The earliest known want-ad
, going back to as far as 59 B.C. in the Roman Empire
These ads were traditionally posted in government-issued newspapers called acta diurna by the Roman clergy to find potential staff. The term comes from the Latin si quis ("if anyone"), which was the way most announcements began. The name siquis stuck, and eventually evolved into notices covering a large variety of issues which included escaped apprentices, lost-and-found items, and so on, much in the style of modern classified ads.
However, siquis were later defined as sixteenth- and seventeenth-century handwritten posters used in England for advertising.