1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Acta Senatus
ACTA SENATUS, or Commentarii Senatus, minutes of the discussions and decisions of the Roman senate. Before the first consulship of Julius Caesar (59 B.C.), minutes of the proceedings of the senate were written and occasionally published, but unofficially; Caesar, desiring to tear away the veil of mystery which gave an unreal importance to the senate’s deliberations, first ordered them to be recorded and issued authoritatively. The keeping of them was continued by Augustus, but their publication was forbidden (Suetonius, Augustus, 36). A young senator (ab actis senatus) was chosen to draw up these Acta, which were kept in the imperial archives and public libraries (Tacitus, Ann. v. 4). Special permission from the city praefect was necessary in order to examine them. For authorities see Acta Diurna.