Quaestor (Nova Roma)

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Our magistracies

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Classification of magistracies

Magistracy overview

The quaestura (quaestorship) is one of the magistracies of Nova Roma, responsible to serve as primary assistants of the higher magistrates and guardians of the Treasury of Nova Roma. The quaestors are the treasurers and assistant directors of the corporation. There are eight quaestores elected annually by the comitia populi tributa to serve as aides and financial administrators to the consules, praetores, aediles and governors of the provinces of Nova Roma. After eight quaestores have been elected, the newly elected senior magistrates are consulted and asked which of the new quaestores they wish to have assigned to them. The new consules make the final determination of this, publishing an edict assigning four quaestores to the two consules and two praetores magistrates. The rest of the quaestores are serving as a pool of assistants to all other magistrates and governors. The consular and praetorian quaestores can also be assigned by other magistrates and governors to serve in their staffs, as well. The office of the quaestor can be prorogued by the comitia, the senate or by a governor: in this case, the title of the quaestor will change to proquaestor. A proquaestor has the same duties and powers as a quaestor but only within the limits of his provincia.

The eligibility requirements for quaestor are set by the lex Tullia annalis: to stand for election as quaestor, a potential candidate is required to be at least 21 years old, and must be assiduus. The quaestores enter office on Non. Dec. (5 December) each year. The quaestorship is the traditional first step of the cursus honorum.

Duties and powers of the quaestores

The principal duties of the quaestores

The lex Cornelia Domitia de re publica constituenda defines the duties and powers of quaestores according to the following:

6. Quaestor. Eight quaestors shall be elected by the Comitia Tributa to serve a term lasting one year. One quaestor shall be assigned to each consul and praetor by mutual agreement or, if such cannot be made, by decision of the newly-elected consuls to serve them as their general assistants in their duties and manager of the funds allocated to these magistrates. The four other quaestors shall be assigned various administrative tasks, duties and projects by any higher ranking officer, by the Senate or the Comitia. Any two of the quaestors, assigned to the provincia of the aerarium by the Senate, shall be the quaestores aerarii, chief treasurers, supervising and administering the aerarium (state treasury), but funds may be spent only according to the directives of the Senate. Any quaestor, even those already assigned to magistrates, can be assigned to governors in the same functions, and after their term of office, the governor can prorogue the term of his quaestor in the territory of the province with the title “proquaestor”.  All quaestors shall have the following honors, powers, and obligations:
a. To hold lower potestas, incomplete ius coercitionis and ius intercessionis, all of which rights and powers are restricted only to be exercised within their scope of authority, that is, to supervise, manage or execute tasks, duties and projects assigned to them by law or order by a higher ranking officer, the Senate or the Comitia;
b. To guard and administer the legal handover of government, including the oaths of office, to act as legal and financial controllers of the other officers, to serve as public prosecutors, investigators and chief law enforcement officers, to assist at Nova Roman judicial proceedings and to administer the law;
c. To serve as representatives, delegates and deputies of the magistrates, governors or other officers to whom they are assigned, acting in their name with full competence in the extent as defined by their superior;
d. To employ apparitors from among the existing ones, based on mutual agreement between quaestor and apparitor, as assistants in administrative and other tasks, as they shall see fit. This assignment of an apparitor to a quaestor shall be made by an edictum of the praefectus rei publicae administrandae (who shall have the ius edicendi) at the order of the quaestor, or in absence of such praefectus, or by any officer with the ius edicendi at their discretion.

Chief deputies for magistrates and other officers

The lex Cornelia de quaestoribus defines additional duties and powers for the quaestores:

I. In the event of a magisterial or administrative vacancy (vacant office or absent, unavailable officer), the consuls can order a quaestor to stand in for the absent magistrate. The quaestor so appointed by the consuls will not have the powers of the magistrate that they are substituting for, but they shall do those duties for the missing or absent magistrate which do not require using the specific constitutional powers uniquely possessed by the missing or absent magistrate.
II. A presiding magistrate of voting comitia may order any quaestor to accept appointment for the positions of rogator, diribitor and custos if there is lack of volunteers for these positions; the quaestor may not refuse the order of the magistrate unless the quaestor declares his or her candidacy in the same election for which he or she was selected to be an electoral officer.
III. Magistrates who know in advance that they will be unavailable or incapable of doing their duties for a period of time have the right to delegate part of their powers and duties and to empower any quaestor to stand in for them and to complete specific tasks, including tasks that are within the exclusive power of the magistrate who is giving the authorization. The magistrate may order the selected quaestor without an option for refusal. The designation of the quaestor as deputy and the tasks the quaestor is empowered to do in the name of the magistrate shall be briefly defined in an edict, as well as the extent of time of the authorization.
III.A. The quaestor will not be permitted to usurp any power of the magistrate for which he or she has not received specific authorization.
III.B. Quaestors, so empowered to act in the name of a magistrate, shall declare in the name of which magistrate they are acting for in all of their official acts and documents they compose during their authorized period of service.
III.C. Quaestors may not be delegated the power of intercessio, the powers of lectio senatus, recognitio equitum, the regimen morum (which term includes the animadversio and the nota), and the right to convene the senate or the comitia. Quaestors may be delegated the right to convene the comitia in the name of a magistrate in case of legal proceedings upon specific authorization and instructions by the praetor or other magistrate holding a trial before the people.
IV. Magistrates may order any of the four quaestors who are not consular or praetorian quaestors to complete various tasks determined by the magistrates within their field of competence.
V. Magistrates shall consult with the selected quaestor before assigning duties to them, and shall not overload them with unrealistic demands. Magistrates are required to exercise discretion and understanding when ordering quaestors to perform various tasks. Quaestors who become overloaded with tasks have the right to complain to the tribunes of plebs, asking them to veto the order of the magistrate. Quaestors may also seek a higher ranking magistrate to veto the lower ranking magistrate making the excessive demand, or, if all of these attempts fail, quaestors can send a petition to the senate asking exemption from under the order of the magistrate.

The Census Point Jury Panel of Quaestors

The lex Arria de censu civium aestimando establishes the Census Point Jury Panel of Quaestors which has the following duties, quoted from the law:

II.C. The Census Point Jury Panel of Quaestors. In order to ensure maximum safety and fairness of the Census Point system, the quaestors are also collectively entrusted with the surveillance and protection of the integrity of the Census Point assignments. In case a quaestor suspects any abuse of the Census Point system, as described at II.A., the quaestors as a collective panel shall investigate, judge, and report the case to the censors. If the majority of the quaestors determine that an appointment of an officer or another type of allocation of Census Points has been made out of corrupt motivations, the Census Points in question shall not be counted for the citizen, and the quaestors shall bring the case to the praetor who shall determine if there is a need for a legal process against the abusers. A citizen who has lost Census Points due to the decision of the panel of the quaestors can also appeal to court if the citizen is convinced about the righteousness of his or her case. If both censors disagree with the decision of the quaestorial panel, they can jointly overturn the decision of the quaestorial panel if, at the same time, they refer the case to a Nova Roman court for a decision regarding the allocation of Census Points or the potential criminality of the involved parties. One censor alone cannot overturn the decision of the quaestorial panel, and the overturning of the panel’s decision can only take effect once the case has been referred to Nova Roman court.


Any private citizen or officer may apply, or any superior who wants to reward the work of his or her subordinate may apply, for a bonus reward of one Activity Point for a project completed for Nova Roma which required at least 24 hours of work. The petition for the work bonus Activity Point shall summarize the activity, the product of work, and how it was a work for Nova Roma in one or two sentences, and shall be submitted for decision to the panel of the quaestors. An officer cannot reward the work of his or her own subordinate officer this way, they can only refer the case to the quaestorial panel for decision: in the case none of the quaestors object, the Activity Point can be issued. All bonus Activity Points granted this way shall be listed on a special page of the Nova Roma website with the name of the rewarded citizen, if there was one, the name of the magistrate requesting the higher magistrate to make the reward, and the description of the activity for which the Activity Points were given.
Any citizen may petition the censors for the recognition of a major and particularly significant achievement in the field of Romanitas, or the censors may on their own initiative or by recommendation recognize such a citizen, for example, a publisher of a high quality website on Roman studies, an author of book, film, renown blog, high quality production, or program. This recognition shall be given to citizens whose association to Nova Roma can make Nova Roma more famous and more respected. Such recognition shall be entirely within the judgement of the censors collegiately, subject to potential rejection by the quaestorial panel of Census Point jury. The censorial decision must be made in edict, in which the censors must explain the significance of the achievement and why the citizen in question deserves special treatment and advancement in status. Alternatively, the senate can make such a recognition. Activity Points for a serious accomplishment can be awarded more than once for more accomplishments.


Historical overview

List of the quaestors of Nova Roma

As of L. Arminio Ti. Galerio cos.‡ (MMDCCLX a.u.c.), the post of quaestor of Nova Roma was occupied 70 times, by 62 different people.

  • One have held the office four times.
  • Two have held the office three times.
  • One have held the office two times.
  • Five have resigned their office, being replaced with a quaestor suffectus.
  • Three occupied the quaestorship after attained a higher office (Praetor or higher).

Fl. Vedio M. Cassio cos. MMDCCLI a.u.c.

L. Equitio Dec. Iunio cos. MMDCCLII a.u.c.

Q. Maximo M. Minucio cos. MMDCCLIII a.u.c.

Fl. Vedio (II) M. Cassio (II) cos. MMDCCLIV a.u.c.

M. Octavio L. Sulla (II) cos. MMDCCLV a.u.c.

K. Buteone T. Labieno cos. MMDCCLVI a.u.c.

Cn. Salvio Cn. Equitio cos. MMDCCLVII a.u.c.

Fr. Apulo C. Laenate cos. MMDCCLVIII a.u.c.

K. Buteone Po. Minucia cos. MMDCCLIX a.u.c.

L. Arminio Ti. Galerio cos. MMDCCLX a.u.c.

M. Moravio T. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXI a.u.c.

M. Curiatio M. Iulio cos. MMDCCLXII a.u.c.

P. Memmio K. Buteone (II) cos. MMDCCLXIII a.u.c.

P. Ullerio C. Equitio cos. MMDCCLXIV a.u.c.

Cn. Caesare C. Tullio cos. MMDCCLXV a.u.c.

L. Sulla (III) cos. sine collega MMDCCLXVI a.u.c.

St. Cornelia C. Aemilio cos. MMDCCLXVII a.u.c.

M. Pompeio Sex. Lucilio cos. MMDCCLXVIII a.u.c.

Cn. Lentulo Alexandro T. Domitio cos. MMDCCLXIX a.u.c.


Sex. Lucilio C. Claudio P. Annaeo Q. Catulo tr. mil. cos. pot. MMDCCLXX a.u.c.

C. Claudio T. Domitio (II) cos. MMDCCLXXI a.u.c.

Q. Arrio P. Annaeo cos. MMDCCLXXII a.u.c.

Q. Arrio (II) T. Domitio (III) cos. MMDCCLXXIII a.u.c.

Q. Arrio (III) A. Tullia cos. MMDCCLXXIV a.u.c.

Sex. Lucilio (II) A. Tullia (II) cos. MMDCCLXXV a.u.c.

C. Cethego Q. Arrio (IV) cos. MMDCCLXXVI a.u.c.

M. Cotta C. Petronio cos. MMDCCLXXVII a.u.c.


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