Públia Hortênsia de Castro
Born in 1548 in Vila Viçosa, Portugal, she was named for Hortensia, the famous Roman orator and daughter of Quintus Hortensius, suggesting that her parents intended for her to become a well-educated woman. She evidently studied Greek and Latin, and by the time she was seventeen she was engaged in public debates on Aristotle. There are stories that, dressed as a boy and chaperoned by her brother, she attended the University of Coimbra, in Lisbon, but historians consider this unlikely. Nonetheless, she is known to have composed psalms in Latin, although they are now lost, and she was well enough admired by King Philip II that he granted her a pension for life.
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