Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus

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Proculus Verginius Tricostus Rutilus
Consul of the Roman Republic
Reign 471 BC, 468 BC, 465 BC, 446 BC, 443 BC, and 439 BC

Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus was a Roman statesman and general who served as Consul in 471 BC, 468 BC, 465 BC, 446 BC, 443 BC and 439 BC. Titus Quinctius was a member of the gens Quinctia, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome.

He was the son of Lucius Quinctius and grandson of Lucius Quinctius. His full name was Titus Quinctius L.f. L.n. Capitolinus Barbatus. He was possibly the brother of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who was suffectus consul and dictator in 460 BC, 458 BC and 439 BC. His son, who bore the same name, Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus, was elected consul in 421 BC and possibly was military tribune with consular power in 405 BC.

According to Livy, Titus Quinctius was still alive in 423 BC aged 90 years.


First Consulship[edit]

In 471 BC Titus Quinctius was elected consul with Appius Claudius Sabinus as his colleague . The latter was chosen by the Senate because of his uncompromising character as well as his father's hostility towards the plebs. Appius was expected to lead the fight against the bill proposed by the tribune of the plebs, Publilius Volero, who wanted to introduce the election of the tribunes of the plebs by the Tribal Assembly, tribe by tribe, thus excluding the vote of the patricians and their clients. If the law was ratified, the tribunes could gain greater political independence from the patricians and thus prevent them from influencing their selection and their actions. After the turmoil in 473 BC caused by the blockage of an agrarian law since 486 BC and the death of a tribune who attempted to bring to justice former consuls, there was more unrest among the Roman people. The consul Titus Quinctius becomes a peacemaker, unlike Appius who strongly opposes the tribunes. Titus Quinctius just manages to calm the crowd by adopting a more concilitory approach. He forces Appius to retreat into the Curia Hostilia. There the senators urge Appius to abandon his intransigent attitude because it could lead to serious civil unrest. Isolated and deprived of political support, Appius can do nothing else than allow the vote. The law, Lex Publilia Voleronis, is finally proclaimed .

Recognizing that political turmoil had weakened Rome, the Volsci and Aequi conduct raids on Roman territory. Titus Quinctius is given command against the Aequi while Appius is head of the army sent against the Volscians. Appius struggles to maintain order in the ranks of his army and uses decimation to restore discipline. In contrast, the campaign against the Aequi proceeds without dissension between the Titus Qinctius and his army. The Aequi are forced to give up territory to the Romans. Titus Qinctius passes all the captured loot to his men and returns to Rome victorious, as well as having succeeded in reconciling the plebs and the Senate.

Second Consulship[edit]

In 468 BC, the plebeians and patricians are still fighting each other over reforms to agrarian laws, with the people refusing to take part in the consular elections. The patricians and their clients elect Titus Quinctius for a second time with Quintus Servilius Priscus Structus as his colleague. Once again a war erupts which requires the mobilization of the people, temporarily putting an end to the internal strife. The Sabines march on Rome, while the Volscians stir once more. Quintus Servilius Priscus pushes back the Sabines while Titus Quinctius leads his men against the Volscians.

Titus Quinctius follows a clever strategy that allows him to avoid defeat because of the numerical inferiority of his army. During the battle the Romans repel the first enemy line before facing the bulk of the opposing army positioned on a hill. Titus Quinctius hesitates, but his men are impatient and finally he gives the order to attack. The Volscians, supported by the Aequi, easily push back the first Roman ranks who then flee. Titus Quinctius courageously leads his men to reach the top of the hill, pushing the enemy back to their camp which the Romans capture. Titus Quinctius is victorious and pushes his advantage by leading his army towards Antium, the capital of the Volsci. The city surrenders after a short siege, as the Volsci are unable to withstand the Romans after their recent defeat. Titus Quinctius returns to Rome and celebrates a triumph.

Establishment of a colony at Antium[edit]

In 467 BC, the two elected consuls, Tiberius Aemilius Mamercinus and Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, face new tensions over the agrarian question. The tribunes of the plebs denounce the rich patricians who monopolized public lands and demand fairer land distribution.

To avoid a new internal crisis, the consul Mamercinus proposes to establish a Roman colony at Antium, the Volscian city recently captured by the Romans and located on the coast. Titus Quinctius, Aulus Verginius Tricostus Caeliomontanus and Publius Furius Medullinus Fusus are appointed to distribute the land and assign it to volunteer settlers. According to Livy, there are very few volunteers and so Volscians are added to the volunteers who establish the Roman colony of Antium.

Third Consulship[edit]

In 465 BC, Titus Quinctius is elected consul for the third time. His fellow consul Quintus Fabius Vibulanus sends an embassy which fail to negotiate a peace. The consuls then face the Aequi and defeat them near Mount Algidus. The Aequi, vanquished, change tactics and soon launch raids on Roman territory to plunder and ravage, causing fear among the Romans that the conflict has become bogged down. In Rome, Titus Quinctius reassures the people and takes up arms to deal with looters. The same year, Titus Quinctius organizes a census.


The following year, consuls Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis and Spurius Furius Fusus Medullinus lead two separate campaigns against the Aequi and their allies who are preparing once again for war. Fusus is defeated in Hernici territory and his camp is besieged. In Rome, the Senate gives Titus Quinctius proconsular powers with the mission to rescue the besieged consul, at the head of an army of allies and Latin Hernici and settlers from Antium. In the besieged camp, the Romans are cornered and the consul is wounded. Titus Quinctius arrives with his army and attacks the Aequi from behind while the consul's army, in a last effort, find a way out of the siege. The Romans then encircle and defeat their enemies.

Fourth Consulship[edit]

In 446 BC, Titus Quinctius was elected consul for the fourth time alongside Agrippa Furius Fusus.

After the fall of despotic Decemvirs, internal sedition broke out again. The Aequi and Volsci, taking advantage once more of the instability of the Roman political situation, ravage Latium unopposed. Titus Quinctius then addresses the people noting the critical discord between the patricians and the plebeians and the fact that the people refuse to take up arms when the enemy is at the gates, preferring instead to attack the patricians. His speech has quite an effect on the people. The two consuls are then able to gather an army as the people are willing to be mobilized to fight the invaders. Agrippa Furius Fusus hands over the supreme command to Titus Quinctius, only keeping command of a part of the army. The Roman army manages to repulse the invading Aequi and Volscians and then take the enemy camp and gather a large booty, part of which was the result of the Aequi and Volscians' earlier looting of Latium.

During the same year, the consuls were retained by the inhabitants of two Latin cities, Ardea and Aricia, to mediate a territorial dispute.

Fifth Consulship[edit]

In 443 BC, together with Marcus Geganius Macerinus, Titus Quinctius was elected to his fifth consulship. While his colleague rescues the allied city of Ardea, plagued by civil war and besieged by the Volscians, Titus Quinctius maintains harmony in Rome. The Senate and the Roman people have such respect for the consul that this is one of the first years for some time without strife in the city.

Sixth Consulship[edit]

Once again, in 439 BC Titus Quinctius is elected consul, this time with Menenius Agrippa Lanatus. A major famine rages in Rome at this time and a rich plebeian, Spurius Maelius, buys wheat with his personal fortune to feed the population. His popularity is such that he considers making himself king. In response to this threat, the consuls appoint Cincinnatus, now over 80 years old, as dictator once more. He chooses Caius Servilius Ahala as his master of the horse. According to tradition, he kills Spurius Maelius while he is resisting arrest, with the tacit agreement of the dictator. Immediately afterwords, Cincinnatus resigns as dictator and hands power back to the Senate.