office military republic duties urban
QUYESTOR was the title of a Roman magistrate whose functions, at least in the later times of the republic, were mainly financial. The origin of the qumstorship is somewhat obscure, but on the whole it was probably instituted simultaneously with the consulship in 509 B.c.1 The number of the qumstors was originally two, but this was successively increased to four (in 421 B.c.), eight (in 267 or 241 B.c.), and by Sulla (in 81 B.c.) to twenty. Cmsar raised the number to forty (in 45 B.c.), but Augustus reduced it again to twenty, which remained the regular number under the empire. When the number was raised from two to four in 421 B.c. the office was thrown open to the plebeians, and it was the first office that was so opened. It was the lowest of the great offices of state, and hence it was regularly the first sought by aspirants to a political career. Towards the close of the republic, if not earlier, the successful candidate was bound to have completed his thirtieth year before he entered on office, but Augustus lowered the age to twenty-five. Originally the qustors seem to have been nominated by the consuls independently, but later, perhaps from the fall of the decemvirs (449 B.c.), they were elected by the people assembled in tribes (comitia tributa) and presided over by a consul or another of the higher magistrates. The qustors held office for one year, but, like the consuls and praetors, they were often continued in office with the title of proqustor. Indeed it was a regular rule that the qumstor attached to a higher magistrate should hold office as long as his superior; hence, when a consul regularly presided over the city for one year, and afterwards as proconsul governed a province for another year, his quxstor also regularly held office for two years. Before the election of the quwstors the senate decided the duties to be undertaken by them, and after election these duties were distributed amongst the new qustors either by lot or by the choice of the higher magistrates to whom a qumstor was assigned. A peculiar burden laid on the quaestors, not so much as an official duty, but rather as a sort of fee exacted from all who entered on the political career, was the paving of the high roads, for which Claudius substituted the exhibition of gladiatorial games. Various classes of quxstors may be distinguished according to the duties they had respectively to discharge. Up to 421 B.C. there were only two qmpstors, and when fresh ones were added the two original quTstors were distinguished by the appellation of urban qumstors (quastores urbani), doubtless because they were bound to remain in Rome during their term of office.
only to have terminated when towards the close of the republic trial by permanent courts (qutestiones perpeturn) was extended to criminal cases.' The qunstors had also charge of the public treasury (cerarium) in the temple of Saturn, and this was in the later times of the republic their most important function. They kept the keys of the treasury and had charge of its contents, including not only coin and bullion but also the military standards and a large number of public documents, which in later times comprised all the laws as well as the decrees of the senate. Their functions as keepers of the treasury were withdrawn from the urban q=stors by Augustus and transferred to other magistrates, but the office itself continued to exist into the 3d century, though as to the nature of the duties attached to it we have little or no informatiOn.
The Military Qucestors. - These were instituted in 421 B. C. when two new quwstors were added to the original two. They never had a distinctive appellation like that of the urban qumstors, from whom, however, they were clearly distinguished by the fact that, while the urban qua.stors did not stand in a special relation of subordination to any particular magistrate, a non-urban qunstor was regularly assigned as an indispensable assistant or adjutant to every general in command, whose name or title the queestor usually added to his own.' Originally they were the adjutants of the consuls only, afterwards of the provincial praetors, and still later of the proconsuls and propraetors. The dictator alone among military commanders had no quustor, because a quastor would have been a limitation to his powers. The governor of Sicily had two qunstors ; all other governors and commanders had but one. Between the quastor and his superior a close personal relation, analogous to that between a son and his father, existed, and was not severed when their official connexion ceased. Not till the close of the republic do cases occur of a queestor being sent to a province invested with praitorial and even consular powers ; in one case at least the qunstor so sent had a second qumstor placed under him. The duties of the military qunstor, like those of the treasury quiestor, were primarily financial. Moneys due to a provincial governor from the state treasury were often, perhaps regularly, received and disbursed by the queestor; the magazines seem to have been under his charge ; he coined money, on which not unfrequently his name appears alone. The booty taken in war was not necessarily under the control of the queestor, but was dealt with, especially in later times, by inferior officers called prrefecti fabrum. But, though his duties were primarily financial, the queestor was after all the chief assistant or adjutant of his superior in command, and as such he was invested with a certain degree of military power ; under the republic his military rank was superior to that of the legates, though under the empire this relation was reversed. When the general left his province before the arrival of his successor he usually committed it to the care of his qunstor, and, if he died or was incapacitated from naming his successor, the qunstor acted as his representative. Unlike the urban qustor, the military qunstor possessed not a criminal but a civil jurisdiction corresponding to that of the azdiles at Rome.
The Italian Qumstors. - The subjugation of Italy occasioned the institution (in 267 B.c.) of four new qunstors, who appear to have been called gumstores cla,ssici because they were originally intended to superintend the building of the fleet (dassis) ; their functions, however, are very imperfectly known. Though no doubt intended to assist the consuls, they were not subordinated (like the military quaestors) to a special consul. They were stationed at Ostia, at Cales in Campania, and in Gaul about the Padus (Po). The station of the fourth is not mentioned ; perhaps it was Lilybnum in Sicily.