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RECORDS of the proceedings of the senate, the comitia, and the courts had always been kept by the magistrates or officials concerned, just as those of the sacred colleges. These records no doubt could be consulted, but the duty of the officials concerned was limited to the depositing and safe keeping of them: they were not charged with making them known to the public. A change in this respect was one of the first acts of Caesar in his consulship of B.C. 59. He ordered that all official acts of the people, as well as those of the senate, should be collected and made public (ut tam senatus quam populi diurna acta confierent et publicarentur, Suet. Iul. 20). It is only after that year, therefore, that mention of them occurs in the correspondence. There does not seem any proof that these acta were officially promulgated in the provinces. Rather, it seems that the magistrates, as well as others who were abroad, made their arrangements with certain scribes in Rome to copy the official announcements and forward them, and Cicero constantly assumes that such persons receive them (see Fam. 12, 8; 12, 22, § I;12, 23, § 2;12, 28, § 3). When Cicero refers to them simply as acta he seems always to mean the acta of the senate (see vol. i., pp. 146, 163, 207). When he means other acta such as elections, laws, or trials--he speaks of them as acta urbana, or rerum urbanarum acta (vol. ii., p. 151; cp. Fam. 12, 23, p. 187). Besides this, Cicero had had a private arrangement with Caelius to cause a budget of news to be made up for him periodically. This contained all kinds of gossip, social as well as political (see vol. ii., pp. 15, 33, 177). Caesar appears to have had also a special report made to him of the acta diurna (see Letter CCCCLXX, Fam. 9, 16, § 4), a practice continued by Augustus, who, however, stopped the publication of the acta senatus (Suet. Aug. 36 and 64). During the empire the acta urbana contained notice of births and other events in the imperial family (see Suet. Tib. 8, Cal. 8), as well as a great variety of other facts (see Tac. Ann. 12, 24; 13, 31). Tiberius not only reintroduced the practice of publishing the acta senatus, but appointed a senator specially to edit them (Tac. Ann. 5, 4). For the inclusion of judicial proceedings in the acta urbana, see Asconius, Miloniana, 19 and 47; cp. Pliny, Ep. 7, 33; and of those in a popular assembly, Ascon. 49.

[Other allusions to the acta senatus and acta diurna will be found in Asconius, 44; Pliny, Ep. 9, 15; Seneca, Benef. 2, 10; 3, 16; Quintil. 9, 3; Juvenal 2, 136; 7, 104; Ammianus, 22, 3, 4.]

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