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actĭo, ōnis, f. [ago], a doing, performing, acting, action, act.

I. In gen.: non modo deos spoliat motu et actione divina, sed etiam homines inertes efficit, Cic. N. D. 1, 37; 2, 16; virtutis laus omnis in actione consistit, id. Off. 1, 6; id. Fin. 5, 19, 54.—With subject. gen.: ad eas res parandas, quibus actio vitae continetur, active, practical life, id. Off. 1, 5: corporis, id. Div. 1, 32: mentis, id. N. D. 1, 17; and with object. gen.: itaque nec actio rerum illarum (the public performance of those things) apertā petulantiā vacat, id. ib. 1, 35, 127; ib. 1, 43: actio ullius rei, id. Ac. 2, 33, 108; and so plur.: periculosae rerum actiones sunt, Off. 1, 2, 4; hence: actio gratiarum, the giving of thanks, id. Fam. 10, 19 (cf.: gratias agere).—

II. Esp.

A. Public functions, civil acts, proceedings, or duties.

1. In gen., Cic. Fam. 9, 8: tribunorum, their official duties, Liv. 5, 11; so, consularis, id. 4, 55 al.: actiones nostras scriptis mandamus, Cic. Off. 2, 1; Caes. B. C. 1, 5.—Hence negotiation, deliberation: discessu consulum actio de pace sublata est, Cic. Att. 9. 9.—Esp.

2. Of judicial proceedings.

a. An action, suit, process (in abstr.), with a gen. more precisely defining it, e. g. actio furti, injuriarum; also with de: actio de repetundis, de arboribus succisis, etc.: actionem alicui intendere, Cic. Mil. 14: instituere, to bring an action against one, id. Mur. 9: multis actiones (processes, suits) et res (the property in suit) peribant, Liv. 39, 18 al.

b. The accusation (in concr.), the statement of the crime, the indictment, charge, accusation: Inde illa actio, OPE CONSILIOQVE TVO FVRTVM AIO FACTVM ESSE, Cic. N. D. 3, 30, 74; cf. id. Caecin. 3; id. de Or. 1, 36, 167.—Hence, in gen., judicial forms (the omission of which rendered a suit null and void): actiones Manilianae, forms relative to purchase and sale; cf. Cic. de Or. 1, 58, 246: Hostilianae, ib. 1, 57, 245.—Hence,

c. A pleading of a case (spoken or written); so Cic. calls his Orats. against Verres, actiones, pleas, simply dividing them into actio prima and actio secunda: actio causae, Cic. Caecin. 2, 4; actiones litium, id. Phil. 9, 5, 11; so, Suet. continuae actiones, Ner. 15: in prima parte actionis, Quint. 10, 1, 20 al.

d. Permission for a suit: dare alicui actionem (which was the right or duty of the praetor or judge), Cic. Verr. 2, 2, 27.—

e. The judicial management of a suit, the trial, the day of trial: prima, altera, tertia, Cic. Verr. 1, 30; 2, 2, 6.—

B. Gesticulation connected with oral delivery.

1. Of an orator; the exterior air or bearing, the action, delivery: Demosthenem ferunt ei qui quaesivisset quid primum esset in dicendo, actionem; quid secundum, idem et idem tertium respondisse, Cic. Brut. 38; cf. id. de Or. 1, 18; so that it often includes even the voice: actio ejus (Pompeii) habebat et in voce magnum splendorem et in motu summam dignitatem, id. Brut. 68; cf. id. Or. 17: est actio quasi sermo corporis, id. de Or. 3, 59; cf. ib. 2, 17 al.—Hence, also —

2. Of an actor, action: in quo tanta commoveri actio non posset, id. de Or. 3, 26.—

C. In dramatic lang., the action, the connection or series of events, the plot, in a play: habet enim (fabula) varios actus multasque actiones et consiliorum et temporum, Cic. Fam. 5, 12, 6.