User:Hemlock Martinis/Retitling of positions

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The following is a proposal to rename the positions of Wikipedia's bureaucracy and administration to match those of ancient Roman titles.


Wikipedia's bureaucracy has begun to take itself too seriously. We get so caught up in bickering over wheel wars and incivility and vandalism that we forget our original purpose: to create, maintain and expand an encyclopedia. While that endeavor should be approached with all due deference, it does not mean we cannot take creative liberties in the manner by which we carry out this task.

What do you think of when you hear the title "Administrator"? Or worse yet, "Bureaucrat"? Does the first image in your head depict an editor who tirelessly contributes to the betterment of the encyclopedia? No! Administrators and Bureaucrats conjure up images of pompous corporate project leaders or those cranky people who work for the DMV. The hardworking men and women of Wikipedia's administration deserve better than to be nailed to clunky, bland titles.

From where should we draw replacement titles? When one looks back throughout history and thinks of good administration, the first and foremost nation that comes to mind is that of the Romans. Romans were the best at administration of their provinces, and we could benefit from the example they set. We're an encyclopedia, so it is only fitting we draw upon one of the finest empires in human history for inspiration.


Addressing an administrator as a quaestor follows the spirit of adminship being "no big deal". "Administrator" sounds serious and harsh, opening the door for newcomers and new contributors to ascribe false importance to the role. Something like "Quaestor", however, is less imposing and allows the community to de-attach any perceived "big deal" from the position.

After all, the best way to make something "no big deal" is to treat it in jest. What better way to remove importance from a position than by naming it after something in which no inherent seriousness is implied? This is not to say that the duties that administrators perform should be treated in jest - far from it. Rather, the role in which the duties are performed should not have any emphasis ascribed to it.

"Administrator" implies administrating things. "Quaestor" is just an obscure title from ancient history.

Proposed changes[edit]

Developers and stewards, as Wikimedia Foundation-level positions, are outside the jurisdiction of the English Wikipedia's community to rename.

In the interest of minimal confusion, high-traffic areas of Wikipedia's bureaucracy such as the administrator's noticeboard or the administrator intervention against vandalism forums would not be renamed.


  • A sense of pride and civic duty in one's role!
  • An educational experience every time! ("What in the world is a quaestor?")
  • Frees Wikipedia's valiant administrative and bureaucratic public servants from dry, dusty titles!
  • Sounds great!


  • May force Wikipedia to defend itself from more than just Vandals. (Possible new threats: Huns, Celts, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Gauls, Franks, etc.)
  • Sounds incredibly pompous. No big heads please.
  • We probably don't have the time or the server space to explain what the hell a quaestor or a lictor is.
  • A lot of people already have enough trouble working everything out, adding new names that many just won't 'get' is not going to help that.

See also[edit]