The Dead Romans Society - Dads & daughters
- Tullia and Cicero: Tullia, or Tulliola, as Cicero affectionately used to call her, was Cicero’s beloved daughter. She is constantly mentioned in his letters to his family members and to Atticus, in which Cicero shows a deep heartfelt love for her and describes her as a sweet, good natured girl. When she died prematurely after a pregnancy in 45 BC he was devastated by the grief; in one of his letters to Atticus he wrote “I have lost the one thing that bound me to life”.
- Perilla and Ovid: One of the many elegiac epistles Ovid sends from his exile in Tomis is addressed to Perilla (Tristia 3.7), a girl Ovid had tutored since her childhood and a poetess. Ovid talks of her showing paternal affection (he uses, for example, expressions like “utque pater natae”, “(I’ve been to you) like a father to his daughter”), but it is unclear whether she was an actual adoptive daughter or just a particularly beloved pupil, most likely the daughter of a (woman) friend of his. What is clear is that Ovid deems her a very talented poet, and that to him she was as dear as a daugher, regardless of family bonds.
- Erotion and Martial: Some of the saddest epigrams by Martial (Ep. 5.34, 5.37 and 10.61) talk abouta little girl, most likely the child of some of the house servants, who died at the age of five. Although the poem is short, it sounds sincerely heartfelt.