“Acta” is technically used in Latin
(1) for the proceedings in a court of justice, and
(2) for the official record of such proceedings, including the preliminaries of the trial, the actions and speeches of the contending parties, the sentence of the judge; which last, when it had been committed to the Acta, was proclaimed aloud by the public crier.
“Acta martyrum,” then, in its strict and original sense, meant the official and registered account of a martyr‘s trial and sentence. The early Christians were anxious to preserve these accurate narratives of the witness which their brethren made to the truth of the Christian religion.
- Father James J McGovern. “acts of the martyrs”. . CatholicSaints.Info. 11 January 2016. Web. 20 February 2017. <>