Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sophisticated Postal Service Existed in Ancient Rome
Reporter Joan Brown Wettingfeld writes on New York's Time Ledger website, "The Romans had a postal service in the second century that might be called “letter perfect.”

She points out, "Known for the well-engineered roads that covered the empire, it was an easy task for their horse-drawn mail carts to travel in the second century at least 50 miles a day. Relay teams, which could travel 50 miles a day and beyond, could easily deliver messages of urgency and were able to cover 170 miles a day."

"The emperor Augustus, who reigned from 27 B.C. to A.D. 14," Wettingfield says, "and those who succeeded him built about 47,000 miles of roads as well as many relay stations, each usually having a station master, accountants, grooms and mail carriers."

According to Wettingfield, "Augustus and his successors used the so-called 'cursus publicus' (fast course) mail course, which were reserved for government officials though private letters were usually carried by merchants and/or servants."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM