List of female scientists before the 21st century

List of female scientists before the 21st century

Please note: this is a historical list, intended to deal with the time period when women working in science were rare. For this reason, this list ends with the 20th century.



  • Agamede (12th century BCE), (possibly mythical) physician in Ancient Greece
  • Aglaonike (2nd century BCE), the first woman astronomer in Ancient Greece
  • Agnodike (4th century BCE), the first woman physician to practice legally in Athens
  • Arete of Cyrene (5th-4th centuries BCE), natural and moral philosopher, North Africa
  • Artemisia of Caria (c. 300 BCE), botanist[citation needed]
  • Aspasia of Miletus (4th century BCE), philosopher and scientist
  • Cleopatra the Alchemist - identity is unclear, but her book, The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra, is[1] first recorded as existing in the 2nd century A.D./C.E. in Alexandria.
  • Diotima of Mantinea (4th century BCE), philosopher and scientist, ancient Greece (sources vary as to her historicity; possibly a fictionalized character based on Aspasia of Miletus)
  • Enheduanna (c. 2285-2250 BCE), Sumerian/Akkadian astronomer and poet
  • Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415), mathematician and astronomer, Egypt

Middle Ages

  • Abella (14th century), Italian physician
  • Bettina d'Andrea (d. 1335), Italian lawyer and philosopher
  • Novella d'Andrea (d. 1333), Italian lawyer
  • Hildegard von Bingen (1099–1179), German natural philosopher
  • Dorotea Bocchi (fl. 1390), Italian professor of medicine
  • Constance Calenda (15th century), Italian surgeon specialising in diseases of the eye[2][3]
  • Constanza, Italian physician[2]
  • Calrice di Durisio (15th century), Italian physician
  • Jacobina Félicie (fl. 1322), Italian physician
  • Alessandra Giliani (fl. 1318), Italian anatomist
  • Rebecca de Guarna (14th century), Italian physician[2][3]
  • Heloise (12th century), French mathematician and physician
  • Herrad of Landsberg (c.1130-1195), German/French author of the encyclopedia and technological compendium Garden of Delight
  • Maria Incarnata, Italian surgeon[3]
  • Margarita (14th century), Italian physician[3]
  • Thomasia de Mattio, Italian physician[3]
  • Mercuriade (14th century), Italian physician and surgeon[2]
  • Empress Theodora (500-545), Byzantine philosopher and mathematician
  • Trotula of Salerno (c. 1090), Italian physician
  • Walborg and Karin Jota (c. 1350), Swedish officials of the court

15th to 17th centuries

  • Anna Åkerhjelm (1647–1693), Swedish traveller and amateur archeologist.
  • Aphra Behn (1640–1689), British astronomer
  • Juliana (fl. 1460), British natural historian
  • Celia Grillo Borromeo (1684–1777), Italian natural philosopher
  • Sophia Brahe (1556–1643), Danish astronomer and chemist
  • Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673), natural philosopher
  • Laura Cereta (1469–1499), humanist
  • Isabella Cortese, (fl. 1561), Italian alchemist
  • Maria Cunitz (1610–1664), Silesian astronomer
  • Jeanne Dumée (fl. 1680), French astronomer

18th century

19th century

20th century

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d Walsh, 1911
  3. ^ a b c d e Howard, 2006


External links

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