Tutela – guardian, protector

Tutela was the ancient Roman concept of “guardianship”, conceived of as a goddess in the Imperial period. Under Roman law, there were several forms of tutela (“guardianship” or “tutelage”), mainly for people such as minors and women.

Latin legal terminology distinguishes among several types of tutela, including:

  • tutela fiduciaria, fiduciary guardianship.
  • tutela impuberum, guardianship for minors who were emancipated from the legal control (potestas) of a paterfamilias or head of household.
  • tutela mulierum, guardianship of emanicipated women, generally those whose fathers had died.

Gallo-Roman statue of Tutela with attributes of Fortuna (from Vienne, Isère)

Silver statuette of the Gallo-Roman goddess Tutela with a cornucopia and the mural crown worn by the protectress of a city.