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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Tanaquil

Legendary, reputed to have flourished circa 650 B.C.E., ancient Rome

Tanaquil was the wife of Lucomo Tarquinius, the legendary fifth king of ancient Rome who Tanaquil helped to maneuver into the position after interpreting the actions of a bird as a sign that God wanted him to become king. Before settling in Rome, Tanaquil, the daughter of an aristocratic Etruscan family, had been famous as a prophet. After her husband was murdered, Tanaquil was influential in putting Tarquinius’ son-in-law on the throne instead of the men who had plotted her husband’s assassination.