Marie Gaetana Agnesi


Marie Gaetana Agnesi (May 16th, 1718 – January 9th, 1799) is an Italian mathematician but also a child prodigy.

Marie Gaetana Agnesi

The life of Marie Gaetana Agnesi

Very quickly she mastered foreign languages such as French (at 5 years), Latin, Greek, Hebrew, German and Spanish. This multilingual child who is the pride of her father is also an excellent speaker. His ability to speak on various complex subjects pushed his father to invite him to meetings in the presence of ministers, nobles and other intellectuals.

She studies geometry instead of dedicating herself to God

The young woman would like to return to orders but her father refuses. She then devotes her time to her studies and studies geometry as well as mathematics. At the age of 30, she published her main work “analytical institutions” in 1748. It was sort of the first school textbook speaking of mathematics in a language that everyone used, Italian (vernacular). It must be said that at the time, these books were very rare and too few teachers could teach mathematics.

Pope Benedict XIV understood that this manual would help many people who want to learn math in universities. So he appointed her to the field of honorary lecturer at the University of Bologna. However, she will never go to Bologna. When her father died, she devoted herself exclusively to the poor and to the study of theology.


Maria Gaetana Agnesi

May 16th 1718

January 9th 1799