Quintus Tullius Cicero was the younger brother of the more prominent Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Quintus Cicero was born in 100 BCE, and thus was likely the same age as Julius Caesar, for whom he served as a legate during the Gallic Wars. Before that, he ascended the cursus honorum, becoming aedile in 66, praetor in 62, and propraetor of Asia Minor from 61-59.
In 70, he was married to Atticus’ sister Pomponia, though apparently the marriage was not easy, and they divorced in 45.
Much of what is known about Quintus Cicero’s life comes from direct testimony of the biggest names in the Late Republic. He is featured in Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, in which he is depicted as a brave and praiseworthy soldier (e.g. at 5.52), and frequent corresponded with his brother; many if not all of those letters have survived in the collection Epistulae ad Quintum (“Letters to Quintus”).
Quintus also appeared as an interlocutor in his brother’s De Divinatione (trans. “On Divination”), a philosophical dialogue examining whether divination as practiced by the Romans was actually legitimate. If there is any truth to the character of the interlocutors, then Quintus seemed to have been the more religiously conservative of the two brothers.
He was killed during the proscriptions of the Second Triumvirate in 43 along with his brother and son, also called Quintus.
Though by no means prolific as Marcus, Quintus Cicero too engaged in writing. He authored four tragedies (Tiroas, Erigones, Electra, and a fourth whose title is unknown), though they are all lost. He also composed a short pamphlet on running for office (Commentariolum Petitionis), which he wrote when his brother ran for consul.
Latin: PHI Latin Texts