Morata, Olympia Fulvia

, a learned Italian lady, was born at Ferrara, in 1526. Her father taught the belles lettres in several cities of Italy: and his reputation as a teacher advanced him to be preceptor to the young princes of Ferrara, sons of Alphonsus I. The uncommon parts and turn for literature which he discovered in his daughter, induced him to cultivate them; and she soon made a very extraordinary progress. The princess of Ferrara was at that time studying polite literature, and a companion in the same pursuit being thought expedient, Morata was called to court; where she was heard, by the astonished Italians, to declaim in Latin, to speak Greek, to explain the paradoxes of Cicero, and to answer any questions that were put to her. Her father dying, and her mother being an invalid, she was obliged to return home, in order to tuke upon her the administration of the family affairs, and the education of three sisters and a brother, all which sho conducted with judgment and success. But some have said that the immediate cause of her removal from court, | was a dislike which the duchess of Ferrara had conceived against her, by the misrepresentations of some of the courtiers. In the mean time, a young Oerman, named Grunthlcrus, who had studied physic, and taken his doctor’s degree at Ferrara, fell in love with her, and married her. Upon this she went with her hushand to Germany, and took her little brother with her, whom she carefully instructed in the Latin and Greek languages. They arrived at Augsburg in 1548; and, after a short stay there, went to Schweinfurt in Franconia, but had not been long there, before Schweinfurt was besieged and burnt. They escaped, however, with their lives, but remained in great distress until the elector Palatine invited Grunthler to be professor of physic at Heidelburg. He entered upon this new office in 1554, and be’gan to enjoy some degree of repose; when illness, occasioned by the hardships they had undergone, seized upon Morata, and proved fatal Oct. 26, 1555, before she was quite twenty-nine years old. She died in the Protestant religion, which she embraced upon her coming to Germany, and to which she resolutely adhered. Her husband and brother did not long survive her, and were interred in the same grave in the church of St. Peter, where is a Latin epitaph to their memory.

She composed several works, a great part of which were burnt with the town of Schweinfurt; the remainder were collected by Ccelius Secundus Curio, and published with this title: “Olympic Fulviae Moratae, fcemince doctissima3 ac plane divinas, Opera omnia quae hactenus inveniri potuerunt; quibus Caalii Secundi Curionis Epistola? ac Orationes accesserunt,Basil, 1558, in 8vo, and often reprinted. They consist of orations, dialogues, letters, and translations. 1


Niceron, vol. XV. —Moreri in Fulvia.- Bezae Icones. —Saxii Onomast.