6. Q. Tullius
Cicero, son of No. 2, was born about B. C. 102, and was educated along with his elder brother, the orator, whom he accompanied to Athens in B. C. 79. (De Fin.
5.1.) In B. C. 67 he was elected aedile, and held the office of praetor in B. C. 62.
After his period of service in the city had expired, he succeeded L. Flaccus as governor of Asia, where he remained for upwards of three years, and during his administration gave great offence to many, both of the Greeks and of his own countrymen, by his violent temper, unguarded language, and the corruption of his favourite freedman, Statius.
The murmurs arising from these excesses called forth from Marcus that celebrated letter (ad Q. Fr.
1.2), in which, after warning him of his faults and of the unfavourable impression which they had produced, he proceeds to detail the qualifications, duties, and conduct of a perfect provincial ruler. Quintus returned home in B. C. 58, soon after his brother had gone into exile, and on his approach to Rome was met by a large body of the citizens (pro Sext.
31), who had flocked together to do him honour.
He exerted himself strenuously in promoting all the schemes devised for procuring the recall of the exile, in consequence of which he was threatened with a criminal prosecution by App. Claudius, son of C. Clodius (ad Att.
3.17), and on one occasion nearly fell a victim to the violence of one of the mercenary mobs led on by the demagogues. (Pro Sext.
35.) In B. C. 55 he was appointed legatus to Caesar, whom he attended on the expedition to Britain, and on their return was despatched with a legion to winter among the Nervii. (B. C. 54.) Here, immediately after the disasters of Titurius Sabinus and Aurunculeius Cotta, his camp was suddenly attacked by a vast multitude of the Eburones and other tribes which had been roused to insurrection by Ambiorix.
The assault was closely pressed for several days in succession, but so energetic were the measures adopted by Cicero, although at that very time suffering from great bodily weakness, and so bravely was he supported by his soldiers, that they were enabled to hold out until relieved by Caesar, who was loud in his commendations of the troops and their commander. (Caes. Gal. 5.24
Quintus was one of the legati of the orator in Cilicia, B. C. 51, took the chief command of the military operations against the mountaineers of the Syrian frontier, and upon the breaking out of the civil war, insisted upon sharing his fortunes and following him to the camp of Pompey. (Ad Att.
9.1, 6.) Up to this time the most perfect confidence and the warmest affection subsisted between the brothers; but after the battle of Pharsalia (B. C. 48) the younger, giving way to the bitterness of a hasty temper exasperated by disappointment, and stimulated by the representations of his son, indulged in the most violent language towards M. Cicero, wrote letters to the most distinguished persons in Italy loading him with abuse, and, proceeding to Alexandria, made his peace with Caesar. (B. C. 47.) (Ad Att.
11.5, 9, 13, 14-16, 20.)
A reconciliation took place after his return to Italy; but we hear little more of him until the year B. C. 43, when he fell a victim to the proscription of the triumvirs.
Quintus, in addition to his military reputation, was an aspirant to literary fame also, and in poetry Cicero considered him superior to himself. (Ad Q. Fr.
The fact of his having composed four tragedies in sixteen days, even although they may have been mere translations, does not impress us with a high idea of the probable quality of his productions (ad Q. Fr.
3.5); but we possess no specimens of his powers in this department, with the exception of twenty-four hexameters on the twelve signs, and an epigram of four lines on the love of women, not very complimentary to the sex. (Antholog. Lat.
In prose we have an address to his brother, entitled De Petitione Consulatus
, in which he gives him very sound advice as to the best method of attaining his object.
Quintus was married to Pomponia, sister of Atticus; but, from incompatibility of temper, their union was singularly unhappy.
As an example of their matrimonial squabbles, the reader may refer to a letter addressed to Atticus (5.1), which contains a most graphic and amusing description of a scene which took place in the presence of the lady's brother-in-law. (Appian, App. BC 4.20
; D. C. 40.7