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On this page: Quadrigae – Quadrigatus – Quadriremes – Quadrupes – Quadruplatores – Quadruplicatio – Quadrussis – Quaestiones – Quaestor

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QUAESTOR,

. w . ., / 5050x80 \ __ . the. Roman amphora = f —-—rr— ) o'l'l im­ perial gallons, or a little more than 5^ gallons, or than 5 gallons and 6 pints. If we were to make the computation directly from the congius of Ves­ pasian, we should have a somewhat higher value ; which, as has already been shown under pondera, arises ; probably from a source of error. On the other hand, the computation from the Roman cubic foot gives a somewhat lower value [pondera]; but, as already intimated, it is very doubtful whether the true content of the amphora was ex­ actly a cubic foot, and in fact, if Bo'ckh be right, it was a little more. At all events, the value of 5 gallons 6 pints is quite near enough to the truth for all the purposes of the classical student. (See the Tables.) On the other hand, if we were to reckon the quadrantal at exactly G gallons, and consequently the sextarius^ which is the small unit of the system, at exactly 1 pint (instead of '96) we should obtain a system so extremely simple, and with so small a limit of error (namely less than -^q in a pint), that it would probably be allowable to adopt it in the ordinary reading of the classic authors ; indicating, however, the small error, by prefixing in each case the words a little less than; and correcting it, when the numbers are large, by taking from the result l-25th of itself. [P. S. ]

QUADRIGAE. [currus, p. 379.]

QUADRIGATUS. [denarius.]

QUADRIREMES. [navis, p. 785, b.]

QUADRUPES. [pauperies.]

QUADRUPLATORES, public informers or accusers, were so called, either because they re­ ceived a fourth part of the criminal's property, or because those who were convicted were condemned to pay fourfold (quadrupli damnari\ as in cases of violation of the laws respecting gambling, usury, &c. (Pseudo-Ascon, in Cic. Divin. p. 110, in Verr. ii. p. 208, ed. Orelli; Festus, s. v.) We know that on some occasioRS the accuser received a fourth part of the property of the accused (Tac. Ann. iv. 21) ; but the other explanation of the word may also be correct,, because usurers, who violated the law, were subjected to a penalty of four times the amount of the loan. (Cato, de Re Rust, init.) When the general right of accusation was given, the abuse of which led to the springing up of the Quadruplatores, is uncertain ; but originally all fines went into 'the common treasury, and while that was the Case the accusations no doubt were brought on behalf of the state. (Niebuhr, Hist, of Rome., vol. iii. p. 37.) Even under the republic an accusation of a public officer, who had merited it by his crimes, Was considered a service ren­ dered to the state ; the name of Quadruplatores seems to have been given by way of contempt to mercenary or false accusers. (Cic. Div. ii. 7, c. Verr. ii. 7; Plaut. Pers. i. 2. 10 ; Liv. iii. 72.) Seneca (de Benef. vii. 25) calls those who sought great returns for small favours, Quadruplatores lenefi-

ciorum stiorum.

QUADRUPLICATIO. [Acrim]

QUADRUSSIS. [As.]

QUAESTIONES, QUAEStiON^S PER-PETUAE. [judex, p. 648, b ; praetor., p. 957, a.]^

QUAESTOR is a name which was given to two distinct classes of lloman officers. It is de­rived from quaero, and Varro {De Ling. Latt v. 181 gives a definition which embraces the principal

QUAESTOR.

functions of both classes of officers: " Quaestores a quaerenclo, qui conquirerent publicas peciuiias et maleficia." The one class therefore had to d« with the collecting and keeping of the public re­venues, and the others were a kind of public ac­cusers. The former bore the name of quaestores classic^ the latter of quaestores parricidii. (Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 2. § 22, 23.)

The quaestores parricidii were, as we have said, public accusers, two in number, who conducted the accusation of persons guilty of murder or any other capital offence, and carried the sentence into exe­cution. (Festus, s. v. Parid and Quaestores ; Liv. ii. 41; Dionys. viii. 77.) There are many points which might make us inclined to believe that the quaestores parricidii and the duumviri perduel-lionis were the same officers ; but a closer exami­nation shows that the former were a permanent magistracy, while the latter were appointed only on special emergencies. [ See perduellionis duumviri.] All testimonies agree that these pub­lic accusers existed at Rome during the period of the kings, though it is impossible to ascertain by which king they were instituted (Fest. I.e.; Tacit. Annal. xi, 22; Dig. 1. tit. 13), as some mention them in the reign of Romulus and others in that of Nuina. When Ulpian takes it for certain that they occurred in the time of Tullus Hostilius, he I appears to confound them, like other writers, with the duumviri perduellionis, who in this reign acted as judges in the case of Horatius, who had slain his sister. During the kingly period there occurs no instance in which it could be said with any

»/

certamt}r, that the quaestores parricidii took a part. As thus everything is so uncertain, and as late writers are guilty of such manifest confusions, we can say no more than that such public accusers existed, and infer from the analogy of later times that they were appointed by the populus on the presentation of the king. Iii the early period of the republic the quaestores parricidii appear to have become a standing office, which, like others, was held only for one year. (Liv. iii. 24, 25.) They were appointed by the populus or the curies on the presentation of the consuls. (Dig. 1. tit. 2. s. 2. § 23 ; Tacit. I. c.} When these quaestores dis­covered that a capital offence had been committed, they had to bring the charge before the comitia for trial. (Liv. iii. 24; l)ionys. viii. 75.) Tlie}r con­voked the comitia through the person of a trum­peter, who proclaimed the day of meeting from the capitol, at the gates of the city, and at the house of the accused. (Varro, de Ling. Lett. vi. 90, ed. Mtil­ler.) When the sentence had been pronounced by the people, the quaestores parricidii executed it; thus they threw Spurius Cassius from the Tarpeian rock. (Dionys. viii. 77 ; Liv. ii. 41; Cic. de Re PvM. ii. 35.) They were mentioned in the laws of the Twelve Tables, and after the time of the decemvirate they still continued to be appointed, though probably no longer by the curies, but either in the comitia centuriata or tributa, which they therefore must also have had the right to assemble in cases of emergency. (Varro, de Ling. Lat. vi. 9.) This appears to be implied in the statement of Tacitus, that in the year 447 b. c. they were created by the people without any presentation of the consuls. From the year 366 b. c. they are no longer mentioned in Roman history, as their func­tions were gradually transferred to the triumviri capitales, (Vttl, Max. v. 4, § 7$ viii. 4. § 2; Sallust,

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