Sempronia is the nomen of the Roman gens Sempronia. Men of the gens were named Sempronius, and women Sempronia. The Sempronii were an important family throughout the history of the Republic. Many of them held the highest offices of the state, and they were connected by marriage with many other important families, including the Cornelii Scipiones and the Licinii Crassi.
Many Roman women did not bear praenomina, and thus were referred to by their nomen alone, sometimes with nicknames to distinguish several sisters, or occasionally by nomen and cognomen. Several noteworthy women in Roman history were named Sempronia. They belonged to the branches, or stirpes, of the family known as the Sempronii Tuditani and Sempronii Gracchi, and thus could theoretically be referred to as Sempronia Tuditana and Sempronia Graccha. However, it was also possible to refer to them as Sempronia Tuditani, "Sempronia, daughter of Tuditanus", and Sempronia Gracchi, "Sempronia, daughter of Gracchus".
Sempronia, wife of Scipio Aemilianus
- Main article: Sempronia (sister of the Gracchi).
Sempronia (b. circa 170 B.C., fl. 101) was a Roman noblewoman living in the Middle and Late Roman Republic, who was most famous as the sister of the ill-fated Tiberius Gracchus (d. 133 B.C.) and Gaius Gracchus (d. 121 B.C.), and the wife of the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus, a staunch opponent of her brothers' reforms. Her mother was Cornelia, the daughter of Scipio Africanus; her husband was the adoptive son of her uncle, but in fact they were not related. Sempronia was alleged by some to have contrived her husband's sudden death, thereby avenging her brothers, but there is no real evidence of her guilt. She was also apparently the last surviving grandchild of Scipio Africanus, and the only one who had no issue.
Sempronia, mother of Fulvia
Sempronia (circa 123 - 63 B.C.) was the daughter of Sempronius Tuditanus, according to Cicero, who describes her father as a madman who was accustomed to throwing his money to the people from the Rostra. She married Marcus Fulvius Flaccus Bambalio. Their daughter, Fulvia, married the Roman politicians Publius Clodius Pulcher, Gaius Scribonius Curio and Marcus Antonius, all of them considered demagogues. Sempronia's husband was still alive when Fulvia was married to Clodius. Sempronia's grandchildren included Clodia Pulchra the first wife of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, afterwards the emperor Augustus; as well as two sons of Antonius, Marcus Antonius Antyllus, and Iullus Antonius.
Sempronia, wife of Decimus Junius Brutus
Sempronia was the wife of Decimus Junius Brutus, consul in 77 B.C. Sempronia was a distinguished, beautiful, accomplished, and passionate woman, who learned Greek and Latin. She could sing, play the lyre and dance. The historian Sallust states she was extremely fortunate in life, marriage, and children, yet had a profligate character. A woman like Sempronia shows a "new woman" in Rome, with interests, tastes and abilities that would become common in future Roman women. Sempronia and her ilk were a contrast to Roman women like Cornelia Africana and their values from the earlier Roman Republican Period. Without the knowledge or consent of her husband, she became involved in the conspiracy of Catiline. Their son was Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, one of Caesar's murderers.
Orelli supposes that this Sempronia may be the same woman who, according to Asconius, gave testimony at the trial of Titus Annius Milo in 52 B.C. This Sempronia was the daughter of a Sempronius Tuditanus, and supposedly the mother of Publius Clodius Pulcher, in whose death Milo was accused. However, as Clodius' wife was Fulvia, the daughter of Sempronia and granddaughter of Sempronius Tuditanus, it seems that she was not the same Sempronia who married Decimus Brutus, and that she was actually Clodius' mother-in-law.
Semproniae in Fiction
Sempronia is also mentioned in Charles Lamb's nineteenth-century essay on the fallacy, "That you must love me, and love my dog."
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
- Appianus, Bellum Civile, i. 20.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita Epitome, 59.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Milone, p. 283 (Schol. Bob.)
- Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, Tiberius Gracchus.
- Gaius Sallustius Crispus, The Conspiracy of Catiline, 25, 40.
- Quintus Asconius Pedianus, in Cic. Milon., p. 41, ed. Orelli.