Tullia – the beloved daughter of an eminent Roman speaker and politician, Cicero – was born in 79 or 78 BCE. She was the first child and the only daughter of Cicero and Terentia. Her younger brother was Marcus Tullius Cicero Minor – who became a consul in 30 BCE.
The main source of information about the life of Tullia is Plutarch and his biography of Cicero and letters that Cicero sent, among others to his wife and friend Atticus.
Tullia was engaged in 66 BCE. with Gaius Calupurnius Piso Fruga, with whom she got married in 63 when they were both about the same age – 15/16. Piso died in 57 BCE, after which Tullia married Furius Crassipes. Their relationship was happy, but for unknown reasons, a divorce occurred in 51 BCE.
During the civil war (49-45 BC) , Tullia visited her father in Brundisium, who in the letters complained that Terenia had not equipped her daughter with sufficient money and escort journey.
In 50 BCE Tullia married Publius Cornelius Dolabella, with whom she had two children. The first son was born in May 49 BCE. and he died the same year. The second was born in February 45 BCE. and survived. However, complications that arose during childbirth led to the death of Tullia.
Cicero survived his daughter’s death very much, which can be seen especially in his letters. His second wife – Publilia – jealous of her daughter, sent too dry sympathy, which outraged Cicero and led to divorce. Plutarch describes it very well:
His friends came together from all quarters to comfort Cicero; but his grief at his misfortune was excessive, so that he actually divorced the wife he had wedded, because she was thought to be pleased at the death of Tullia.
– Plutarch, Cicero, XLI