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Quaestor (pronounced ) is a type of public official.

In the Roman Republic a quaestor was an elected official who supervised financial affairs. Today quaestor is used as the title of financial oversight officials, and as a senior police rank in Italy and Romania.


Quaestors were elected officials of the Roman Republic who supervised the treasury and financial affairs of the state, its armies and its officers. The office may date back to the time of the Kingdom of Romemarker. By about 420 BC there were four Quaestors, elected each year by the Comitia Tributa, and after 267 BC there were ten. Some Quaestors were assigned to work in the City, while others were assigned to the staffs of generals or served as Lieutenant governor in the provinces. Still others were assigned to oversee military finances.

Quaestors were originally appointed by the consuls to investigate criminal acts and determine if the consul needed to take public action. They eventually became elected officials and took on additional responsibilities, such as supervising the treasury (for which they are best known). The office of Quaestor was adopted as part of the cursus honorum.

During the reforms of Sulla in 81 BC, the minimum age for a quaestorship was set at 30 for patricians and at 32 for plebeians, and election to the quaestorship gave automatic membership in the Senate. Before that, the censors revised the rolls of the Senate less regularly than the annual induction of quaestors created. The number of quaestors was also raised to 20.

Modern usage


In Italy a quaestor (Italian: questore) is a senior police rank. Quaestor heads the State's Police (Polizia di Stato) in province and his office is called questura, but some officers with this rank have other assignments.

In Romaniamarker a quaestor (Romanian: chestor) is also a senior police rank.

Financial oversight

The European Parliament has six Quaestors to look after the financial and administrative needs of its members.

Some ancient British universities, such as the University of St Andrewsmarker, still have a Quaestor whose responsibilities are in leading and developing effective and efficient financial control and management within the University. Also, the Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity currently uses the Officer title Quaestor as their treasurer's name as he oversees the financial obligations of the Fraternity.

See also

Sources of further reading

  • Bourne, Frank (Princeton University). "A History of the Romans" Boston, MA. 1967, D.C. Heath and Company

External links

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