RomanArmyTalk

Full Version: Town criers
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Salvete,

Does anyone know if the romans had something like town criers to spread news?

Is anything known about them? How would they have been dressed?

A city here in Belgium would like to dress their folkloristic town crier in a Roman outfit to illustrate the rich roman past of their city. They want something authentic.

Any answers and suggestions would be highly appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
Valete,
Jef
I believe a praeco was a civilian announcer of that type, Bill Thayer's details are at:

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... cones.html

They sound lowly at best, so I would plead with them to avoid a completely innapropriate toga and recommend for men a loose unbelted T-shaped tunic to well below the knee, such as tradespeople are shown wearing, with flat leather shoes and perhaps wax tablets rather than scrolls.

Used by Jerome in 1 Kings:

{22:36} et præco insonuit in universo exercitu antequam sol occumberet dicens unusquisque revertatur in civitatem et in terram suam
{22:36} And a herald proclaimed throughout the entire army, before the setting of the sun, saying: “Let each one return to his own city, and to his own land.”

and in 2 Peter{2:5} :
iustitiæ præconem custodivit
Noah, the herald of justice

In the Acts, he seems to favour 'annunciator' and derivatives.

Hope that helps,

Ste
Thanks Ste, helps a lot!
Does anyone know if the Acta Diurna were ever read out loud, or were they just displayed to be read by passerbys?
Quote:Does anyone know if the Acta Diurna were ever read out loud, or were they just displayed to be read by passerbys?
I know that the TV drama Rome had a "town crier" figure, but I get the impression that the acta diurna were simply posted up so that, if you were interested (and literate), you could make your own copy.
If some noteworthy news item happened like a battle or a public official's death, they would write it down and nail it to a tree where three roads intersected, which is where we get the English "Trivia."