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.
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.
It is related that it was the custom in the Quinctia gens for even the women not to wear any ornaments of gold.
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.
Branches and cognomina
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.
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.
The cognomen Capitolinus is derived from the Mons Capitolinus, or Capitoline Hill, one of the famous seven hills of Rome. The agnomen Barbatus of this family means "bearded". The surname Cincinnatus refers to someone with fine, curly hair, as does the agnomen Crispinus, which belonged to the later Capitolini. 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." Alternately the name could be connected with penna, a feather, or wing.
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.
- Titus Quinctius L. f. L. n. Capitolinus Barbatus, consul in 471, 468, 465, 446, 443, and 439 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. L. n. Capitolinus Barbatus, consul in 421 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. T. n. Capitolinus Barbatus, consular tribune in 405 BC.
- Titus Quinctius (T. f. L. n. Cincinnatus) Capitolinus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 385 BC, and magister equitum in the same year to the dictator Aulus Cornelius Cossus.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. Pennus Capitolinus Crispinus, dictator in 361 BC, and consul in 354 and 351.
- Gnaeus Quinctius T. f. T. n. Capitolinus, dictator clavi figendi causa in 331 BC.
- Titus Quinctius L. f. L. n. Pennus Capitolinus Crispinus, consul in 208 BC, with Marcus Claudius Marcellus, during the Second Punic War; wounded near Tarentum, and died at the close of the year.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. (Pennus Capitolinus) Crispinus Sulpicianus, consul in 9 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. T. n. Crispinus Valerianus, consul suffectus in AD 2, and a member of the Arval Brethren from at least AD 14 to after 21.
- Lucius Quinctius L. f. L. n. Cincinnatus, consul in 460 BC, and dictator in 458 and 439.
- Caeso Quinctius L. f. L. n. Cincinnatus, son of the dictator, died in exile.
- Lucius Quinctius L. f. L. n. Cincinnatus, consular tribune in 438, 425, and 420 BC, and magister equitum in 437.
- Titus Quinctius L. f. L. n. Cincinnatus Pennus, consul in 431 and 428 BC, and consular tribune in 426.
- Quintus Quinctius L. f. L. n. Cincinnatus, consular tribune in 415 and 405 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. L. n. Cincinnatus Capitolinus, consular tribune in 388 and 384 BC, and dictator in 380.
- Lucius Quinctius (L. f. L. n.) Cincinnatus, consular tribune in 386, 385, and 377 BC.
- Gaius Quinctius Cincinnatus, consular tribune in 377 BC.
- Quintus Quinctius Cincinnatus, consular tribune in 369 BC.
- Titus Quinctius Pennus Cincinnatus Capitolinus, consular tribune in 368 BC, and magister equitum in 367.
- 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.
- Caeso Quinctius Flamininus, one of the duumviri ordered to contract for the building of the temple of Concordia, in 217 BC.
- Lucius Quinctius Flamininus, created augur in 212 BC.
- Lucius Quinctius T. f. L. n. Flamininus, a general under his brother, Titus, during the war against Philip of Macedon, and consul in 192 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. L. n. Flamininus, consul in 198 BC, and censor in 189; defeated Philip at the Battle of Cynoscephalae.
- Gaius Quinctius Flamininus, praetor peregrinus in 177 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. Flamininus, ambassador to Cotys, the King of Thrace, in 167 BC; elected augur the same year.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. T. n. Flamininus, consul in 150 BC.
- Titus Quinctius T. f. T. n. Flamininus, consul in 123 BC.
- Decimus Quinctius, a man of obscure birth, but great military reputation, commanded the Roman fleet at Tarentum in 210 BC, during the Second Punic War, and was slain in a naval engagement that year.
- Titus Quinctius Trogus, accused by the quaestor Marcus Sergius.
- Titus Quinctius Atta, a Roman comic poet, who died in 78 BC.
- Publius Quinctius, defended by Cicero in his first major oration, Pro Quinctio, in 81 BC.
- Lucius Quinctius, praetor in 67 BC, an opponent of the constitution of Sulla, and a rival of Lucius Licinius Lucullus.
- Titus Quinctius Scapula, a partisan of Gnaeus Pompeius during the Civil War.
- Quinctius Hirpinus, a friend of the poet Horace.
- Publius Quinctius Scapula, mentioned by Pliny the Elder as an instance of sudden death.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. III, pp. 633, 634 ("Quintia Gens").
- Livy, i. 30.
- Niebuhr, History of Rome, ii. 291, 292.
- Pliny the Elder, xxxiii. 1. s. 6.
- Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina".
- Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum, v. 291.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 605 ("Quinctius Capitolinus", No. 1).
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. I, p. 603 ("Capitolinus").
- Chase, pp. 109, 110.
- Isidore of Seville, xix. 19.
- Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary.
- Chase, pp. 111, 112.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. II, p. 161 ("Flamininus").
- Livy, iv. 43.
- Livy, iv. 61.
- Zonaras, vii. 20.
- Livy, vi. 11.
- Fasti Capitolini.
- Livy, viii. 18.
- His nomen is given as Quinctilius by Livy, but this seems an error, and Gnaeus was not a praenomen used by the Quinctilii.
- Fasti Magistrorum Vici, AE 1937, 62.
- Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, p. 57.
- Lewis, The Official Priests of Rome, p. 122.
- Livy, iv. 16, 17, 35, 44.
- Diodorus Siculus, xii. 38, xii. 81.
- Livy, iv. 49, 61.
- Diodorus Siculus, xiii. 34, xiv. 17.
- Livy, vi. 6, 32, 33.
- Diodorus Siculus, xv. 25, 28, 61.
- Livy, vi. 32.
- Livy, vi. 36.
- Livy, vi. 38, 42.
- Diodorus Siculus, xv. 78.
- Fasti Capitolini.
- Cassiodorus, 354.
- Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, vol. I, p. 198.
- Livy, xxii. 33.
- Livy, xxv. 2.
- Livy, xli. 12.
- Livy, xli. 43, xlv. 42, 44.
- Cicero, Cato Maior de Senectute, 5, Epistulae ad Atticum, xii. 5.
- Pliny the Elder, vii. 36.
- Livy, xxvi. 39.
- Varro, De Lingua Latina, vi. 90-92, ed. Müller.
- Cicero, Pro Quinctio.
- Horace, Carmen Saeculare, ii. 11, Epistulae, i. 16.
- Pliny the Elder, vii. 53, s. 54.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Cato Maior de Senectute, Epistulae ad Atticum, Pro Quinctio.
- Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica (Library of History).
- Marcus Terentius Varro, De Lingua Latina (On the Latin Language).
- Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace), Carmen Saeculare, Epistulae.
- Titus Livius (Livy), History of Rome.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium (Memorable Facts and Sayings).
- Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder), Historia Naturalis (Natural History).
- Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, Chronica.
- Isidorus Hispalensis, Origines.
- Joannes Zonaras, Epitome Historiarum (Epitome of History).
- Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, Doctrina Numorum Veterum (The Study of Ancient Coins, 1792–1798).
- Barthold Georg Niebuhr, The History of Rome, Julius Charles Hare and Connop Thirlwall, trans., John Smith, Cambridge (1828).
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, ed., Little, Brown and Company, Boston (1849).
- George Davis Chase, "The Origin of Roman Praenomina", in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. VIII (1897).
- T. Robert S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic, American Philological Association (1952).
- Martha W. Hoffman Lewis, The Official Priests of Rome under the Julio-Claudians, American Academy, Rome (1955).
- D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin and English Dictionary, Macmillan Publishing Company, New York (1963).
- Ronald Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, Clarendon Press, Oxford (1986). Retrieved 21 Sept. 2012 – via Questia (subscription required).
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William (1870). "Quintia Gens". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 633.