The etymology of the word punctuation leads us back to its remote ancestor, the Latin punctus~ a "point" in the sense of the dot which we now call a "period" because it marks the end of a period. Latin did not require punctuation as our modern languages do, because the forms of words kept their construction clear independently of word-order. Even the period did not seem necessary until fairly late, since the termination of a sentence was shown by the verb which came regularly at the end.
Foley, L. (1968). Which Way is it Pointed?. Reading Horizons, 8 (2). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol8/iss2/2