Claudia Tisamenis

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Claudia Tisamenis was a Greek Aristocratic woman that lived in the 2nd century in the Roman Empire

Ancestry and Family[edit]

Tisamenis was of Athenian descent. Her ancestry can be traceable to the Athenian noble woman Elpinice (a half sister of statesman Cimon and daughter of politician Miltiades the Younger).[1] She had an ancestor four generations removed from her called Polycharmus. Polycharmus from 9/8 BC-22/23, could have served as an Archon of Athens.[2] Her family bears the Roman family name, Claudius. There is a possibility that a paternal ancestor of hers, received Roman citizenship, from an unknown member of the Claudius gens.

Tisamenis was born to a distinguished and very rich family of consular rank.[3] She was the daughter of Roman Senator Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes and the wealthy heiress Vibullia Alcia Agrippina.[1][4] Tisamenis had two brothers: the prominent Greek Sophist Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes and Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodianus.[1] Her maternal grandparents were Claudia Alcia and Lucius Vibullius Rufus, while her paternal grandfather was Hipparchus and his unnamed wife.[4]

Her parents are related and are uncle and niece.[4] Her maternal grandmother with her father is sister and brother.[4] Her maternal uncle Lucius Vibullius Hipparchus was an Archon of Athens in the years 99-100 [4][5] and her maternal cousin, Publius Aelius Vibullius Rufus was an Archon of Athens between 143-144.[4][5]


According to the French Historian Christian Settipani, Tisamenis was born about ca. 100 [6] in an unknown place in Greece. She spent her childhood travelling between Greece and Italy. Modern Historians have argued that Tisamenis could have married a Greek Aristocratic in Sparta from the Achaea Province.[7] The name of Tisamenis has been found as a testamentary disposition on an erection of a family statue-group in her marital home-city.[7] According to Settipani, Tisamenis married an unnamed Roman Aristocrat, by whom she had a daughter called Claudia (b. ca 120),[6] who might have been the mother of Roman Emperor Gordian I.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Pomeroy, The murder of Regilla: a case of domestic violence in antiquity
  2. ^ Day, An economic history of Athens under Roman domination p. 238
  3. ^ Wilson, Herodes Atticus, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece p.p. 349-350
  4. ^ a b c d e f Graindor, Un milliardaire antique p. 29
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b c fr:Continuité gentilice et continuité sénatoriale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque impériale (Christian Settipani)|Continuité gentilice et continuité sénatoriale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque impériale, 2000
  7. ^ a b Cartledge, Hellenistic and Roman Sparta: a tale of two cities p. 175