Biography of Antonia Clementina (s. II)

Person matron, born and died in unknown locations and date (although it is very likely that it was natural of the ancient Tarraco - current Tarragona-city he lived throughout his life and that have been the remnants that have transmitted data which are known about it until today). Indeed, the interpretation of the epitaph engraved on his tomb shows that Antonia Clementina was a powerful and influential, belonging to a wealthy family woman and - what constitutes the greater sign of their wealth and power-holder of slaves.

The above tomb of Antonia Clementina was located in the vicinity of the ancient Tarraco, capital of the province of Hispania Citerior, so it can be deduced that she was originally from Tarragona, city in which all the characters bearing the name of Antonio or Antonia were linked to high social, political and economic spheres. Other details that affect the wealth of Antonia Clementina is its possession of a garden or orchard on the outskirts of the city, sign of ostentation in the well-to-do of the time. But the most significant detail is that, despite having been married (according to the inscriptions found, with a such Flavo Rufio Publius of the other data that these names are not known), Antonio Clementina retained to its name all his wealth, to the extent that, at the time of his death, owned four slaves who, by testamentary dispositionThere were at that point released. Her husband, who survived the disappearance of this powerful matron, was in charge of enforcing the will of Antonia Clementina, via which acquired the status of Freedmen Marulo, Helena, Tertulina and Antroclo, the servants of a person lady who remembered them so far as collecting their names in his own will.

In addition, the wishes expressed by Antonia Clementina on their testamentary provisions included the of being buried in the aforementioned garden he owned in the outskirts of the capital. To ensure the preservation of the reservoir of his mortal remains, the matron bequeathed in perpetuity this garden mentioned slaves in freedom, with the express requirement that they transmit it, in turn, to their own offspring or, failing that, to the possible free slaves who could leave after his death. Thanks to provisions such as those left by Antonia Clementina may currently know many details about the relationships between owners, slaves and Freedmen of the Roman Hispania. Thus, should be noted firstly that entrust the care and conservation of the Tomb to the free slaves was a frequent practice among the great lords, who were urging their Freedmen a series of obligations that could even perpetuate itself - as it is expressly in the case that concerns us - among the offspring of these freed slaves. In fact, this links conservation obeyed that slaves were considered, in most cases, members of families of their masters, which in turn explains that, manumisos once, almost all of them adopted the family name who had granted them freedom.

Regarding the specific case of Antonia Clementina, note also the detail - very significant to know the role of women in the Roman Hispania - from that freely express their wills without subjecting them to the approval of a guardian, as it seems to be that it required the law. Indeed, women could be owners of slaves and sell them or manumit them freely, but provided that these acts were represented by a guardian. Apparently some women - over all, those belonging to wealthy and from classes, in turn, of families supported by the economic and social prestige - had reached a certain degree of independence with respect to these legal requirements, because neither in the case of the testament of Antonia Clementina or in other similar documents mentioned the figure of the tutor tosupposedly, had to make on their behalf the operations and purchasing, sale, assignment or Manumission.

Moreover, as very well observed María Dolores voyeur Pérez, one of the researchers who has been engaged in the study of this period, with greater dedication with the express prohibition that was sold his tomb Antonia Clementina intended to ensure not only that this property happened "to foreign hands, but also that the estate was divided and eventually funeral monument remain without direct access to the public via"as it was common in Rome, the tombs were in the ways of access to cities, and always outside of the urban area. The terrain of a tomb was also religious ground, because there was the cult of the dead in the family"(vid., infra,"Bibliography").


Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, II, 4332 (Berlin, 1871 [Supplement 1900]).

VOYEUR PÉREZ, María Dolores. "Antonia Clementina": women in the history of Spain (Madrid: planet, 200), pp. 19-21.

ORS PEREZ-PEIX, Álvaro d'. Legal epigraphy of the Roman Spain (Madrid: Instituto Nacional de Estudios jurídicos, 1953).