The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Annals
ANNALS (Lat. annales, that is, libri annales, year books), a concise and unadorned narrative of events, written in the order of time. In the early days of Rome the pontifex maximus kept a record of state affairs, prodigies, and the markets, which, written upon a white tablet, was displayed in some convenient portion of his house to the public inspection. These records were called annales maximi, and were written down to the pontificate of Publius Mucius Scævola, 131 B. C. When the Gauls burned the city, 390 B. C., the greater portion of those previously written were destroyed. Subsequently, other individuals composed portions of Roman history, imitating in style the pontifical annals. The first of these works, which was written by Quintus Fabius Pictor, commenced with the founding of Rome, and came down to the author's own time, during the second Punic war.