His well-to-do father arranged for him to be educated with his brother in Rome, Athens and probably Rhodes in 79-77 BC. He married about 70 BC Pomponia (sister of his brother's friend Atticus), a dominant woman of strong personality. He divorced her after a long disharmonious marriage with much bickering between the spouses in late 45 BC. His brother, Marcus, tried several times to reconcile the spouses, but to no avail. The couple had a son born in 66 BC named Quintus Tullius Cicero after his father.
He was Aedile in 66 BC and Praetor in 62 BC, propraetor of the Province of Asia for three years 61-59 BC, Legatus under Caesar during the Gallic Wars from 54 BC to 52 BC (accompanying Caesar on his second expedition to Britain in 54 BC and surviving a Nervian siege of his camp during Ambiorix's revolt), and under his brother in Cilicia in 51 BC. During the civil wars he supported the Pompeian faction, obtaining the pardon of Caesar later.
During the period, when the Second Triumvirate made The Roman Empire again a scene of Civil War, he, his brother, and his son, were all proscribed. He fled from Tusculum together with his brother, Marcus. He went back home in order to fetch some money for his travelling expenses. His son, Quintus minor, hid his father, and did not reveal the hiding place although he was tortured. When Quintus heard this, he gave himself up to try and save his son; but both father and son, and Quintus's famous brother Marcus, were all killed in 43 BC, as proscribed persons.
Quintus was a brave soldier and an inspiring military leader. At a critical moment in the Gallic Wars he rallied his legion and retrieved an apparently hopeless position; for this he was commended by Caesar, who records the occasion with the words Ciceronem pro eius merito legionemque collaudat (He praised Cicero and his men very highly, as they deserved) (Bello Gallico 5.52).
Quintus had an impulsive temperament and he had fits of cruelty during military operations, a thing frowned at by Romans of that time. The Roman, and Stoic, ideal was to control one’s emotions even in battle. Quintus Cicero also liked old-fashioned and harsh punishments, like putting a person convicted of parricide into a sack and throwing him out in the sea. This punishment he meted out during his propraetorship of Asia.. (For the Romans, both parricide and matricide were one of the worst crimes). His brother confesses in one of his letters to his friend Titus Pomponius Atticus, written in 51 BC while he was proconsul of Cilicia and had taken Quintus as legatus with him, that he dares not leave Quintus alone as he is afraid of what kind of sudden ideas he might have.. But on the positive side, Quintus was utterly honest, even as a governor of a province, in which situation many Romans shamelessly amassed private property for themselves. He was also a well-educated man, reading Greek tragedies, - and writing some tragedies himself.
The relationship between the brothers was mostly affectionate, except for a period of serious disagreement during Caesar’s dictatorship 49-44 BC. . The many letters from Marcus ad Quintum fratrem show how deep and affectionate the brothers’ relationship was, though Marcus Cicero often played the role of the "older and more experienced" lecturing to his brother what was the right thing to do. Quintus might also feel at times, that the self-centered Marcus thought only how his brother might hinder or help Marcus’ own career on the Cursus Honorum..
As an author he wrote during the Gallic wars of Caesar four tragedies in Greek style. Three of them had as titles Tiroas, Erigones, and Electra; all of them are lost. He also wrote several poems on the second expedition of Caesar to Britannia, three epistles to Tiro (extant) and a fourth one to his brother. The long letter: Commentariolum Petitionis (Little handbook on electioneering) has also survived; although its validity has been much questioned. It is in any case a valuable guide to political behaviour in Cicero’s time.
For more detail, see Cicero.