca, by many accounts the first woman in history to attain a university chair. She was born in Salamanca, Spain, and, under the guidance of a tutor, showed a talent for writing and reading in Latin. Formal education was reserved for boys, however, and her parents intended for her to enter a convent. As her fame spread beyond her home town, and all the way to the royal court of Spain, Queen Isabella summoned her for Latin lessons and to tutor Princess Juana. Historians believe Galindo may have served the queen as an adviser. She founded a hospital for the poor in the capital of Madrid, whose leaders commemorated her by naming a district of the city La Latina. Her appointment as tutor to the queen led to another as a professor at Salamanca, where for many years she suffered the jibes and condescension of scholars and fellow lecturers at the all-male institution. She authored volumes of Latin poetry and also wrote commentaries on the works of Aristotle; at the university she lectured in rhetoric, philosophy, and medicine, while advocating equal educational opportunity for girls and women.