Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus
Titus Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus (513 BC - after 423 BC) was a Roman statesman and general who served as consul six times. Titus Quinctius was a member of the gens Quinctia, one of the oldest patrician families in Rome.
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He was the son of Lucius Quinctius and grandson of Lucius Quinctius. He was possibly the brother of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, who was suffect 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 was possibly the military tribune with consular power in 405 BC.
According to Livy, Titus Quinctius was still alive in 423 BC, aged 90 years.
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, Volero Publilius, 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 would gain greater political independence from the patricians and thus prevent them from influencing their selection and their actions.
After the turmoil in 473 BC, which was caused by the blockage of an agrarian law three years before 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 became a peacemaker, unlike Appius who strongly opposed the tribunes. Titus Quinctius barely managed to calm the crowd by adopting a more conciliatory approach. He forced Appius to retreat into the Curia Hostilia. There the senators urged Appius to abandon his intransigent attitude because it could lead to serious civil unrest. Isolated and deprived of political support, Appius was unable to do anything but permit the vote. The law, Lex Publilia Voleronis, was finally proclaimed.
Recognizing that political turmoil had weakened Rome, the Volsci and Aequi raided Roman territory. Titus Quinctius was given command against the Aequi and Appius against the Volscians. Appius struggled to maintain order in the ranks of his army and resorted to decimation to restore discipline. In contrast, the campaign against the Aequi proceeded without dissension. Indeed his troops returned to Rome with praises for Quinctius, calling him their 'parent'. The Aequi were forced to give up territory to the Romans. Titus Qinctius distributed all the captured loot to his men and returned to Rome victorious, as well as having succeeded in reconciling the plebs and the Senate.
In 468 BC, the plebeians and patricians were 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 elected Titus Quinctius for a second time with Quintus Servilius Priscus Structus as his colleague. Once again a war erupted which required the mobilization of the people, temporarily putting an end to the internal strife. The Sabines marched on Rome, while the Volscians stirred once more. Servilius pushed back the Sabines while Titus Quinctius led his men against the Volscians.
In an initial engagement the Romans were almost defeated, but Quinctius lifted their spirits by telling each wing of the army that the other was having great success. Thus re-animated, the Romans won the day. A period of rest followed, as both sides re-grouped. Then the Volsci launched a night attack on the Roman camp. But the consul kept the enemy at bay with a cohort of the allied Hernici, together with mounted trumpeters (the cornicines and tubicines to make the enemy think the Romans were about to make a counter-attack. This kept the enemy on edge during the night, and allowed the Romans a good sleep.
The next day Titus Quinctius followed a clever strategy that allowed him to avoid defeat because of the numerical inferiority of his army. During the battle the Romans repelled the first enemy line before facing the bulk of the opposing army positioned on a hill. Titus Quinctius hesitated, but his men were impatient and finally he gave the order to attack. The Volscians, supported by the Aequi, easily pushed back the first Roman ranks who then fled. Titus Quinctius courageously led his men to reach the top of the hill, pushed the enemy back to their camp which the Romans captured. Titus Quinctius was victorious and pushed his advantage by leading his army towards Antium, the capital of the Volsci. The city surrendered after a short siege, as the Volsci were unable to withstand the Romans after their recent defeat. Titus Quinctius returned to Rome and celebrated a triumph.
Establishment of a colony at AntiumEdit
In 467 BC, the two elected consuls, Tiberius Aemilius Mamercinus and Quintus Fabius Vibulanus, faced new tensions over the agrarian question. The tribunes of the plebs denounced the rich patricians, who monopolized public lands, and demanded fairer land distribution.
To avoid a new internal crisis, the consul Mamercinus proposed 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 were appointed as commissioners (triumviri coloniae deducendae) to distribute the land and assign it to volunteer settlers. According to Livy, there were very few volunteers and so Volscians were added to the volunteers who established the Roman colony of Antium.
In 465 BC, Titus Quinctius was elected consul for the third time. His fellow consul Quintus Fabius Vibulanus sent an embassy to the Aequi which failed to negotiate a peace. The Aequi began ravaging the Latin countryside, and both consuls with separate Roman armies together fought and defeated the enemy at Algidum.
The Aequi returned to continue ravaging the Latin countryside. Panic ensued at Rome, and Quinctius returned to the city, declared the justitium and appointed Quintus Servilius Priscus Structus as praefectus urbi whilst both consuls were absent. Quinctius then marched to engage the enemy, but he could not locate them, and returned to Rome calling an end to the justitium after four days. Meanwhile his colleague Fabius engaged and defeated the Aequi and ravaged the Aequian lands.
The following year, consuls Aulus Postumius Albus Regillensis and Spurius Furius Fusus Medullinus led two separate campaigns against the Aequi and their allies who were preparing once again for war. Fusus was defeated in Hernici territory and his camp besieged. In Rome, the Senate gave Titus Quinctius proconsular powers with the mission to rescue the besieged consul, at the head of an army of Latin and Hernici allies. In the besieged camp, the Romans were cornered and the consul was wounded. Titus Quinctius arrived at the Battle of Corbio with his army and attacked the Aequi from behind while the consul's army, in a last effort, found a way out of the siege. The Romans then encircled and defeated their enemies. As his force was returning to Rome, Quinctius helped Postumius to defeat a second Aequian group that had been ravaging Roman land.
In 446 BC, Titus Quinctius was elected consul for the fourth time alongside Agrippa Furius Fusus.
After the fall of the despotic Decemvirs, internal sedition broke out again. The Aequi and Volsci, taking advantage once more of the instability of the Roman political situation, ravaged Latium unopposed. Titus Quinctius then addressed 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 was at the gates, preferring instead to attack the patricians. His speech had quite an effect on the people. The two consuls were then able to gather an army as the people were willing to be mobilized to fight the invaders. Agrippa Furius Fusus handed over the supreme command to Titus Quinctius, only keeping command of a part of the army. The Roman army managed to repulse the invading Aequi and Volscians and then took the enemy camp and gathered 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.
In 443 BC, together with Marcus Geganius Macerinus, Titus Quinctius was elected to his fifth consulship. While his colleague rescued the allied city of Ardea, plagued by civil war and besieged by the Volscians, Titus Quinctius maintained harmony in Rome. The Senate and the Roman people had such respect for the consul that this was one of the first years for some time without strife in the city.
Once again, in 439 BC Titus Quinctius was elected consul, this time with Menenius Agrippa Lanatus. A major famine raged in Rome at this time and a rich plebeian, Spurius Maelius, bought wheat with his personal fortune to feed the population. His popularity was such that he considered making himself king. In response to this threat, the consuls appointed Cincinnatus, now over 80 years old, as dictator once more. He chose Caius Servilius Ahala as his master of the horse. According to tradition, he killed Spurius Maelius while he was resisting arrest, with the tacit agreement of the dictator. Immediately afterwards, Cincinnatus resigned as dictator and handed power back to the Senate.
- Robert Maxwell Ogilvie, Commentary on Livy, books 1–5, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1965, pp. 404, 405.
- Livy, ii. 64-65, iii. 1
- Fasti Triumphales
- Livy, 3.2
- Livy, 3.3
- Livy, 3.3
- Livy, 3.4-5
- Livy, Histoire romaine, Livre II, 41/56-65, Livre III, 1-13/24-29/35/66-70 & Livre IV, 6-19/41 Site of the University of Louvain.
- Philip Matyszak: Geschichte der Römischen Republik. Von Romulus zu Augustus. Wiss. Buch-Ges., Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-17578-6.
- Tymon C. A. De Haas, Fields, Farms and Colonists : Intensive Field Survey and Early Roman Colonization in the Pontine Region, Central Italy, Barkhuis, 2011