Studying references and writings in over 900 personal letters, an unparalleled source, this book presents a rounded and intriguing account of the three women who, until now, have only survived as secondary figures to Cicero.

In a field where little is really known about Cicero’s family, Susan Treggiari creates a history for these figures who, through history, have not had voices of their own, and a vivid impression of the everyday life upper-class Roman women in Italy had during the heyday of Roman power.

Artfully assembling a rounded picture of their personalities and experiences, Treggiari reconstructs the lives of these three important women:

  • Cicero’s first wife Terentia: a strong, tempestuous woman of status and fortune, with an implacable desire to retain control of both
  • his second wife Publilia: shadowy and mysterious, the young submissive who Cicero wedded to compensate for her predecessor’s steely resolve and fiery temper
  • his daughter Tullia.

Including illustrations, chronological charts, maps and glossaries, this book is essential reading for students wishing to get better acquainted with the women of ancient Rome.

chapter 1|12 pages

The rank into which they were born

chapter 2|9 pages

The world into which they were born

chapter 3|8 pages

Cicero: From eques to consul

chapter 4|10 pages

Terentia: The young wife

chapter 5|16 pages

The life of mother and daughter

chapter 6|15 pages

Living through disaster

chapter 7|12 pages


chapter 8|17 pages

Finding the right man

chapter 9|18 pages

Public and private quarrels

chapter 11|12 pages

Death and survival

chapter 12|10 pages