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In ancient Rome, the daily minutes of public business and a record of political and social events. Julius Caesar in 59 BC ordered that the Senate's daily doings (acta diurna, commentaria Senatus) be made public; Caesar Augustus later prohibited publication, though the Senate's acts continued to be recorded and could be read with special permission. There were also public registers (acta diurna urbis, daily minutes of the city) of the acts of the popular assemblies and the courts as well as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. These constituted a daily gazette, a prototype of the modern newspaper.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Acta, visit Britannica.com.
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