Joana Vaz
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Joana Vaz

Joana Vaz (c. 1500–after 1570) was a Renaissance humanist and poet in the court of Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal.[1][2]

Catherine's court included a number of scholarly women, including Vaz, Catherine's cousin Maria, and the sisters Angela and Luisa Sigea de Velasco.[1] Vaz served as a maid of honour to Catherine and was reportedly director of the aula regia.[2] Vaz was fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and is reported to have written extensively in the first.[1] She served as a tutor to Catherine's cousin and to the princess, also called Maria.[3]

Vaz was clearly considered to be an authority by her contemporary scholars: the poet Francisco de Sá de Meneses referred to her as such in a letter,[4] and Pope Paul III was reported to have admired her writing.[1] The poet Clenardus described her as "elegantly trained in literature" and asked her to contribute a poem for the funeral of Erasmus.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Boxer, Charles Ralph (1981). João de Barros: Portuguese Humanist and Historian of Asia. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 17-18.
  2. ^ a b Stevenson, Jane (2005). Women Latin Poets: Language, Gender, and Authority, from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. p. 217. ISBN 9780198185024.
  3. ^ Walsby, Malcolm; Constantinidou, Natasha (2013). Documenting the Early Modern Book World: Inventories and Catalogues in Manuscript and Print. Brill. p. 102.
  4. ^ Sanz, Amelia; Scott, Francesca; van Dijk, Suzan (2014). Women Telling Nations. Rodopi. pp. 41-42. ISBN 9789401211123.
  5. ^ de Resende, André (1998). Poemata Latina. Translated by John R. C. Martyn. Edwin Mellen Press. p. 446. ISBN 9780773483316.

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