His political advancement was slow, and he did not obtain the quaestorship until 107, when he served in the Jugurthine war under Marius in Africa.
The two quaestores, who appear to have controlled finance in a large number of municipia, cannot be traced in others; and it is probable that in the municipia, as at Rome, the quaestorship was locally instituted, as need arose, to relieve the supreme magistrates of excessive business.
The origin of the quaestorship is obscure, but it was probably instituted simultaneously with the consulship in 509 B.C. 1 The number of the quaestors was originally two, but this was successively increased to four (in 421 B.C.), eight (in 267 or 241 B.C.), and by Sulla (in 81 B.C.) to twenty.