/kwes"teuhr, kwee"steuhr/, n. Rom. Hist.1. one of two subordinates of the consuls serving as public prosecutors in certain criminal cases.2. (later) one of the public magistrates in charge of the state funds, as treasury officers or those attached to the consuls and provincial governors.Also, questor.
* * *In ancient Rome, the lowest ranking regular magistrate, whose traditional responsibility was the treasury.Quaestors functioned as deputies to consuls. Like consuls, praetors, and prefects they were of the magistrate class, high-level government administrators. Quaestors were the lowest level of this class and were elected by the people. Initially they were appointed by the consuls, but later they were elected. After 421 BC there were four quaestors, two public treasurers and two who assisted the consuls, serving as quartermasters. From the time of Augustus, the number of quaestors increased to 20, many of whom acted as financial officers and assistants to provincial governors.
* * *▪ ancient Roman officialLatin“investigator” plural quaestors , or quaestoresthe lowest ranking regular magistrate in ancient Rome, whose traditional responsibility was the treasury. During the royal period, the kings appointed quaestores parricidii (quaestors with judicial powers) to handle cases of murder.With the advent of the republic in the year 509 BC, each of the two consuls, who at first were called praetors, appointed a quaestor to be the custodian of the public treasury. After 447 BC the two quaestors were elected each year by the tribal assembly. The quaestorship became the first magistracy sought by an ambitious young man. Later in the century it was decreed that plebeians could hold the office, and the number of quaestors was increased to four. Two served as quartermasters to the two consuls when they were in the field, and the other two stayed in Rome to supervise the financial affairs of the treasury.As Rome proceeded with its conquest of Italy, four more were added and given responsibility for raising taxes and securing recruits from the conquered territories. Each provincial governor had his own quaestor as quartermaster and tax collector. In the provinces the quaestors sometimes performed military functions as well.In the 2nd century BC the minimum age for quaestors was 28. After their term expired, they usually entered the Senate. After Sulla became dictator in 82 BC, the minimum age was raised to 30, the quaestors' entrance into the Senate was made automatic, and the number of quaestors was raised to 20. In 45 BC Julius Caesar increased the number to 40, but the emperor Augustus returned it to 20 and weakened the powers and responsibility of the office. The quaestors' financial responsibilities were eventually assumed by imperial officers. By the 4th century AD the quaestorship was purely honorary and was held usually by men of wealth for social status.The quaestor intra Palatium of the late empire, newly created under the emperor Constantine I, replaced the praetorian prefect in the internal administration. He headed the consistorium (the imperial council), drew up laws and answers to petitions, and was responsible for the list of minor staff officers (laterculum minus).
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