Arrecina Tertulla

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Arrecina Tertulla from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Arrecina Tertulla (died in 62 or 63) was a Roman woman that lived in the 1st century. She came from obscure origins and her family were of Equestrian rank.

Tertulla’s father was called Marcus Arrecinus Clemens. Clemens was an honourable Praetorian Prefect who served in 38 A.D. in the reign of Emperor Caligula. Tertulla’s mother could have been named Julia and she had a brother called Marcus Arrecinus Clemens, who also served as a Praetorian Prefect in 70 under the Emperor Vespasian.

Her cognomen Tertulla, is a nickname for the female cognomen Tertia. Tertia in Latin means “the third daughter”. A Roman woman who was nicknamed as “Tertulla” was Junia Tertia, a half-sister of Roman Republican Politician Marcus Junius Brutus. There is a possibility that Tertulla would be related to the paternal side of Vespasian's family. Vespasian’s paternal grandmother bore the cognomen Tertulla.

Very little is known of Tertulla’s family and her life. In 62, Tertulla married the future Emperor Titus, who was Vespasian’s first son. This marriage could have been arranged by the fathers of Tertulla and Titus, to promote Titus’ political and military career - and to provide financial relief from the debt incurred by Vespasian’s proconsulship. Unfortunately this marriage didn’t last, as sometime after the marriage Tertulla died. Titus and Tertulla didn’t have any children. In 63, Titus married for the second time to Marcia Furnilla.


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