When the general left his province before the arrival of his successor he usually committed it to the care of his quaestor, and, if he died or was incapacitated from naming his successor, the quaestor acted as his representative.
His son, Gaius Flaminius, was quaestor under P. Scipio Africanus the elder in Spain in 210, and took part in the capture of New Carthage.
Marcus Antonius (143-87 B.C.), one of the most distinguished Roman orators of his time, was quaestor in 113, and praetor in 102 with proconsular powers, the province of Cilicia being assigned to him.
When accused by Sulla (to whom he had been quaestor in 81 B.C.) of having squandered the public money, he refused to render any account, but insolently held out the calf of his leg (sera), on which part of the person boys were punished when they made mistakes.
The political career of Varro seems to have been late and slow; but he arrived at the praetorship, after having been tribune of the people, quaestor and curule aedile.
In 43 he was quaestor in Further Spain, where he amassed a large fortune by plundering the inhabitants.
Having filled with more than usual success the offices of quaestor and praetor, he obtained the consulship in 120; he was next chosen one of the four consulars for Italy, and greatly increased his reputation by his conduct as proconsul of Asia.
But, though his duties were primarily financial, the quaestor was after all the chief assistant or adjutant of his superior in command, and as such he was invested with a certain degree of military power; under the republic his military rank was superior to that of the legates, though under the empire this relation was reversed.
Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, his son, served during the third Mithradatic War (74-61 B.C.) as quaestor to Pompey, by whom he was sent to Judaea to settle the quarrel between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus.
Its commerce increased with the growth of Rome, and this, and the decay of agriculture in Italy, which obliged the capital to rely almost entirely on imported corn (the importation of which was, from 267 B.C. onwards, under the charge of a special quaestor stationed at Ostia), rendered the possession of Ostia the key to the situation on more than one occasion (87 B.C., A.D.