pbsamericanmasters:

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning premieres tonight at 9/8c on pbstv. 
iowawomensarchives:

Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, Des Moines, Iowa, circa 1924

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, is a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Since its founding more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. The organization is a sisterhood of predominantly Black, college educated women. [source]

Iowa Digital Library: Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, Des Moines, Iowa, circa 1924

iowawomensarchives:

Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, Des Moines, Iowa, circa 1924

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, is a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Since its founding more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. The organization is a sisterhood of predominantly Black, college educated women. [source]

Iowa Digital Library: Delta Sigma Theta sorority members, Des Moines, Iowa, circa 1924

Bettina and Novella D’Andrea
Art by Intagliogia (tumblr)
Bettina and Novella d’Andrea were the daughters of Giovanni d’Andrea, a noted expert in canon law.  Giovanni is said to have educated both his daughters to the level of a university lecturer.  
Bettina (d. 1355) married Giovanni di San Giorgio, a law professor at the University of Padua.  She is believed to have taught law and philosophy at the University of Padua.  
Novella (b. 1312) is believed to have taught her father’s classes at the University of Bologna when he was unavailable.  According to Christine de Pizan, Novella taught through a curtain so the students would not be distracted by her beauty.  
The careers of Bettina and Novella d’Andrea are disputed, although their father’s career is well documented.  Bettina’s grave describes her as the daughter and wife of scholars rather than as a scholar herself.  Novella’s story was recorded by Christine de Pizan about ninety years after Novella’s birth, but the same story of teaching behind a curtain in Bologna has also been told of Bettisia Gozzadini who lived in the eleventh century.  Dorotea Bucca held a chair in medicine and philosophy at the University of Bologna beginning in 1390.  Like Bettina and Novella, Dorotea’s father was a professor at the University of Bologna, but Dorotea was about fifty years younger than the d’Andrea sisters.  There were multiple female professors in southern Italy at Schola Medica Salernitana throughout the Middle Ages, but at that time Bologna, Padua, and Salerno were not part of the same country.  Trota, a medical writer associated with Schola Medica Salernitana, was a disputed figure until further scholarship in the 1980s established Trota as a real historic woman.

Bettina and Novella D’Andrea

Art by Intagliogia (tumblr)

Bettina and Novella d’Andrea were the daughters of Giovanni d’Andrea, a noted expert in canon law.  Giovanni is said to have educated both his daughters to the level of a university lecturer.  

Bettina (d. 1355) married Giovanni di San Giorgio, a law professor at the University of Padua.  She is believed to have taught law and philosophy at the University of Padua.  

Novella (b. 1312) is believed to have taught her father’s classes at the University of Bologna when he was unavailable.  According to Christine de Pizan, Novella taught through a curtain so the students would not be distracted by her beauty.  

The careers of Bettina and Novella d’Andrea are disputed, although their father’s career is well documented.  Bettina’s grave describes her as the daughter and wife of scholars rather than as a scholar herself.  Novella’s story was recorded by Christine de Pizan about ninety years after Novella’s birth, but the same story of teaching behind a curtain in Bologna has also been told of Bettisia Gozzadini who lived in the eleventh century.  Dorotea Bucca held a chair in medicine and philosophy at the University of Bologna beginning in 1390.  Like Bettina and Novella, Dorotea’s father was a professor at the University of Bologna, but Dorotea was about fifty years younger than the d’Andrea sisters.  There were multiple female professors in southern Italy at Schola Medica Salernitana throughout the Middle Ages, but at that time Bologna, Padua, and Salerno were not part of the same country.  Trota, a medical writer associated with Schola Medica Salernitana, was a disputed figure until further scholarship in the 1980s established Trota as a real historic woman.

The grave of Bettina d’Andrea (1355)

Original Latin text:

sepulcrum domine bitine, filie qdam [quondam] domini iohanis andrea de bononia archidoctoris decretorum [et] uxoris domini iohanis de sancto georgio de bononia doctoris decreto[rum] que obiit anno domini MCCCLV die lune quinto octubris

Which roughly translates into English as:

The grave of Lady Bettina, daughter of master Giovanni d’Andrea from Bologna, great doctor in law, and wife of master Giovanni di San Giorgio from Bologna, doctor in law, who died in 1355, Monday 5th October

Big thanks to for the photos and translation.

Héloïse d’Argenteuil
Art by Elin Denise (tumblr)
Although she was a powerful abbess, Héloïse d’Argenteuil is best known as half of a tragic love story.  Héloïse was already an exceptionally learned young woman when she met Peter Abélard, a famous teacher.  Peter was attracted to Héloïse from the start and he convinced her uncle and guardian Fulbert to lodge him in exchange for tutoring Héloïse.  A clandestine sexual relationship developed and Héloïse became pregnant.  To appease Fulbert, the couple agreed to marry but demanded the marriage be kept secret so it would not harm Peter’s advancement in the Catholic Church. 
The couple covertly married and Peter’s sister adopted their son Astrolabe.  Héloïse went to stay at a convent which led Fulbert to believe she had been cast off by Peter.  Enraged, Fulbert and his friends broke into Peter’s room as he slept and castrated him.  Traumatized and shamed, Peter fled Paris and joined a monastery in Saint-Denis.  Although Héloïse did not feel called towards the religious life, under pressure from Peter, she took holy orders and became a nun.
For ten years there was no communication between the two as Peter advanced as a scholar and Héloïse rose to the rank of prioress.  In 1129, Héloïse’s group was forced out of their convent at Argenteuil.  Peter offered them the Oratory of the Paraclete, site of his former monastery, to start a new convent.  The two began a correspondence.  Héloïse’s letters were passionate and plaintive.  Peter’s responses encouraged her to direct her fervor towards God.  Eventually their correspondence lost its deep emotion, focusing more on the Héloïse’s role as abbess.
Peter’s career as a scholar ebbed and flowed over the years.  He was controversial enough to be briefly excommunicated before his death in 1142.  Héloïse became abbess and eventually grew her convent to include six daughter houses.  She died in 1164.   There is a monument to the couple at Père-Lachaise, although some believe one or both is buried at the Oratory of the Paraclete.  The fate of their son Astrolabe is almost entirely unknown, but a letter from Peter the Venerable to Héloïse suggests Astrolabe may have also joined the Church.
Notes: The couple is usually referred to as Héloïse and Abélard, but as Cool Chicks from History always uses first names the couple is referred to here as Héloïse and Peter.  For centuries Héloïse was believed to be 17 years old at the time of the affair while Peter was 36.   More recent scholarship suggests Héloïse was closer to age 27 when the affair began.

Héloïse d’Argenteuil

Art by Elin Denise (tumblr)

Although she was a powerful abbess, Héloïse d’Argenteuil is best known as half of a tragic love story.  Héloïse was already an exceptionally learned young woman when she met Peter Abélard, a famous teacher.  Peter was attracted to Héloïse from the start and he convinced her uncle and guardian Fulbert to lodge him in exchange for tutoring Héloïse.  A clandestine sexual relationship developed and Héloïse became pregnant.  To appease Fulbert, the couple agreed to marry but demanded the marriage be kept secret so it would not harm Peter’s advancement in the Catholic Church. 

The couple covertly married and Peter’s sister adopted their son Astrolabe.  Héloïse went to stay at a convent which led Fulbert to believe she had been cast off by Peter.  Enraged, Fulbert and his friends broke into Peter’s room as he slept and castrated him.  Traumatized and shamed, Peter fled Paris and joined a monastery in Saint-Denis.  Although Héloïse did not feel called towards the religious life, under pressure from Peter, she took holy orders and became a nun.

For ten years there was no communication between the two as Peter advanced as a scholar and Héloïse rose to the rank of prioress.  In 1129, Héloïse’s group was forced out of their convent at Argenteuil.  Peter offered them the Oratory of the Paraclete, site of his former monastery, to start a new convent.  The two began a correspondence.  Héloïse’s letters were passionate and plaintive.  Peter’s responses encouraged her to direct her fervor towards God.  Eventually their correspondence lost its deep emotion, focusing more on the Héloïse’s role as abbess.

Peter’s career as a scholar ebbed and flowed over the years.  He was controversial enough to be briefly excommunicated before his death in 1142.  Héloïse became abbess and eventually grew her convent to include six daughter houses.  She died in 1164.   There is a monument to the couple at Père-Lachaise, although some believe one or both is buried at the Oratory of the Paraclete.  The fate of their son Astrolabe is almost entirely unknown, but a letter from Peter the Venerable to Héloïse suggests Astrolabe may have also joined the Church.

Notes: The couple is usually referred to as Héloïse and Abélard, but as Cool Chicks from History always uses first names the couple is referred to here as Héloïse and Peter.  For centuries Héloïse was believed to be 17 years old at the time of the affair while Peter was 36.   More recent scholarship suggests Héloïse was closer to age 27 when the affair began.

Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of tennis player Althea Gibson (1927-2003).
Althea broke the color barrier as the first black person to compete at Wimbledon and US Nationals (precursor to the US Open).  She won a total of 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including repeated wins at US Nationals and Wimbledon.

Google Doodle celebrating the birthday of tennis player Althea Gibson (1927-2003).

Althea broke the color barrier as the first black person to compete at Wimbledon and US Nationals (precursor to the US Open).  She won a total of 11 Grand Slam tournaments, including repeated wins at US Nationals and Wimbledon.

siphotos:

Thirteen-year-old sensation Mo’ne Davis, who plays for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, has become the first Little Leaguer to grace the national cover of Sports Illustrated. The 5-foot-4 inch, 111-pound eighth grader is not only taking the Little League World Series by storm, but also she has captured the nation’s attention. 
SI STAFF: More information on Mo’ne Davis cover GALLERY: View all of SI’s 2014 Covers 

siphotos:

Thirteen-year-old sensation Mo’ne Davis, who plays for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, has become the first Little Leaguer to grace the national cover of Sports Illustrated. The 5-foot-4 inch, 111-pound eighth grader is not only taking the Little League World Series by storm, but also she has captured the nation’s attention. 

SI STAFF: More information on Mo’ne Davis cover 
GALLERY: View all of SI’s 2014 Covers 

Gertrude de Nivelles (circa 621-659)
Art by Ohthirdplanet (tumblr)
After the death of Gertrude’s father Pepin of Laden in 640, Gertrude’s mother Itta founded a Benedictine monastery in Nivelles, a town in present day Belgium.  According to some sources, Gertrude wanted to take religious orders from a young age.  Other accounts suggest Itta built the convent to protect her youngest daughter from the political instability of the region at the time.  Abbesses held great power in medieval Europe and their lands were generally safe from seizure. 
Itta and Gertrude monastery’s housed nuns and monks in neighboring buildings.  It was part of the growth of monastic life in seventh and eighth century Europe.  Itta ran the monastery until her death in 650, after which point Gertrude took control.  As abbesses, Gertrude built an extensive library and her monastery became known as a center for knowledge.
Gertrude died in 659 and although she was never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII declared March 17 her universal feast day.  Gertrude is the patron saint for traveler and cats and the patron saint against rats and mice.  

Gertrude de Nivelles (circa 621-659)

Art by Ohthirdplanet (tumblr)

After the death of Gertrude’s father Pepin of Laden in 640, Gertrude’s mother Itta founded a Benedictine monastery in Nivelles, a town in present day Belgium.  According to some sources, Gertrude wanted to take religious orders from a young age.  Other accounts suggest Itta built the convent to protect her youngest daughter from the political instability of the region at the time.  Abbesses held great power in medieval Europe and their lands were generally safe from seizure.

Itta and Gertrude monastery’s housed nuns and monks in neighboring buildings.  It was part of the growth of monastic life in seventh and eighth century Europe.  Itta ran the monastery until her death in 650, after which point Gertrude took control.  As abbesses, Gertrude built an extensive library and her monastery became known as a center for knowledge.

Gertrude died in 659 and although she was never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII declared March 17 her universal feast day.  Gertrude is the patron saint for traveler and cats and the patron saint against rats and mice.  

Wilder’s Little House books have always been understood to be the writer’s fictionalized autobiography, but the extent of the fictionalization has long been under discussion by readers and scholars. The publication of Pioneer Girl, edited and annotated by Hill, author ofthe award-wining biography, Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life (South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2007) should go a long way towards resolving many of the details under debate.

smithsonianlibraries:

A diagram of the movement of the Moon around the Earth (seen here) and a recipe for invisible ink await you in Mary Smith’s Commonplace Book. Help us make Mary’s journal of scientific inquiry more accessible by becoming a digital volunteer at the Smithsonian Transcription Center.

smithsonianlibraries:

A diagram of the movement of the Moon around the Earth (seen here) and a recipe for invisible ink await you in Mary Smith’s Commonplace Book. Help us make Mary’s journal of scientific inquiry more accessible by becoming a digital volunteer at the Smithsonian Transcription Center.

Hadewijch, 13th century
Art by Musiquetta (tumblr)
Hadewijch was a 13th century poet and mystic from the Antwerp area.  Her writings were all religious in nature and include descriptions of her divine visions.  She wrote mainly in the vernacular Middle Dutch, but also showed fluency in Latin and French, a level of education which suggests that she was a member of the upper classes.
Hadewijch is believed to have been a member or leader of a Beguine house, semi-monastic religious groups whose members did not take formal, lifelong vows as nuns.  Later in life, after conflict with her order, Hadewijch became a wanderer and moved from town to town.

Hadewijch, 13th century

Art by Musiquetta (tumblr)

Hadewijch was a 13th century poet and mystic from the Antwerp area.  Her writings were all religious in nature and include descriptions of her divine visions.  She wrote mainly in the vernacular Middle Dutch, but also showed fluency in Latin and French, a level of education which suggests that she was a member of the upper classes.

Hadewijch is believed to have been a member or leader of a Beguine house, semi-monastic religious groups whose members did not take formal, lifelong vows as nuns.  Later in life, after conflict with her order, Hadewijch became a wanderer and moved from town to town.

Margaret I of Denmark (1353-1412)
Art by Vanessa Sweet
The daughter of Valdemar IV of Denmark and the wife of Haakon VI of Norway, Margaret engineered the Kalmar Union which joined Scandinavia under one crown for 126 years. 
Widowed at age 27, Margaret initially ruled as regent for her son Olaf.  Olaf died at age 17 and Margaret was granted the right to rule in her own name and choose her successor.  She chose her grandnephew Eric of Pomerania because he was a descendant of all three Scandinavian royal families, but Margaret remained the effective ruler even after Eric was crowned king.  At a time when Scandinavia was threatened by the Hanseatic League, Margaret used her diplomatic wiles to block German expansion and consolidate Scandinavia under a single ruler.    

Margaret I of Denmark (1353-1412)

Art by Vanessa Sweet

The daughter of Valdemar IV of Denmark and the wife of Haakon VI of Norway, Margaret engineered the Kalmar Union which joined Scandinavia under one crown for 126 years. 

Widowed at age 27, Margaret initially ruled as regent for her son Olaf.  Olaf died at age 17 and Margaret was granted the right to rule in her own name and choose her successor.  She chose her grandnephew Eric of Pomerania because he was a descendant of all three Scandinavian royal families, but Margaret remained the effective ruler even after Eric was crowned king.  At a time when Scandinavia was threatened by the Hanseatic League, Margaret used her diplomatic wiles to block German expansion and consolidate Scandinavia under a single ruler.    

Christine de Pizan (1364- circa 1430)
Art by April Babcock (tumblr)
Christine de Pizan is one of the best known writers of the medieval period, yet if not for circumstances beyond her control she might never have picked up a pen.  The daughter of an Italian scientist at the court of Charles V of France, Christine was given a classical education before her marriage at the age of fifteen to a royal secretary named Etienne du Castel.  When she was 25, her beloved husband died in an epidemic.  As her father had already passed away, Christine found herself responsible for the care of not only herself and her two children, but also her mother and an orphaned niece.
Christine began writing love ballads that caught the attention of wealthy patrons who enjoyed both her poetry and the novelty of a female writer.  Christine wrote hundreds of poems, many on commission for specific nobles, and this work allowed her to support her family and clear the debts left after her husband’s death.
Christine’s most famous work, The Book of the City of Ladies (1405), is an impassioned defense of women.  It challenged misogyny by creating a symbolic city of righteous women.  The women profiled include historical figures such as Zenobia and Sappho, pagan goddesses such as Isis and Minerva, women from the Hebrew Bible such as Deborah and the unnamed Woman of Valor (Proverbs 31), and Christian saints such as the Virgin Mary and St. Lucy.  Christine’s book was a testimony to the accomplishments of women and argued for wider access to education for women. 
While The Book of the City of Ladies is primarily about female achievement, Christine also included an anti-rape message.  As a character in the book, Christine says “I am therefore troubled and grieved when men argue that many women want to be raped and that it does not bother them at all to be raped by men even when they verbally protest…”  Lady Rectitude, one of Christine’s guides in The Book of the City of Ladies, responds “Rest assured, dear friend, chaste ladies who live honestly take absolutely no pleasure in being raped. Indeed, rape is the greatest possible sorrow for them. Many upright women have demonstrated that this is true with their own credible examples…”
In 1418, Christine retired to a convent in Poissy.  At the convent she wrote one final poem which she dedicated to Joan of Arc.  It is the only known French language work about Joan of Arc written during Joan’s lifetime.

Christine de Pizan (1364- circa 1430)

Art by April Babcock (tumblr)

Christine de Pizan is one of the best known writers of the medieval period, yet if not for circumstances beyond her control she might never have picked up a pen.  The daughter of an Italian scientist at the court of Charles V of France, Christine was given a classical education before her marriage at the age of fifteen to a royal secretary named Etienne du Castel.  When she was 25, her beloved husband died in an epidemic.  As her father had already passed away, Christine found herself responsible for the care of not only herself and her two children, but also her mother and an orphaned niece.

Christine began writing love ballads that caught the attention of wealthy patrons who enjoyed both her poetry and the novelty of a female writer.  Christine wrote hundreds of poems, many on commission for specific nobles, and this work allowed her to support her family and clear the debts left after her husband’s death.

Christine’s most famous work, The Book of the City of Ladies (1405), is an impassioned defense of women.  It challenged misogyny by creating a symbolic city of righteous women.  The women profiled include historical figures such as Zenobia and Sappho, pagan goddesses such as Isis and Minerva, women from the Hebrew Bible such as Deborah and the unnamed Woman of Valor (Proverbs 31), and Christian saints such as the Virgin Mary and St. Lucy.  Christine’s book was a testimony to the accomplishments of women and argued for wider access to education for women. 

While The Book of the City of Ladies is primarily about female achievement, Christine also included an anti-rape message.  As a character in the book, Christine says “I am therefore troubled and grieved when men argue that many women want to be raped and that it does not bother them at all to be raped by men even when they verbally protest…”  Lady Rectitude, one of Christine’s guides in The Book of the City of Ladies, responds “Rest assured, dear friend, chaste ladies who live honestly take absolutely no pleasure in being raped. Indeed, rape is the greatest possible sorrow for them. Many upright women have demonstrated that this is true with their own credible examples…”

In 1418, Christine retired to a convent in Poissy.  At the convent she wrote one final poem which she dedicated to Joan of Arc.  It is the only known French language work about Joan of Arc written during Joan’s lifetime.

newsweek:

Since its inception in 1936, the Fields Medal has been awarded to 52 of the most exceptional mathematicians in the world under the age of 40. For the first time, that award has gone to a woman: Maryam Mirzakhani, 37, an Iranian-born mathematician who works at Stanford.
She shared the prize — the highest honor in mathematics — with Martin Hairer, 38, of the University of Warwick, England; Manjul Bhargava, 40, of Princeton; and Arthur Avila, 35, of the National Center for Scientific Research, France.
According to The New York Times, 70% of doctoral degrees in math are awarded to males, making the award to Mirzakhani especially noteworthy. In the related field of physics, only two women have ever won the Nobel Prize. Only one has won in economics.
The Fields was presented by the International Congress of Mathematicians to this year’s four winners in a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday.
Mirzakhani’s research focuses on “understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts and of hyperbolic objects,” according to a Stanford release. A text provided by the ICM further explains that she works on so-called Riemann surfaces and their deformations. The ICM praised her for “strong geometric intuition.”
A Huge First For Women: Female Mathematician Wins Fields Medal

newsweek:

Since its inception in 1936, the Fields Medal has been awarded to 52 of the most exceptional mathematicians in the world under the age of 40. For the first time, that award has gone to a woman: Maryam Mirzakhani, 37, an Iranian-born mathematician who works at Stanford.

She shared the prize — the highest honor in mathematics — with Martin Hairer, 38, of the University of Warwick, England; Manjul Bhargava, 40, of Princeton; and Arthur Avila, 35, of the National Center for Scientific Research, France.

According to The New York Times, 70% of doctoral degrees in math are awarded to males, making the award to Mirzakhani especially noteworthy. In the related field of physics, only two women have ever won the Nobel Prize. Only one has won in economics.

The Fields was presented by the International Congress of Mathematicians to this year’s four winners in a ceremony in Seoul on Wednesday.

Mirzakhani’s research focuses on “understanding the symmetry of curved surfaces, such as spheres, the surfaces of doughnuts and of hyperbolic objects,” according to a Stanford release. A text provided by the ICM further explains that she works on so-called Riemann surfaces and their deformations. The ICM praised her for “strong geometric intuition.”

A Huge First For Women: Female Mathematician Wins Fields Medal

Philippa of Lancaster (1359-1415)
Art by Hannah (tumblr, deviantart1, deviantart2)
The elder sister of Henry IV of England, Philippa was a remarkably well educated woman for her day.  Her tutors included Geoffrey Chaucer, Jean Froissart, and John Wycliffe.  At the age of 26 she married John (João) I of Portugal and became Queen Consort of Portugal.  Their marriage cemented the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, a pact of friendship that is today the world’s oldest alliance still in force.  
The children of Philippa and John are known collectively as the Illustrious Generation (Ínclita Geração).   Philippa’s oldest surviving child, Edward (Duarte), was a poet and intellectual who succeeded his father and ruled Portugal from 1433 to 1488.  Peter (Pedro das Sete Partidas) travelled extensively through Europe and the Middle East before returning to Portugal to serve as regent for Edward’s son Alfonso.  Henry (Henrique) the Navigator sponsored expeditions that established Portugal as a colonial power.  Isabella married the Duke of Burgundy and was influential in politics.  John (João, O Infante Condestáve) served as Constable of Portugal and secured the throne for his nephew after Edward’s death. Ferdinand became a popular saint in the Portuguese tradition after he died in a Moorish prison, although he was never officially beatified or canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. 
Scholarly and pious, Philippa’s influence reformed the previously licentious Portuguese court.  At the same time that she encouraged peace at home, Philippa encouraged Portugal’s expansion through warfare abroad.  Specifically, she supported the conquest of Ceuta in North Africa, a major port in the spice and gold trades.  Philippa died a month before the conquest of Ceuta.  On her deathbed, she presented her three adult sons with jewel encrusted swords and blesses them for battle.  

Philippa of Lancaster (1359-1415)

Art by Hannah (tumblr, deviantart1, deviantart2)

The elder sister of Henry IV of England, Philippa was a remarkably well educated woman for her day.  Her tutors included Geoffrey Chaucer, Jean Froissart, and John Wycliffe.  At the age of 26 she married John (João) I of Portugal and became Queen Consort of Portugal.  Their marriage cemented the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, a pact of friendship that is today the world’s oldest alliance still in force. 

The children of Philippa and John are known collectively as the Illustrious Generation (Ínclita Geração).   Philippa’s oldest surviving child, Edward (Duarte), was a poet and intellectual who succeeded his father and ruled Portugal from 1433 to 1488.  Peter (Pedro das Sete Partidas) travelled extensively through Europe and the Middle East before returning to Portugal to serve as regent for Edward’s son Alfonso.  Henry (Henrique) the Navigator sponsored expeditions that established Portugal as a colonial power.  Isabella married the Duke of Burgundy and was influential in politics.  John (João, O Infante Condestáve) served as Constable of Portugal and secured the throne for his nephew after Edward’s death. Ferdinand became a popular saint in the Portuguese tradition after he died in a Moorish prison, although he was never officially beatified or canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. 

Scholarly and pious, Philippa’s influence reformed the previously licentious Portuguese court.  At the same time that she encouraged peace at home, Philippa encouraged Portugal’s expansion through warfare abroad.  Specifically, she supported the conquest of Ceuta in North Africa, a major port in the spice and gold trades.  Philippa died a month before the conquest of Ceuta.  On her deathbed, she presented her three adult sons with jewel encrusted swords and blesses them for battle.