Office of the Quaestors / Officium Quaestura

Current Quaestors of the Res publica Romana

Role of the Quaestors

During Antiquity:

The earliest quaestores were the quaestores parricidii, an appointed office which dates back to the Kingdom of Rome. During this period they were magistrates who investigated criminal cases.

In the Roman Republic, quaestores were elected by the Comitia Tributa. They were officials who supervised the treasury and financial affairs of the state, its armies and its magistrates. The quaestors tasked with financial supervision of the treasury were regarded as the Quaestor Urbanus. The earliest origins of the office is obscure, but by about 420 BCE there were four quaestors. After 267 BCE the number was expanded to ten. Some quaestors were assigned to work in the City, while others were assigned to the staffs of generals or served as deputy governors and treasurer in the provinces. During the republic every consul and every provincial governor was appointed a quaestor.

The office of quaestor was the first post on the cursus honorum. By achieving election as quaestor, a Roman man would earn the right to sit in the Senate and begin to progress along the standard sequence of offices that made up a career in public service.

Within the Modern Res publica:

The Quaestors act as senior staff members to elected magistrates, promagistrates and to provincial governors. Like in antiquity, the office of Quaestor is the first elected office on the cursus honorum and successful completion of a term often leads to a career in Roman politics. All members of this office are elected by the Comitia Tributa and serve a term of one year. The number of quaestors elected in any given year is determined by the senate. Once the quaestors are elected they are appointed to the staff of another magistrate by the senate.

There are four potential classes to which the senate appoints quaestors:

  • Quaestor Urbanus - This is a quaestor who is appointed to the staff of both the censors and consuls. They are the chief magistrate monitoring all denarii financial activities of the res publica. They are also charged with drawing up a new year and end of year budget. In this capacity this individual updates all financial records and reviews the financial reports of very magistrate in the res publica. This magistrate also works with the Comitia Curiata to assist in the financial affairs of the non-profit organization.

  • Quaestor Consularis - This is a quaestor who is assigned directly to the consular staff. They are to assist in any task delegated by the consuls, monitor all consular financial activity. Together with the consuls these individuals review the yearly activities of all magistrates (except the consuls), and prepare a presentation to this effect to the senate on an annual basis.

  • Quaestor Provincialis - This is a quaestor who is appointed to the staff of a provincial governor or to a promagistrate. In this capacity they are to assist in any activities which they are delegated. They are to keep detailed financial records on the activity of their province or promagistrate activity and assist in producing annual year end reports.

  • Quaestor - This is any quaestor which is appointed to the staff of another magistrate. Any elected magistrate with the exception of Interrex, Tribune and Quaestor may receive a quaestor at the discretion of the senate. In this capacity this individual assists in any activities delegated to them by the senior magistrate and prepares detailed financial records on the activities of the office in which they serve.
  • Records of the Quaestors

  • Current Res Publica Budget (Quaestor Urbanus)
  • Past Res Publica Budgets (Quaestor Urbanus)
  • Past citizens who held the office of Quaestor