A Woman to Know: Lubna of Cordoba

There was no one nobler in the Umayyad Palace. — historian Ibn Bashkvl

(Painting by Jose Luis Munoz)


Lubna was born a slave girl in 11th century Spain, within the royal court. But from an early age, she positioned herself in an important role: she organized the library. From there, she impressed the royals with her brilliant brain, earning her freedom and the title of "personal secretary." Along with more than 100 other women in the court, she began educating herself in calculus, languages and more -- ensconced among the library's 500,000 books, she began translating ancient texts, even writing her own poetry about life in the palace.

Before her death in 984, she achieved her ultimate dream: she set the library as a school, where both young boys and young girls would visit for her famously compelling lessons on math, philosophy and more.

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