According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus,1 a Sabine word, and perhaps to be derived from quiris, a lance or spear. It occurs first of all as the name of Romulus, after he had been raised to the rank of a divinity, and the festival celebrated in his honor bore the name of Quirinalia.2

Owing to the probable meaning of the word it is also used as a surname of Mars, Janus, and even of Augustus.3



  1. ii, 48.
  2. Virgil. Aeneid i, 292: Cicero. On the Nature of the Gods ii, 24; Ovid. Amores iii, 8.51; Fasti iv, 56, 808; vi, 375; Ovid. Metamorphoses xv, 862.
  3. Ovid. Fasti ii, 477; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid vii, 610; Suetonius. Divus Augustus, 22; Macrobius, i, 9; Vergil. Georgics iii, 27; Ioannes Lydus. De Mensibus p. 144.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.