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The Latin term for official records of transactions, including Acta senatus and Acta populi Romani, both established by Caesar in his first consulship, B.C. 59. (1) Acta senatus. Caesar's law decreed that all transactions of the senate should be regularly written down and published, which had only been done hitherto in exceptional cases. The written reports were continued under the Empire, but Augustus put a stop to their publication. These documents were preserved among the state archives and in the public libraries, where they could only be inspected by permission of the city prefect. At first a temporary duty imposed oil individual senators, the business of reporting grew into a separate office held in rotation, with the title of Ab actis senatus, and the officer holding it had a considerable staff of writers under him, called Actuarii. (2) The Acta (diurna) populi (Romani), or Acta publica, urbana, urbis, diurna populi, or simply Acta or Diurna, were an official daily chronicle, which, in addition to official reports of events in the imperial family, and state and city affairs, contained regulations by the magistrates, transactions and decrees of the senate, accidents, and family news communicated to the editors. They were publicly exhibited on a whitened board (album), which any one might read and copy; and there were men who made a business of multiplying and transmitting such news to the provinces. After a time the originals were placed among the state-archives for the benefit of those who wished to consult them.
Type: Standard
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