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0 ACTA.

lica, Ada Urbana^ Ada Re-rum Urbanarnm, Ada Populi, and they are frequently called simply Ada» The Greek writers on Roman history call them ""« vTTO/ji.v'hfJi.a,Ta1 to, d7)/j,6(ria, uTTOyiw^juaTa, to, drj^ffia jpoL^ara and t« koivo. vTrofj,vf]/jiara. The nature of their contents will be best seen from the following passage of Petronius (c. 53) where in imitation of them is" given by the actuarius of Trimalchio : — " Actuarius — tamquam acta urbis recitavit: vii. Kal. Sextilis in praedio Cumano, quod est Trimalchionis, nati sunt pueri xxx., puellae xl. ; sublata in horreum ex area tritici mi-Ilia mo-dium quingenta; boves domiti quingenti. Eodem die Mithridates servus in crucem actus est, quia Gaii nostri genio maledixerat. Eodem die in arcam relatum est, quod collocari non potuit, sestertium centies. Eodem die incendium factum est in hortis Pompeianis, ortum ex aedibus Nastae villici. J.am etiam edicta aedilium recitabantur, et saltuariorum testamenta, quibus Trimalchio cum elogio exhae-redabatur ; jam nomina villicorum et repudiata a circumitore liberta in balneatoris contubernio depre-hensa; atriensis Baias relegatus ; jam reus factus dispensator; et judicium inter cubieularios actum." From this passage, and from the numerous passages in ancient writers, in which the Acta Diurna are quoted (references to which are given in the works of Le Clerc and Liberkuhn cited below), it would ap­pear that they usually contained the following mat­ters:— 1. The number of births and deaths in the city, an account of the money paid into the treasury from the provinces, and every thing relating to the supply of corn. These particulars would be ex­tracted from the tabulae publicae. By an ancient regulation, ascribed to Servius Tullius (Dionys.. iv. 15),. all births were registered in the temple of Venus, and all deaths in that of Libitina; and we know that this practice \vas continued under the empire, only thai at a later time the temple of Saturn was substituted for that of Venus for the registration of births. (Jul. Cap. M. Aurel. 9.) 2. Extracts from the Acta Forensia, containing the edicts of magistrates, the testaments of distinguished men, reports of trials, with the names of those who were acquitted and condemned, and likewise a list of the magistrates who were elected. 3. Extracts

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from the acta senatus, especially all the decrees and acclamationes [acclamatio] in honour of the reigning emperor. 4. A court circular, containing an account of the births, deaths, festivals, and movements of the imperial family, 5. An account of such public affairs and foreign wars as the government thought proper to publish. 6. Curious and interesting occurrences, such as prodigies and miracles, the erection of new edifices, the confla­gration of buildings, funerals, sacrifices, a list of the various games, and especially amatory tales and adventures, with the names of the parties. (Comp. Cic. ad Fam. ii. 15.) The fragments of some Acta Diurna have been published by Pighius and Dodwell, but their genuineness is too doubtful to allow us to make use of them as authorities.

It is certain that these acta were published under the authority of the government, but it is not stated under whose superintendence they were drawn up. It is probable, however, that this duty devolved upon the magistrates, who had the care of the tabulae publicae, namely, the censors under the republic (Liv. iv. 8, xliii. 16), and sometimes the quaestors, sometimes the praefecti aerarii under the empire. (Tac. Ann. xiii. 28.) By a regulation

ACTIA.

of Alexander Severus, seven of the fourteen cura-tores urbis, whom he appointed, had to be present when the acta were drawn up. (Lamprid. A lex. Sev. 33.) The actual task of compiling them was committed to subordinate officers, called aduarii or actarii, who were assisted by various clerks, and by reporters (notarii), who took down in short-hand the proceedings in the courts, &c. After the acta had been drawn up, they were exposed for a time in some public place in the city, where persons could read them and take copies of them. Many scribes, whom Cicero speaks of under the name of operarii, made it their business to copy them or make extracts from them for the use of the wealthy in Rome, and especially in the provinces, where they were eagerly sought after and exten­sively read. (Cic. ad Fam. viii. 1, xiii. 8; Tac. Ann. xvi. 22.) After the acta had been ex­posed in public for a certain time, they were de­posited, like the Acta Senatus,. in some of the re­cord offices, or the public libraries.

The style of the acta, as appears from the pas­sage in Petronius, was very simple and concise. They contained a bare enumeration of facts without any attempt at ornament.

As to the time at which these acta were first composed, there is a considerable variety of opinion among modern writers. It is maintained that the passage of Suetonius (Caes. 20), quoted above, does not imply that the acta were first published in the first consulship of Julius Caesar, and that the meaning of it is, " that he first ordained that the acta diurna of the senate should be compiled and published just as (tarn quani) those of the people had been." But although this interpreta­tion is probably the correct one, still there is no passage in the ancient writers in which the Acta Diurna are decisively mentioned, previous to Caesar's first consulship ; for the diarium referred to by Sempronius Asellio (Gell. v. 18), which is fre­quently brought forward as a proof of this early pub­lication, is the journal of a private person. There ia likewise no evidence to support an opinion adopted by many modern writers that the publication of the acta first commenced in e. c. 133 to supply the place of the Annales Maximi, which were discon­tinued in that year (Cic. de Orat. ii. 12), while on the contrary the great difference of their con­tents renders it improbable that such was the case. The Acta Diurna continued in use to the downfall of the western empire, or at least till the removal of the seat of government to Constantinople, but they were never published at the latte'r city.

(Lipsius, Excursus ad Tac. Ann. v. 4; Ernesti, Excursus ad Sud. J. Caes. 20; Schlosser, Ueber die Q.uellen der spatern latein. Geschichtsdireiber^ besonders uber Zeitungen, &c. in iheArckivfiir Ge~ schichte^ pp. 80—106 ; PrutzQ^Defontibus^quos in conscribendis rebus inde a Tiberio usque ad mortem Neronis gestis audores vderes secuti videantur^ Halle, 1840 ; Zell, Ueber die Zeitungen der alten^ Friburg, 1834 ; but the two best works on the subject are, Le Clerc, Des Journauoo chez les Ro-mainS) Paris, 1838, and Lieberkiihn, De Diurnis Romanorwn Actis, Weimar, 1840.)

ACTIA ("A/crta), a festival of Apollo, cele­brated at Nicopolis in Epeirus, with wrestling, musical contests, horse-racing, and sea-fights. It was established by Augustus, in commemoraticn of his victory over Antony off Acthim, and was probably the revival of an ancient festival ; tor

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