Lubna of Cordoba

Lubna of Córdoba;

was an Andalusian intellectual and mathematician of the second half of the 10th century famous for her knowledge of grammar and the quality of her poetry. Originally a slave girl of Spanish origin, she later became the secretary of the Caliph of Córdoba, Al-Hakam II, a great defender of culture.

In the library of Córdoba, Lubna was in charge of playing, writing, and translating many manuscripts. Along with Hasdai ibn Shaprut, she was the driving force behind the creation of the famous library of Medina Azahara, which was home to more than 500,000 books.

The writer Kamila Shamsie claims that Lubna might have been two different women, Lubna and Fatima – combined into one woman because the historian responsible could not comprehend that there were two female intellectuals at the same court.

According to Arab chronicles, in the time of Caliph Al-Hakam II, more than 170 literate women could be found in some suburbs of the city; these women were responsible for making copies of valuable manuscripts. This gives an idea of the culture and the role of women during the reign of the Caliph.