Faustina Pignatelli

Faustina Pignatelli Carafa, princess of Colubrano (9 December 1705-30 December 1769),[1] was an Italian mathematician and scientist from Naples. In 1732, she became only the second woman (after the Bolognese physicist Laura Bassi)[2] to be elected to the Academy of Sciences of Bologna.

Faustina Pignatelli Carafa
Born9 December 1705
Died30 December 1769
Spouse(s)Francesco Domenico Carafa

In 1734, Faustina published a paper titled Problemata Mathematica using the name "anonimae napolitanae" (a Latin phrase meaning "anonymous female from Naples"), in the German scientific journal Nova Acta Eruditorum, which was published entirely in Latin.[2]

Alongside her brother Peter, she was educated by Nicola De Martino and was instrumental in introducing the theories of Isaac Newton to Naples. She was an important participator in the scientific debate in Italy and corresponded with the French Academy of Sciences.[2][3]

Upon her marriage to the poet Francesco Domenico Carafa in 1724, she was given the principality Colubrano in southern Italy as a dowry by her father.[2]

Francesco Maria Zanotti, secretary of the Academy of Sciences of Bologna from 1723 to 1766, mentioned her as a gifted mathematician in 1745.[2][3]


  1. ^ "PIGNATELLI, Faustina in "Dizionario Biografico"". www.treccani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Pignatelli, Carafa Faustina, principessa di Colubrano — Scienza a due voci". scienzaa2voci.unibo.it. Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  3. ^ a b Bertucci, Paola (2013). "The In/visible Woman: Mariangela Ardinghelli and the Circulation of Knowledge between Paris and Naples in the Eighteenth Century". Isis. 104 (2): 226–249. doi:10.1086/670946. PMID 23961687. S2CID 6638864.

  • A. Brigaglia, P. Nastasi, Bologna e il Regno delle due Sicilie: aspetti di un dialogo scientifico (1730-1760), «Giornale critico della filosofia italiana», LXIII, 2, 1984, pp. 145–178.