The Complete Writings of an Italian Heretic

The Complete Writings of an Italian Heretic

Olympia Morata

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226536682

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


A brilliant scholar and one of the finest writers of her day, Olympia Fulvia Morata (1526–1555) was attacked by some as a “Calvinist Amazon” but praised by others as an inspiration to all learned women. This book publishes all her known writings—orations, dialogues, letters, and poems—in an English translation. Raised in the court of Ferrara in Italy, Morata was educated alongside the daughters of the nobility. As a youth she gave public lectures on Cicero, wrote commentaries on Homer, and composed poems, dialogues, and orations in both Latin and Greek. Morata also became a prominent Protestant evangelical, studying the Bible extensively and corresponding with many of the leading theologians of the Reformation. After fleeing to Germany in search of religious freedom, she tutored students in Greek and composed what many at the time felt were her finest works: a series of translations of the Psalms into Greek hexameters and sapphics.