4 of the Coolest Female Writers in History You’ve Probably Never Heard of

This semester, I’m taking a class on the earliest women writers. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of these amazing women before and wanted to share!

  1. 1. Sappho 

    Hailing from the city of Lesbos in Greece, Sappho wrote poetry circa 600-500 BCE. Aristotle loved Sappho’s work and frequently praised her, once even referring to her as “the tenth muse.” Although only fragments of her poetry remain, her work is studied and admired to this day.

  2. 2. Hrotsvitha

    Hrotsvitha lived in the convent of Gandersheim. Gandersheim was a highly independent convent run by the women who lived there. When Gandersheim’s episcopal jurisdiction was brought into question, conflict broke out. With her independent life suddenly invaded by arguing bishops, Hrotsvitha wrote plays that seem to have an allegorical link to the conflict of Gandersheim.

  3. 3. Perpetua

    Perpetua was a woman who lived in Carthage in the 3rd century. She was a devout Christian before Christianity was widely accepted throughout the Roman Empire. Perpetua was arrested and eventually martyred for her beliefs at the age of 22, but before her execution, she wrote a first-hand account of her time in prison and her thoughts leading up to her execution.

  4. 4. Marie de France

    Marie de France lived in the 12th century in England. She wrote lais, which are short poetic stories typically delivered orally. Her collection of work is extensive and ranges from a variety of topics. She does, however, seem to write extensively on love; specifically, the differences between love in an arranged marriage for court and passionate true love.

I loved learning about these incredible women in class and wanted to share them. I hope this delivers your daily dose of girl power!

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