Spartacus Series: All about Tertulla

14/09/2020

     Tertulla was the wife of Marcus Crassus and also, mother of Tiberius and was not that relevant in the Spartacus series. Who stood out the most was Kore, slave and lover of Crassus.


Tertulla in Spartacus:

     Tertulla is a wealthy Roman woman, wife of Marcus Licinius Crassus. She is also the mother of Tiberius and Publius. Tertulla has long, wavy blond hair and brown eyes. She wears the costume of an elite Roman citizen and wears a lot of jewelry in her appearance.

     Tertulla is an extravagant woman belonging to the elite of the Roman class. Although she has the typical Roman arrogance, she deeply loves her family and is often disturbed by her husband's constant attention to work as opposed to attention to her.

     She also seems to have contempt, even jealousy, for Kore, her husband's attractive slave woman, due to how tall he holds her. Despite this, after Kore was seduced by Caesar in Wolves At The Gate, Tertulla showed a more "motherly" side to Kore.

War of the Damned:

     When Crassus raises his army, Tertulla tries to persuade him to give his son Tiberius the position of Tribune. Crassus rejects her offer, saying that Tiberius is not ready to take the command title and that he must win it by proving to be a soldier in the field. It is evident that Crassus prefers the company of his corporal slave, Kore, to his wife, and although she may be jealous, Tertula is too proud to do anything.

     Later, she talks to her son, Tiberius and tells him not to show any doubts in the next campaign and to prove that he is worthy of a command as she believes him to be. He assures her that he will prove himself.

     As the preparations are completed, Tertulla, very bold, starts to pack - she has numerous large wooden crates full of her belongings so that she can be well taken care of, as she believes she will be joining her husband. Unfortunately, Crassus doesn't agree - he later asks Kore to join him.


Historical Context:

     Much is known or speculated about the historic wife of Crassus, known as Tertulla. She was the only known daughter of Consul Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus. Since "Tertulla" (or Tertia) was a name given to the third oldest daughter, she probably had two older sisters (both of whom may not have survived to adulthood), as well as possibly bearing the name Terentia Varra along with his two sisters, thus becoming Terentia Varra-Tertulla, or Tertia. His date of birth is also unknown. 

     Given that his father was born around 116 BC, and the legal marriage age for boys was at least 14, Tertulla's birth date would be 102 BC to 100 BC Tertulla was known to have been married to Publius , Crassus' older brother, who died during the winter of 87-86 BC, alongside his father Publius Licinius Crassus Dives. 

     With the legal age of consent for young women in Rome being 12 years old, Tertulla and her first husband Publius were married in 90-88 BC. After the Social War ended in 88 BC, Tertulla married Marco Crassus sometime between 88-87 BC. She had two children with Crassus, Marco and Publius. It is not known whether Marco or Publius was the eldest son, since Marcus would have been born between 86-85 BC, and Publius' date of birth was recorded as being between 86-82 BC.

     It is assumed that Tiberius is a substitute for Marcus, and has had his name changed to avoid confusion with his father. However, his son Marcus is registered as born in 86-85 BC, making him too young to serve in his father's legions in the Third Servile War, being only 15 or 14 years old during the rebellion.

     Tertulla would later become the mother-in-law of Cornelia Metella (the last fifth wife of Pompeu Magnus), who married her son Publius, and Caecilia Metella, who married her son Marcus. Tertulla became the grandmother of Marcus' only known son, also called Marcus Licinius Crassus, who served as consul in 30 BC.

     lthough his historic marriage was a happy one, despite Tertulla's known cases with other men, including Caesar, his marriage in the series is portrayed as slightly negative. Historically, Tertulla has had his reputation repeatedly tarnished by people like Cicero, who used to joke that Publius, or Crassus' eldest son, Marco, looked more like a certain Quintus Axius, a friend of the family, than Crassus, implying that Tertulla he was another man's boring son.

     Despite this, Crassus remained married to Tertulla. Marrying Varro Lúculo's daughter would have won him favor, and allowing her to continue her affair with Caesar could have strengthened Crassus' political friendship with him. As a Roman matron and wife of the richest man in the Republic, Tertulla used to hold meetings and social occasions in the towns and properties of Crassus, of which he would have many, perhaps allowing her to stand out from most of the other matrons and noble women in the city.

     It is not known what life Tertulla led after Crassus was killed during the Parthian War in 53 BC (if she had not already died before 53 BC), but it can be assumed that she led a comfortable life on one of Crassus' various properties. in or around Rome.A

TRIVIA:

  • Tertulla means "the third daughter".
  • Tertulla may have been born in Patrícia Gens Atillia.
  • The Latin word for wife is Uxor. 'Wife' would be Coniunx.
  • The Latin word for mother is Mater (her relationship with Tiberius and Publius Crassus).
  • Tertulia is the only historical figure of the woman shown on the show; Cornelia, Caesar's wife, is mentioned in Blood and Sand and in War of The Damned.