The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Quaestors



proclaimed by the president; and if a fine •was inflicted, the amount (Jitls aistiinatlo) was then decided by the president and the sworn judges. A man once acquitted could not be re-tried for the same offence unless his acquittal had been procured by collusion (see pr^evabicatio) of the accuser. There was no way of altering the verdict of the sworn judges; and the punishment was ex­acted immediately after the sentence had been given. If it was one of degradation (inf&mia), or exile (interdictio aquce et ignis, see exilium, 2), the man so punished could be reinstated in the rights he had forfeited (resttttttto in integrum). This was done by a decree of the people ; in later times, by the emperor's pardon. These courts of sworn judges lasted till the beginning of the 3rd century a.d.

dussstors (quaestor from qucesltor, the investigator, searcher). The Latin term originally given to two officials chosen by the king; they had to track any one suspected of a capital offence. In the time of the Republic they performed the same office for the consuls, by whom they were chosen every year. When the administration of justice in criminal cases came into the hands of the c6mlKa c.enturtdta, the quaestors received, in addition to their old privilege of pleading by the mandate of the consuls, which they lost later, the management of the State treasury (aerdrium) in the temple of Saturn. They became recognised offi­cials when they were elected at the comitia Mbuta under the presidency of the consuls (probably about 447 b.c.). The quaestors had no regular badges of office. In 421 their number was doubled, and the plebeians were granted the right of appointing to the office of quaestor, though they did not exercise it till twelve years later. The four quaestors shared their duties, so that two of them acted as masters of the treasury (qu&storgs cerdrii) and remained in the city (hence their name qutvstores urbani), while the other two accompanied the consuls on campaigns, in order to administer the military chest.

It was part of the duty of the two former to collect the regular revenues of State (taxes and custom-dues) and the extraordin­ary revenues (fines, levies for war, and money produced by the sale of booty); further, to make payments, which might not be made to the consuls except by special permission of the Senate ; to control the accounts of in­come and expenditure, which were managed under their responsibility by a special class of officials (scrlboe); to make arrangements

] for public burials, for the erecting of mona-

; ments, for the entertainment of foreign

1 ambassadors, etc., at the expense of the

; treasury. Further, they preserved at their

! place of business—the temple of Saturn—

the military standards, also the laws, the

decrees of the Senate, and the plebisclta,

and kept a register of the swearing in of

the officials, which took place there.

After the subjection of Italy, four more quaestors were appointed, in 267 B.C. They were stationed in different parts of Italy, ! at first at Ostia and Arlminum, probably to supervise the building of fleets. Sulla increased their number to twenty, ten of whom were appointed, in the place of the previous two, to accompany the proconsuls and propraetors to the provinces, two to help the consul who remained in the city, and two to help the other two original quaestors at their work in the city. The quaestors employed in the provinces (Sicily alone had two of these, stationed at Syra­cuse and Lllybaeum respectively) were principally occupied with finance; they managed the provincial treasury, and de­frayed out of it the expenses of the army, the governor, and his retinue; any surplus they had to pay in to the State treasury at Rome, and to furnish an exact statement | of accounts. The governor might appoint i them his deputies, and if he died they as­sumed the command; in both of these cases they acted pro praitOre, i.e. as propraetors (q.v.). Caesar raised their number to forty, in order to be able to reward a greater number of his adherents; for the office gave admittance to the Senate, and the position of qusestor was looked upon as the first step in the official career. The age defined by law was from twenty-seven to thirty years. When the beginning of the magis­terial year was fixed for January 1st, the quaestors assumed office on December 5th, on which day the quaestors in the cera-rium decided by lot what the work of each should be.

Even under the Empire, when the nor­mal number of quaestors was increased to twenty and the age reduced to twenty-five, the office of quaestor remained the first | step to higher positions in the State. But i the power of the quaestors grew more limi­ted as the management of the treasury was entrusted to special prcefecti (erarii, so that the city quaestors had only charge of the archives, to which the supervision of the paving of streets was added. After the division of the provinces between the

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.