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Contributor Contrib.anonymous on 6/25/2009
Feminine form of Novello, an Italian nickname and personal name meaning "new, young" (derived from Latin novellus "new, young, recent", diminutive of novus "new" (see Nova). "As a nickname it may have denoted a newcomer to an area, from a diminutive of nuovo "new", or been used to distinguish the younger of two bearers of the same personal name in the same family; as a personal name it may have been bestowed on the youngest child." This name was borne by 14th-century Italian legal scholar Novella d'Andrea, who taught law at the University of Bologna.This Novella d'Andrea is also a prominent figure in Le Livre de la cité des dames (The Book of the City of Ladies in English), published in 1405 by Italian-French late medieval author Christine de Pizan, which some modern-day scholars consider one of the West's first "protofeminist" writings.