Quinctia (gens)

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The gens Quinctia, sometimes written Quintia, was a patrician family at Rome. Throughout the history of the Republic, its members often held the highest offices of the state, and it produced some men of importance even during the imperial period. For the first forty years after the expulsion of the kings the Quinctii are not mentioned, and the first of the gens who obtained the consulship was Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus in 471 BC; but from that year their name constantly appears in the Fasti consulares.[1][2][3]

As with other patrician families, in later times there were also plebeian Quinctii. Some of these may have been the descendants of freedmen of the gens, or of patrician Quinctii who had voluntarily gone over to the plebs. There may also have been unrelated persons who happened to share the same nomen.[1]

It is related that it was the custom in the Quinctia gens for even the women not to wear any ornaments of gold.[4]


The Quinctia gens was one of the Alban houses removed to Rome by Tullus Hostilius, and enrolled by him among the patricians. It was consequently one of the minores gentes. The nomen Quinctius is a patronymic surname based on the praenomen Quintus, which must have belonged to an ancestor of the gens. The spelling Quintius is common in later times, but Quinctius is the ancient and more correct form, which occurs on coins and in the Fasti Capitolini.[1][5]


The main praenomina used by the Quinctii were Lucius and Titus. The family also used the names Caeso, Gaius, Gnaeus, and Quintus. Other praenomina may have been used by the plebeian Quinctii.

Branches and cognomina[edit]

The three great patrician families of the Quinctia gens bore the cognomina Capitolinus, Cincinnatus, and Flamininus. Besides these we find Quinctii with the surnames Atta, Claudus, Crispinus, Hirpinus, Scapula, and Trogus. A few members of the gens bore no cognomen. The only surname that occurs on coins is that of Crispinus Sulpicianus, which is found on coins struck in the time of Augustus.[1][6]

The eldest branches of the gens, those that bore the surnames Capitolinus and Cincinnatus, may have sprung from two brothers, Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus, six times consul, and Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, twice dictator, two of the greatest men of their age. The Fasti show that both men were the son and grandson of Lucius, and the two were well acquainted with one another.[7]

The cognomen Capitolinus is derived from the Mons Capitolinus, or Capitoline Hill, one of the famous seven hills of Rome.[8] The agnomen Barbatus of this family means "bearded".[9] The surname Cincinnatus refers to someone with fine, curly hair, as does the agnomen Crispinus, which belonged to the later Capitolini.[9] A few of the Quinctii bear both the surnames Cincinnatus and Capitolinus, and men of both families also bore the cognomen Pennus (sometimes found as Poenus). According to Isidore, this surname had the meaning of "sharp": "pennum antiqui acutum dicebant."[10][9] Alternately the name could be connected with penna, a feather, or wing.[11]

The surname Flamininus is probably derived from flamen, which also gave rise to the gens Flaminia. It may have signified an ancestor who was a flamen, or perhaps the servant of a flamen. This family first appears in history during the Second Punic War, and it remained prominent over the next century.[12][13]


This list includes abbreviated praenomina. For an explanation of this practice, see filiation.

Quinctii Capitolini[edit]

Quinctii Cincinnati[edit]

Quinctii Claudi[edit]

  • Gnaeus Quinctius Claudus, grandfather of the consul of 271 BC.
  • Lucius Quinctius Cn. Claudus, father of the consul of 271 BC.
  • Caeso Quinctius L. f. Cn. n. Claudus, consul in 271 BC.[34][35][36]

Quinctii Flaminini[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, pp. 633, 634 ("Quintia Gens").
  2. ^ Livy, i. 30.
  3. ^ Niebuhr, History of Rome, ii. 291, 292.
  4. ^ Pliny the Elder, xxxiii. 1. s. 6.
  5. ^ Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina".
  6. ^ Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, v. 291.
  7. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 605 ("Quinctius Capitolinus", No. 1).
  8. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 603 ("Capitolinus").
  9. ^ a b c Chase, pp. 109, 110.
  10. ^ Isidore of Seville, xix. 19.
  11. ^ Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary.
  12. ^ Chase, pp. 111, 112.
  13. ^ Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 161 ("Flamininus").
  14. ^ Livy, iv. 43.
  15. ^ Livy, iv. 61.
  16. ^ Zonaras, vii. 20.
  17. ^ Livy, vi. 11.
  18. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  19. ^ Livy, viii. 18.
  20. ^ His nomen is given as Quinctilius by Livy, but this seems an error, and Gnaeus was not a praenomen used by the Quinctilii.
  21. ^ Fasti Magistrorum Vici, AE 1937, 62.
  22. ^ Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, p. 57.
  23. ^ Lewis, The Official Priests of Rome, p. 122.
  24. ^ Livy, iv. 16, 17, 35, 44.
  25. ^ Diodorus Siculus, xii. 38, xii. 81.
  26. ^ Livy, iv. 49, 61.
  27. ^ Diodorus Siculus, xiii. 34, xiv. 17.
  28. ^ Livy, vi. 6, 32, 33.
  29. ^ Diodorus Siculus, xv. 25, 28, 61.
  30. ^ Livy, vi. 32.
  31. ^ Livy, vi. 36.
  32. ^ Livy, vi. 38, 42.
  33. ^ Diodorus Siculus, xv. 78.
  34. ^ Fasti Capitolini.
  35. ^ Cassiodorus, 354.
  36. ^ Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. I, p. 198.
  37. ^ Livy, xxii. 33.
  38. ^ Livy, xxv. 2.
  39. ^ Livy, xli. 12.
  40. ^ Livy, xli. 43, xlv. 42, 44.
  41. ^ Cicero, Cato Maior de Senectute, 5, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 5.
  42. ^ Pliny the Elder, vii. 36.
  43. ^ Livy, xxvi. 39.
  44. ^ Varro, De Lingua Latina, vi. 90-92, ed. Müller.
  45. ^ Cicero, Pro Quinctio.
  46. ^ Horace, Carmen Saeculare, ii. 11, Epistulae, i. 16.
  47. ^ Pliny the Elder, vii. 53, s. 54.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William (1870). "Quintia Gens". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 633.