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Agostino Strozzi

(ca. 1450- after 1505)
Agostino Strozzi

An Augustinian clergyman, Strozzi is considered one of the first Italian-language philosophical authors of the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The data that are known about his life are rather scarce. He was born in the Mantua branch of the exiled Strozzi family from Florence, his birth name was Carlo, a common name in the family, which makes it difficult to trace him when he was young. Apparently, he studied at the University of Ferrara, although it is unknown at what time, but it is known that it was sometime in the 1470s. However, in recent studies, this information is questioned as just a conjecture. In any case, his stay at the University had to be before he became an Augustinian prior in Mantua and, later, an abbot in Fiesole.

His best-known work, Defensione delle donne, written at the end of the 15th century, was commissioned by his cousin Margherita Cantelmo (ca.1474-1532), who belonged to an influential Mantuan family, with whom he had a deep friendship.

Among other issues, in Defensione delle donne, Strozzi will defend the intellectual capacity and courage of women, two fundamental issues in the debate on the Women's Complaint. The work was published for the first time in 1876 as a text by unknown author.