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.

Padua volunteer found!

Fingers crossed this will work out.

So the Padua thing….

The reason for the question is an upcoming post on Bettina and Novella d’Andrea, two sisters who were (supposedly) law professors in medieval Italy.  There are only slight English references to these two figures and one has a reference to a modern debunking written in Italian.  But it isn’t online (and is in Italian), so who knows how solid that debunking is.  Also, considering there is documentation of female medical school professors in southern Italy at that time, female law professors in northern Italy doesn’t seem that unreasonable.

But there are also mentions of a tomb in St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua to the grave of Bettina de Giovanni d’Andrea which references her law career.  Which if it is original seems to support Bettina at least as a real person.  

So if anyone out there happens to wander past St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, Cool Chicks from History would totally reblog a photo of that grave.  Capisce?

Do any of my followers live in Padua, Italy?

Realize this is a long shot on several levels.

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- c. 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- c. 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.  

Jórunn skáldamaer, 10th century
Art by Mikaela Bergquist (tumblr)
Jórunn skáldmær (Jórunn the poet-maiden) was a Norwegian skáld.  Like the bards of Celtic courts, skálds were employed by Scandinavian and Icelandic nobles to compose complicated verse in praise of their patron.  Skálds also often served as advisers.  
Jórunn is the only known named female skáld who seems to have filled the role of adviser at court.  Only a single partial composition of Jórunn’s survives.  Two stanzas and three half-stanzas of Sendibítr (“Biting message”) were recorded by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson approximately 300 years after the initial composition.  

Jórunn skáldamaer, 10th century

Art by Mikaela Bergquist (tumblr)

Jórunn skáldmær (Jórunn the poet-maiden) was a Norwegian skáld.  Like the bards of Celtic courts, skálds were employed by Scandinavian and Icelandic nobles to compose complicated verse in praise of their patron.  Skálds also often served as advisers

Jórunn is the only known named female skáld who seems to have filled the role of adviser at court.  Only a single partial composition of Jórunn’s survives.  Two stanzas and three half-stanzas of Sendibítr (“Biting message”) were recorded by the Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson approximately 300 years after the initial composition.  

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians
Art by Mariel Black (tumblr, website, blog, twitter)
Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred, King of Wessex, and the wife of Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians.  Mercia was an independently ruled subkingdom of Wessex and the two stood together in opposition to the Viking invasions of England.
Æthelflæd wielded political power during her marriage and after the death of her husband In 911, she became the leader of the Mercians.  Æthelflæd worked with her brother Edward of Wessex to reconquer parts of England controlled by the Danes. She personally led Merican troops in successful conquests of Derby and Leicester.  Æthelflæd also built a series of thirteen fortresses across Merica from Warwick to Runcorn to Chirbury. 
Æthelflæd died in 918 and she was briefly succeeded by her daughter Ælfwynn until Edward deposed her and took control of Mercia.
How to pronounce Æthelflæd

Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians

Art by Mariel Black (tumblr, website, blog, twitter)

Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred, King of Wessex, and the wife of Æthelred, Lord of the Mercians.  Mercia was an independently ruled subkingdom of Wessex and the two stood together in opposition to the Viking invasions of England.

Æthelflæd wielded political power during her marriage and after the death of her husband In 911, she became the leader of the Mercians.  Æthelflæd worked with her brother Edward of Wessex to reconquer parts of England controlled by the Danes. She personally led Merican troops in successful conquests of Derby and Leicester.  Æthelflæd also built a series of thirteen fortresses across Merica from Warwick to Runcorn to Chirbury. 

Æthelflæd died in 918 and she was briefly succeeded by her daughter Ælfwynn until Edward deposed her and took control of Mercia.

How to pronounce Æthelflæd

Irene of Athens (circa 752-803)
Art by Annie Wilkinson (tumblr)
After the death of her husband Leo IV in 780, Irene ruled the Byzantine Empire as regent for her son Constantine VI.  Almost immediately Irene’s rule was challenged by her husband’s brother. She thwarted the attempt by forcibly ordaining her brother-in-law as a priest which removed him from the line of succession. 
As empress regent, Irene had a major impact on the Eastern Orthodox Church.  In 787 Irene convened the Second Council of Nicaea which revived the veneration of icons (banned by the Eastern Orthodox Church in 730) and reunited the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church.
As Constantine matured, he began to resent his mother’s control.  Between 790 and 797 Constantine attempted to overthrow Irene, but he was an ineffective leader.  In 797 Irene deposed and blinded her only child.  She ruled alone until 802 when she was overthrown by her finance minister Nikephoros.  Irene died in exile a year later.

Irene of Athens (circa 752-803)

Art by Annie Wilkinson (tumblr)

After the death of her husband Leo IV in 780, Irene ruled the Byzantine Empire as regent for her son Constantine VI.  Almost immediately Irene’s rule was challenged by her husband’s brother. She thwarted the attempt by forcibly ordaining her brother-in-law as a priest which removed him from the line of succession. 

As empress regent, Irene had a major impact on the Eastern Orthodox Church.  In 787 Irene convened the Second Council of Nicaea which revived the veneration of icons (banned by the Eastern Orthodox Church in 730) and reunited the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church.

As Constantine matured, he began to resent his mother’s control.  Between 790 and 797 Constantine attempted to overthrow Irene, but he was an ineffective leader.  In 797 Irene deposed and blinded her only child.  She ruled alone until 802 when she was overthrown by her finance minister Nikephoros.  Irene died in exile a year later.

wilsonlibunc:

“The Girl Reserves of the Y.W.C.A." Published by the U.S. Committee on Public Information, Division of Pictorial Publicity, ca, 1914-1918. From the Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, via Documenting the American South, North Carolinians and the Great War.

wilsonlibunc:

The Girl Reserves of the Y.W.C.A." Published by the U.S. Committee on Public Information, Division of Pictorial Publicity, ca, 1914-1918. From the Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, via Documenting the American South, North Carolinians and the Great War.

Comtessa de Dia, 12th century
Art by Abi Plantainfish (tumblr)
Comtessa de Dia, also known as Beatriz de Dia, was a trobairitz or female troubadour.  Troubadours were medieval poet-musicians from Occitania, a region encompassing southern France as well as parts of Italy and Spain.  Troubadours composed secular ballads in Occitan, a Romance language native to the area.  Their poems could be intellectual, humorous, and even vulgar, but most focused on courtly love.
A short biographical sketch from the 13th century reads “The Countess of Dia was the wife of Lord Guillem de Poitou, a beautiful and good lady.  And she fell in love with Lord Raimbaut d’Aurenga [brother of the trobairitz Tibors de Sarenom] and composed many good songs about him.”  This biography is difficult to match to the historical record as Guillem de Poitou was not the Count of Dia.  The Count of Dia did have two daughters who could have been referred to as the Countess of Dia, but they reached adulthood after the death of Raimbaut d’Aurenga.  Various alternatives have been suggested for the husband and lover of the trobairitz Comtessa de Dia, but the only agreed upon information is that she was a married noblewoman in love with another troubadour.
A total of four poems written by the Comtessa survive, a low number when compared to Raimbaut d’Aurenga’s forty poems, but such a lack of surviving manuscripts is not unusual for the period. Only ten troubadour cansos survive with their music intact and the Comtessa’s A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria is the lone surviving example written by a woman. Numerous recordings of A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria are available on youtube. 
Although there is very little information available on the life of Beatriz de Dia, she inspired a novel by the East German writer Irmtraud Morgner.  The original title of the novel is Leben und Abenteuer der Trobadora Beatriz nach Zeugnissen ihrer Spielfrau Laura.  The book is available in English under the title The Life and Adventures of Trobadora Beatrice as Chronicled by Her Minstrel Laura.

Comtessa de Dia, 12th century

Art by Abi Plantainfish (tumblr)

Comtessa de Dia, also known as Beatriz de Dia, was a trobairitz or female troubadour.  Troubadours were medieval poet-musicians from Occitania, a region encompassing southern France as well as parts of Italy and Spain.  Troubadours composed secular ballads in Occitan, a Romance language native to the area.  Their poems could be intellectual, humorous, and even vulgar, but most focused on courtly love.

A short biographical sketch from the 13th century reads “The Countess of Dia was the wife of Lord Guillem de Poitou, a beautiful and good lady.  And she fell in love with Lord Raimbaut d’Aurenga [brother of the trobairitz Tibors de Sarenomand composed many good songs about him.”  This biography is difficult to match to the historical record as Guillem de Poitou was not the Count of Dia.  The Count of Dia did have two daughters who could have been referred to as the Countess of Dia, but they reached adulthood after the death of Raimbaut d’Aurenga.  Various alternatives have been suggested for the husband and lover of the trobairitz Comtessa de Dia, but the only agreed upon information is that she was a married noblewoman in love with another troubadour.

A total of four poems written by the Comtessa survive, a low number when compared to Raimbaut d’Aurenga’s forty poems, but such a lack of surviving manuscripts is not unusual for the period. Only ten troubadour cansos survive with their music intact and the Comtessa’s A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria is the lone surviving example written by a woman. Numerous recordings of A chantar m’er de so qu’eu no volria are available on youtube. 

Although there is very little information available on the life of Beatriz de Dia, she inspired a novel by the East German writer Irmtraud Morgner.  The original title of the novel is Leben und Abenteuer der Trobadora Beatriz nach Zeugnissen ihrer Spielfrau Laura.  The book is available in English under the title The Life and Adventures of Trobadora Beatrice as Chronicled by Her Minstrel Laura.

Jadwiga of Poland (1373/4-1399)
Art by Aonasis (tumblr)
Jadwiga was the daughter of Elizabeth of Bosnia and Louis the Great of Hungary.  At the age of ten, she was crowned King of Poland.  Jadwiga was crowned king rather than queen because although Polish law had no provision for a queen regent, the law did not state a king must be male.
In 1386, Jadwiga married Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania, uniting the two regions.  Prior to their marriage, Lithuania was the last pagan state in Europe.  As part of the marriage agreement, Jogaila was baptized as a Roman Catholic and took the name Władysław.  Mass baptisms and church building followed across Lithuania.  In 1389, Pope Urban VI recognized Lithuania as a Roman Catholic country, although paganism continued among the common people for decades.
Władysław and Jadwiga were co-regents, but Władysław is believed to have overseen most of the political responsibilities with two notable exceptions.  In 1387, Jadwiga led a successful, mostly peaceful campaign to recover the province of Halych from Hungary.  In 1390, she personally negotiated with the Teutonic Order for a cessation of hostilities, although the problem was not fully resolved until 1410.
Jadwiga focused most of her efforts on cultural and charitable works.  She donated all of her jewelry to the failing Kraków Academy, Poland’s first university which was then only 35 years old.  Thanks in part to this generous donation, the university flourished and set up Europe’s first independent chairs in mathematics and astronomy.  Today Kraków Academy is known as Jagiellonian University in honor of the royal couple.
On June 22, 1399 Jadwiga delivered her only child, a daughter named Elizabeth Bonifacia.  Both mother and child died within a month.  The two were buried in a single casket at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków.  Although Jadwiga’s death undermined Jogaila’s position as King of Poland, he retained the throne until his death 35 years later at which point his son by his second wife took power.   
Jadwiga was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1997.  She is the patron saint of queens.

Jadwiga of Poland (1373/4-1399)

Art by Aonasis (tumblr)

Jadwiga was the daughter of Elizabeth of Bosnia and Louis the Great of Hungary.  At the age of ten, she was crowned King of Poland.  Jadwiga was crowned king rather than queen because although Polish law had no provision for a queen regent, the law did not state a king must be male.

In 1386, Jadwiga married Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania, uniting the two regions.  Prior to their marriage, Lithuania was the last pagan state in Europe.  As part of the marriage agreement, Jogaila was baptized as a Roman Catholic and took the name Władysław.  Mass baptisms and church building followed across Lithuania.  In 1389, Pope Urban VI recognized Lithuania as a Roman Catholic country, although paganism continued among the common people for decades.

Władysław and Jadwiga were co-regents, but Władysław is believed to have overseen most of the political responsibilities with two notable exceptions.  In 1387, Jadwiga led a successful, mostly peaceful campaign to recover the province of Halych from Hungary.  In 1390, she personally negotiated with the Teutonic Order for a cessation of hostilities, although the problem was not fully resolved until 1410.

Jadwiga focused most of her efforts on cultural and charitable works.  She donated all of her jewelry to the failing Kraków Academy, Poland’s first university which was then only 35 years old.  Thanks in part to this generous donation, the university flourished and set up Europe’s first independent chairs in mathematics and astronomy.  Today Kraków Academy is known as Jagiellonian University in honor of the royal couple.

On June 22, 1399 Jadwiga delivered her only child, a daughter named Elizabeth Bonifacia.  Both mother and child died within a month.  The two were buried in a single casket at Wawel Cathedral in Kraków.  Although Jadwiga’s death undermined Jogaila’s position as King of Poland, he retained the throne until his death 35 years later at which point his son by his second wife took power.   

Jadwiga was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1997.  She is the patron saint of queens.