The Quinctii were one of the most ancient and influental families in the republic. The different branches of them were active in the highest circles of Roman politics ever since the establishing of the republic. The first Quinctius to hold consulship was T. Quinctius Capitolinus Barbatus at 471 and the last one T. Quinctius Crispinus Sulpicianus at 9. Even with Roman measure, it was rare that a family stayed consular for over 450 years!
During the mid/late republic one of the most active branches were Flaminini. The branch had its cognomen from an otherwise unkown ancestor who was a flamen dialis, so his sons became known for some reason as flamininus, son of flamen dialis. It is very rare cognomen.
Two most well-known Flaminini were brothers Titus and Lucius. They both held high public profile as well as for their military achievements and philhellenic policies. Younger Titus was also a skilled diplomat whereas few years elder Lucius was known also for his scandals. Titus was consul at 198 and Lucius at 192. Both of them earned their highest merits at war against Macedonia, which they won. Titus was consul during the war at 198 and conquered almost all the Macedonia. He was in fact negotiating for peace when the Senate decided to prolong his command (and thus continue the war to the end) as proconsul. During the war his brother Lucius was the commander of navy and was one of the few successful Roman naval commanders of all times.
T. Quinctius Flamininus’ exceptional achievements and career
After the war Titus stayed in Greece and re-organised the whole area and its states in satisfactory way during the years of 197-194. He was a skilled diplomat and his work in Greece ensured the support of Greek states for Rome. He for exampled made a public declaration of freedom of Greece during the Isthmian Games of 196. The Greek states minted coins honouring him and he was even deified in some places! This is exceptional as the Greek states traditionally did not welcome foreign conquerors. Titus understood this and therefore presented the Roman rule as liberation from Macedonian hegemony rather than instituting Roman one. His fluency in Greek and admiration for its culture certainly helped him. After leaving Greece he also had several other diplomatic duties.
Titus’ career also was exceptional in many ways and probably owes to his political connections and skills. In the beginning of his official career he served as military tribune in the second Punic war at 208. After this he served as propraetor in Tarentum during 205-204. Then he was selected to be one of the ten commission to settle the veterans of Scipio at 201-200 and was elected as questor at 199.
This far his career had been a fast one, but not that exceptional. However his next career step was very exceptional. He was elected as consul at 198, that is next year form his questorship. The usual cursus honorum was quaestor – aedile – praetor – consul, and with couple of year intervals between offices. So normally one could become a consul at the age of 43, but Titus was under 30 when he was elected as consul! Further he got under his command two legions and allied forces, altogether over 20 000 men, for the important second Macedonian war. This was one of the incidents that lead at 180 to creation of Lex Villia annalis, which regulated the cursus and minimum ages by law. It’s also interesting to note that Titus’ consular colleague Sex. Aelius Paetus Catus attained his consulship directly after aedileship, thus skipping over praetorship.
After his consulship his career was more regular one and he was elected as censor at 189 defeating many illustrious candidates, including future censor Cato. Titus was married with unknown Fabia.
The career of the elder brother Lucius was a more conservative one. He was selected as an augur at 213 and was a curule aedile at 201. At 199, when his brother was a quaestor, he was elected as praetor. His colleague both as aedile and praetor was L. Valerius Flaccus, with whom he seems to be allied with. During his brothers consul and proconsulships 198-194 Lucius served as the commander of the fleet and became as one of the few successful Roman naval commanders. His consulship was at 192 and his colleague was Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus. It was agreed that he would not candidate as consul earlier and instead left the post open for the second consulship of P. Cornelius Scipio Africanus – the famous military commanders didn’t want to compete against each other in popularity. These were also the years when Scipio Africanus’ brother and cousin also were elected as consuls: brother L. Cornelius Scipio Asiagenes at 190 and cousin P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica at year earlier 191.
After Titus’ time as censor came to an end and new censor was elected, it was finally time for Cato the elder to become a censor at 185. As one of his first official acts he dispelled Lucius from the senate for improper behaviour for a man of consular rank! Was this because of Cato’s opposition to Scipionic hellenistic policies or for good reasons is up to debate.
The big picture that emerges from the brothers connections and career is that the Quinctii were closely aligned into policies of Scipiones, Fabii, Valerii Flacci and perhaps Ahenobarbi. All old and powerful families. At this moment Flaminini were on top of their fame in Rome, and son and grandson of Titus also reached consulships at 150 and at 123.