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.
; Fest. p. 259). The index
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
; Cic. Cat. 4.5
; Suet. Jul.
). 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.
7; M. Ant. Phil.
11): in the later Empire the term
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
; Cato, R. R.
], 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
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
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
106; Walter, Gesch. d.
§ 860; Rudorff,
ii.3 599; and (for the
passage of Plautus) Götz, in Rhein.