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Who Makes Announcements In Ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, the announcement of events and important news was often made by a group of specifically-trained Romans known as the Magistri. Magistri, also known as Annonarii, were responsible for promulgating the will of the emperor or senate via public message boards and passing the news to individual households. The specific tasks assigned to them varied, but they were typically in charge of procuring and distributing goods and services, as well as of fixing prices in the grain and meat markets.

The Magistri were an important part of the social fabric, as their work allowed citizens to stay well informed of the latest developments both in their own city, as well as in distant provinces. It was also their responsibility to make sure the population of Rome was prepared and able to respond to certain emergencies with the greatest degree of efficiency. Whether it was a military conflict, famine, or epidemic, the Magistri were charged with making the relevant announcements in easy-to-understand language so that all citizens of Rome could be so informed.

The Magistri had a difficult job as they had to always stay aware of their surroundings and be on the lookout for any announcements made by local officials. They also had to remain constantly alert for any announcements from more distant areas, as those were the ones which had the most weight when making decisions about the state of Rome. Additionally, the Magistri had to be well-versed in current affairs, politics and culture in order to understand what the population needed to know and how they could best respond to the circumstances.

The Magistri had a special way of making their announcements. They usually gathered in public squares, or in front of temples, to give their speeches. They used creative methods to engage the crowd: performances, songs and other spectacles. Roman citizens were quick to respond to the Magistri’s announcements, as they knew that their well-being relied on them staying up to date on the latest news.

Given the importance of their role, the Magistri were some of the most respected members of the Roman society. It is believed that there were even certain ceremonies and festivities dedicated solely to them in some cities. This indicates that the Roman people recognized the difficulty of their work and the invaluable service they provided.

Still, despite their significance, the work of the Magistri began to slowly disappear after the fall of the Roman Empire. As the empire began to decline, so did the importance of the announcements made by its citizens. By the end of the 18th century, the Magistri had all but disappeared from the cultural landscape.

Modern Day Announcements

With the disappearance of the Magistri, the responsibility for making the announcements and disseminating information in the modern day largely lies with the media, which does a similar job as the Magistri did in ancient Rome. Newspapers, radio and television have all become important sources of information.

Today, announcements and news disseminated via the mass media have a wide reach and influence. Through the internet and other digital platforms, news and information can spread to a global audience in a matter of minutes. Even though the methods of distributing information in the modern world are different, the role of the Magistri lives on; both in ancient Rome and in the present-day world.

Impact on Modern Society

The impact of the Magistri in ancient Rome was felt by the citizens who benefited from their services, and their legacy can still be seen today. Today’s news and information networks draw heavily from the methods of the past, where special care was taken to make sure all citizens were informed.

The role of the Magistri reminds us of the importance of accurate and accessible information for a healthy and functioning democracy. It also highlights the importance of the media, which is responsible for not just disseminating information but also for analyzing events and providing context to the news. These roles all give citizens the knowledge they need to make decisions about the state of their city and their country.

Critical Analysis

The role of the Magistri was vital to the functioning of a society in Ancient Rome, since it was their job to make sure that its citizens had access to up-to-date information. They would proclaim news and announcements in public squares with the help of spectacles and songs, and the people of Rome would quickly respond to the Magistri’s words.

In the modern world, the role of the Magistri is taken on by the media, which is tasked with disseminating information to an ever-expanding global audience. The impact of the Magistri in ancient Rome and their legacy today demonstrate the importance of accessible and accurate news and information to a healthy and functioning democracy.


The Magistri were a group of specially-trained Romans who were responsible for distributing important news and announcements to the citizens of Ancient Rome. Their job was to stay well-informed and to communicate the news in easy-to-understand language so the population of Rome could stay up to date. They also used creative methods to engage the crowd. As the Roman Empire declined, the importance of their announcements diminished as well.

In the modern-day world, the role of the Magistri is largely taken on by the media, which disseminates information to a global audience through print, radio, television, and digital platforms. The legacy of the Magistri lives on and reminds us of the importance of accurate and accessible information for a healthy and functioning democracy.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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