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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces an article in the
Classical Review
Vol. 10 (1896), pp6‑7

The text is in the public domain: Henry Francis Pelham died in 1907.

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 p6  Claudius and the Quaestura Gallica.

We are told by Suetonius that Claudius not only transferred the supervision of the harbour at Ostia and of the cornships from one of the quaestors of the year to a procurator of his own, but also abolished the quaestura Gallica (Suet. Claud. 25). What this Gallic quaestor­ship precisely was is matter for conjecture, but the following view is at least possible. The duties of a quaestor were always more or less financial. As long as Cisalpine Gaul continued to be a separate province under the government of a proconsul, there must have been a quaestor stationed there, who may very well have been known as the quaestor Gallicus. When Cisalpine Gaul was incorporated with Italy by Augustus, it shared of course in the immunity from direct taxation which all Italy enjoyed, and thus one important part of the Gallic quaestor's duties must have come to an end. It is however conceivable that Augustus may have thought it expedient still to keep a quaestor in Cisalpine Gaul to look after the extensive  p7 state domains in that district (saltus publici), just as in the reign of Tiberius (Tac. Ann. 4, 27) a quaestor seems to have been stationed in South Italy to look after the great public grazing lands of Apulia and Calabria.​a Claudius, when he abolished this Gallic quaestor­ship, must have made some provision for the supervision of the state domains, and it is natural to assume that in Cisalpine Gaul, as at Ostia, the quaestor was replaced by imperial procuratores. That such a change was made may perhaps be inferred from the language of Claudius' edict about the Anauni (Wilmanns, Inscr. Lat. 2842). In that edict Claudius refers to the extensive domains (saltus) in North Italy 'which,' as he says, 'I learn belong to me' [mei juris esse] — and which it is clear from the language of the edict were under the management of imperial procuratores. It may also be worth while to notice that after this period no further traces are found of a quaestor in South Italy, but, on the other hand, the traces of the presence of imperial procuratores become increasingly numerous. In the reign of Marcus Aurelius, the great public grazing lands of Samnium and Apulia were under the supreme control of the procurator a rationibus (Wilm. Inscr. Lat. 2841) and from a passage in Statius (Statius, Silv. 3.3, 92) we gather that the same was the case as early as the reign of Nero.

H. F. Pelham.

Thayer's Note:

a Not a given by any means: see J. C. Rolfe, "The So‑Called Callium Provincia" (AJP 36:323‑331).

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Page updated: 4 May 09