A Biography of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, an Eighteenth-Century Woman Mathematician

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This book brings together for the first time in English the most important historical publications on the life and work of Maria Gaetana Agnesi, an important eighteenth-century mathematician. Included are a translation of a biography of Agnesi by Frisi and annotated selections from her Instituzione Analitiche. This book contains 13 black and white photographs.


“In this volume, Cupillari vividly describes the setting in which Agnesi lived and worked by using primary sources to discuss contemporary views on the education of women, the role of religion, and the acceptance of ‘infinitesimal calculus’ in Italy. In doing so, the author provides a unique glimpse into a woman’s struggle for recognition in the scientific world.” - Professor Patricia R. Allaire, Mathematics and Computer Science, Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York

“This book will become the definitive book on the life and work of Maria Gaetana Agnesi.” - Dr. Francine F. Abeles, Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Kean University

"Both the Frisi biography and the mathematical selections will be of interest to historians, many of whom do not read Italian.” - Professor Daniel J. Curtin, Chair, Department of Mathematics, Northern Kentucky University

"Enthusiastically recommended piece." - Midwest Book Review

"[The author]'s book is a, for the English-speaking readers unique, comprehensive source on biographical and mathematical data about the great female intellectual of the 17th century, and should be of interest not only to historians of mathematics and science in general, but also to math educators interested in the development of didactics of calculus, and of course also the general public." -- Franka Miriam Bruckler, Zagreb

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Foreword by Professor Patricia R. Allaire
1 Historical Background
2 The Authors of the Three Biographies
3 Translation of the Revised Work of Frisi, as Published by the Masotti in 1965
4 Tables
5 Index of Dates
6 Genealogical Information as Reported by Anzoletti
7 Additional Material Presented in Notes and Comments
8 Works by Maria Gaetana Agnesi
9 Mathematical Material

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