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QUADRUPLA´TOR a professional accuser in cases involving a pecuniary penalty (Plaut. Pers. 1.2, 18; Cic. Ver. 2.8, 22; Div. in Caecil. 7, 24; Liv. 3.72; Fest. p. 259). The index was one who was himself involved in the crime or conspiracy, and, by coming forward as informer, gained immunity for himself and a reward paid by the state treasury (Liv. 2.5, 4.45, 22.33, 32.26, 39.19; Cic. Cat. 4.5; Suet. Jul. 17). The quadruplator differed from the index in the nature of the cases involved, in the fact that he was not himself liable but took up the accusation as a means of making money, and thirdly because he derived his gains from a share of the penalty, and so from the property of the accused, not from the state. [For a later development of the professional accuser under the Empire, see DELATOR.] Several emperors tried to get rid of quadruplatores (Capitol. Anton. P. 7; M. Ant. Phil. 11): in the later Empire the term disappears.

As to the origin and strict meaning of the word, there is some controversy. Ps.-Ascon. (in Cic. l.c.) gives two opinions. As to the first--that the quadruplator received one-fourth of the accused person's property--this scarcely agrees with the etymology, which should mean fourfold, and is probably a confusion arising from the fact that the later delatores received one-fourth. So far as we know, this began with the Lex Julia de majestate. The second view is probably more correct--that the quadruplator had to do with cases where the penalty was four times the damage; as, for instance, violation of the laws of usury (Liv. 7.28; Cato, R. R. init.; FENUS], and it is probable that the condemnation to pay fourfold was not uncommon in other cases: we find it as the penalty for provincials who kept back the corn tribute (Cic. Ver. 3.13, 34), and the term quadruplator applied, in Sidon. Ep. 5.7, to one who farmed the tolls, is perhaps derived from his exacting fourfold from defaulters. Possibly, as Mommsen [p. 2.532]thinks, the quadruplator originally received the whole penalty (quadruplus) from the accused; afterwards only a proportion, large or small. The locus classicus in Plaut. Pers. 1.2, 18 does not lay down the actual law, but only what the poet wishes to be the law, that the quadruplator should, if he made good his accusation [ “si--damnet” ], pay half the penalty to the treasury, receiving only half for himself; and that, on the other hand, he should himself be condemned in the fourfold penalty if he failed in his proof.

[Geib, Criminalprocess, 106; Walter, Gesch. d. röm. Rechts, § 860; Rudorff, Röm. Rechtsgesch., 463; Mommsen, Staatsrecht, ii.3 599; and (for the passage of Plautus) Götz, in Rhein. Mus. 30.167.]

[W.S] [G.E.M]

hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (11):
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.2.22
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.3.34
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 4.5
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 17
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 39, 19
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 7, 28
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 33
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 32, 26
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 2, 5
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 3, 72
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 4, 45
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