Italian Renaissance Figure
Venice and Bologna, Italy; France
As a child, I lived in Venice, Italy only a short time, where I was born in 1365. People often believe that I was born in Bologna, but that is a mistake (Christine de Pizan, Pinn.net). But due to my father’s occupation, (he was an astrologer who worked for the king in France) I spent the majority of my childhood in the French court (Christine de Pizan, Role Card 2.3A). My father and I spent many hours pouring over literature, mathematics, and the sciences because insisted I be educated.
My father, Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano (Christine de Pizan, Pinn.net), was a lecturer and physician. He gave his lectures in astrology at the university of Bologna. Soon after my birth, my father moved our family to the French court as the Court Astrologer (Christine de Pizan, Pinn.net). While in Paris, my father made sure, despite my mother’s opposition, to educate me in Greek, French, Italian, as well as Latin (Christine de Pizan, Xenophongroup.com). At court, I almost always had access to the amazing library.
At the age of 15 in 1380, I became a wife to Etienne du Castel (Christine de Pizan, Xenophongroup.com). My late husband was a scholar and court secretary. I believe I was very lucky with Etienne because he allowed me to continue with my studies (Christine de Pizan, Pinn.net). However, life became very difficult when the French king, Charles V died in 1380. My father’s job was gone and he received very little income until his death in 1387. As if that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, in 1390, at the age of 25, I became a widow when Etienne died of the plague. (Christine de Pizan, Pinn.net) (Christine de Pizan, Xenophongroup.com).
Though life became especially difficult, with having to support my mother and 3 children, I learned how to provide for my family. On some occasions, I was paid for my written work. On other times, I was paid to copy others’ works....