from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Quaestur (German Quaestur ) was the lowest office of the senatorial office career ( cursus honorum ) of the Roman Republic . Quaestors were elected by the people for one year (until the beginning of the imperial era ).


The origin of the bursary is disputed and is based on pure speculation. Some ascribed them to the royal period because Romulus and Numa or Tullus Hostilius had employed quaestors as assistants, others refer to the assignment to the consuls for the first time . In any case, they are already mentioned in the XI tables . The assistant function still existed in the high imperial era , when each consul had two quaestores consulisdecreed. Over time, the quaestors' area of ​​responsibility was expanded, and in addition to their work as investigating judges, they were also entrusted with the administration of the state treasury, the collection of taxes and rents and the maintenance of the state archives. During the imperial era, the quaestors were also responsible for organizing the gladiatorial games . Analogous to the quaestores consulis , there were also two quaestores Augusti who read speeches of the emperor in the senate.

With the expansion of the duties of a quaestor, their number has also increased. At first there were only two, but since 421 BC their number has increased. Four, of which two were assigned to the consuls and two remained in Rome ( quaestores urbani ). Since 267 BC There were four other quaestors to manage the fleet. Since the establishment of several provinces a quaestor has been assigned to the governor, so that their total number has increased further. Sulla fixed them at 20, Caesar doubled their number to 40. Augustus reduced the number of Quaestors back to 20.

The minimum age for dressing the bursar had been set at 30 years since Sulla, Augustus lowered it to 25. The bursary was a prerequisite for dressing the office as a curular aedile (mostly by patricians ), plebeian aedile ( plebeians only ) or as a tribune of the people (only Plebeians). Since Sulla one has normally been admitted to the Senate after taking on the bursar.

During the imperial era, the office quickly lost its importance and eventually disappeared. In late antiquity there was the office of quaestor sacri palatii, probably introduced by Constantine the Great . This was a kind of "Minister of Justice" of the emperor and no longer had much in common with the republican quaestor.

Quaestors also existed as city officials in many provincial cities of the Roman Empire.

Modern times

Until the 20th century, the finance department of German universities was known as the bursary. Its head was the treasurer. In Austria , Switzerland and partly also in countries that formerly belonged to Austria-Hungary , e.g. B. the Czech Republic and Slovakia as investors , this official title has been retained to the present day. In Austria, this designation is required by law at universities.

In the European Parliament Quaestors shall be elected also belonging to the Bureau and play an advisory role. In accordance with the guidelines issued by the Presidium, they are entrusted with administrative and financial tasks that directly affect the members.

In Italy the police headquarters are still called questura (bailiff). It is managed by a questore (quaestor).


Web links

Wiktionary: Quaestur  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Ulpian , Digest 1,13,1 pr .; Tacitus , Annales 11,22,4.
  2. Plutarch , Popl. 12.3.
  3. ^ Wolfgang Kunkel with Roland Wittmann : State order and state practice of the Roman Republic. Second part. The magistrate . Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-33827-5 (by Wittmann completed edition of the work left unfinished by Kunkel). Pp. 510-531 (510 f.).
  4. Election of the five Quaestors on europarl.de, news of July 15, 2009, as of December 17, 2010