The gens Quinctilia, also written Quintilia, was a patrician family at Rome, dating from the earliest period of Roman history, and continuing well into imperial times. Despite its great antiquity, the gens never attained much historical importance. The only member who obtained the consulship under the Republic was Sextus Quinctilius Varus in 453 BC. The gens produced numerous praetors and other magistrates, but did not obtain the consulship again for over four hundred years.
Origin of the gens
The nomen Quinctilius is a patronymic surname, based on the praenomen Quintus, meaning "fifth". Quinctilius is the correct orthography, but Quintilius is also quite common. The gens Quinctia is derived from the same praenomen. It was not unusual for multiple nomina to be derived from a common source; the Sabine name Pompo is the Oscan equivalent of Quintus, and gave rise to the gentes Pompilia and Pomponia.
According to legend, the Quinctilii predated the founding of Rome. When the brothers Romulus and Remus had restored their grandfather, Numitor, to the throne of Alba Longa, they set out to establish a new city in the hills overlooking the Tiber. They offered up sacrifices in the cave of the Lupercal at the base of the Palatine Hill, which rite became the origin of the religious festival of the Lupercalia. The followers of Romulus were called the Quinctilii or Quinctiliani, while those of Remus were the Fabii or Fabiani.
In historic times, the two colleges of priests, known as Luperci, who carried out the sacred rituals of the Lupercalia, were known by these names, suggesting that in the earliest times, the gentes Quinctilia and Fabia superintended these rites as a sacrum gentilicum. Another example of such responsibilities concerned the Pinarii and the Potitii, who maintained the worship of Hercules. Such sacred rites were gradually transferred to the state, or opened to the Roman populus; a well-known legend attributed the destruction of the Potitii to the abandonment of their religious office. In later times the privilege of the Lupercalia had ceased to be confined to the Fabii and the Quinctilii.
Praenomina used by the gens
The principal names used by the Quinctilii were Publius and Sextus. A few of the Quinctilii bore the praenomina Lucius, Marcus, and Titus. Although the name must have been used by one of their ancestors, none of the Quinctilii known to history were named Quintus.
Branches and cognomina of the gens
Members of the gens
- Publius Quinctilius Varus, grandfather of the consul of 453 BC.
- Sextus Quinctilius P. f. Varus, father of the consul of 453 BC.
- Sextus Quinctilius Sex. f. P. n. Varus, consul in 453 BC, died in the pestilence of that year.
- Lucius Quinctilius Varus, grandfather of the consular tribune.
- Lucius Quinctilius L. f. Varus, father of the consular tribune.
- Marcus Quinctilius L. f. L. n. Varus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 403 BC.
- Gnaeus Quinctilius, named by Livius as the dictator of 331 BC; apparently a mistake for Gnaeus Quinctius Capitolinus.
- Publius Quinctilius Varus, praetor in 203 BC, he was assigned to Ariminum. Together with Marcus Cornelius Cethegus, the proconsul, he defeated Mago, the brother of Hannibal, in the territory of the Insubres.
- Marcus Quinctilius P. f. Varus, distinguished himself in the battle in which his father defeated Mago.
- Titus Quinctilius Varus, served in Hispania in 185 BC, as the legate of the praetor Gaius Calpurnius Piso.
- Publius Quinctilius Varus, Flamen Martialis, died in 169 BC.
- Publius Quinctilius Varus, praetor in 167 BC.
- Publius Quinctilius Varus, mentioned by Cicero in his oration for Quinctius in 81 BC, and again in his oration for Cluentius as one of the witnesses in the trial of Scamander.
- Sextus Quinctilius Varus, praetor in 57 BC, favored Cicero's recall from banishment.
- Sextus Quinctilius Varus, quaestor in 49 BC, he was a partisan of Pompeius, and twice pardoned by Caesar during the Civil War, he later joined Brutus and Cassius, and fell at the Battle of Philippi in 42.
- Quinctilius Varus, a native of Cremona, and an eminent critic; he was a friend of both Horatius and Vergilius, who died in 24 BC.
- Publius Quinctilius Sex. f. Varus, consul in 13 BC. with Tiberius Claudius Nero, the future emperor; he was subsequently appointed governor of Syria, and later of Germania. In AD 9, he was defeated and killed by a coalition of Germanic tribes at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest, with the loss of three legions.
- Quinctilius Varus, the son of the consul of 13 BC, he was a kinsman of Tiberius, but was accused by Gnaeus Domitius Afer in AD 27.
- Quinctilia, daughter of Quinctilius Varus and Plautia Laterana.
- Quinctilius, a gem engraver, of unknown time. Two of his works are extant; one depicts Neptune drawn by two sea-horses, cut in beryl; the other is a nude Mercury.
- Sextus Quinctilius Condianus, consul with his brother, Maximus, in AD 151, both were subsequently put to death by Commodus.
- Sextus Quinctilius Valerius Maximus, consul with his brother, Condianus, in AD 151.
- Sextus Quinctilius Sex. f. Condianus, son of Sextus Quinctilius Maximus, and consul in AD 180; he was governor of Syria when his father and uncle were put to death. Anticipating a similar fate, he faked his death and escaped.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, William Smith, Editor.
- Publius Ovidius Naso, Fasti, ii. 361 et seq., 375 et seq..
- Sextus Aurelius Victor, De Origo Gentis Romanae (attributed), 22.
- Plutarchus, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, "Romulus", 22, "Caesar", 61.
- Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac Dictorum Memorabilium libri IX, ii. 2. § 9.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Philippicae, ii. 34, xiii. 15, Pro Caelio, 26.
- Sextus Aurelius Propertius, Elegies, iv. 26.
- Sextus Pompeius Festus, epitome of Marcus Verrius Flaccus De Verborum Significatu, s. vv. Quinctiliani Luperci, Fabiani.
- Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft.
- D.P. Simpson, Cassell's Latin & English Dictionary (1963).
- Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Satirae, i. 3. 47.
- Fasti Capitolini.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, ii. 32.
- Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Romaike Archaiologia, x. 53.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, v. 1.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, viii. 18.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxix. 38, xxx. 1, 18.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxx. 18.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xxxix. 31, 38.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xliv. 18.
- Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita, xlv. 44.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Pro Quinctio, 17, Pro Cluentio, 19.
- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Post Reditum in Senatu, 9.
- Hieronymus, in Euseb. Chron. 189. 1.
- Weichert, De L. Varii et Cassii Parmensis Vita, p. 121 ff.
- Estré, Horatiana Prosopographeia, p. 202 ff.
- Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, iv. 52, 66.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Controversiae, 4.
- Settipani, Continuité gentilice et continuité sénatoriale dans les familles sénatoriales romaines à l'époque impériale, p.72&223
- Philipp von Stosch, Gemmae Antiquae Caelatae (1724), no. 57.
- Domenico Agostino Bracci, Commentaria de Antiquis Sculptoribus, pl. 100.
- John Spilsbury, A Collection of Fifty Prints from Antique Gems, no. 27.
- Digesta seu Pandectae, 38. tit. 2. s. 16. § 4.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxxii. 5.
- Aelius Lampridius, Commodus, 4.
- Philostratus, Lives of the Sophists, ii. 1. § 11.
- Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus, Roman History, lxxii. 6.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.