ANCIENT PERSIAN MAIL COURIERS

The Pony Express that linked Missouri with California was not a new idea.  Herodotus described the postal system of King Darius of Persia which linked the Persian Empire from the Middle East to Central Asia.

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DelancyPlace.com posts a literary quotation each day.  Here is an excerpt from the May 17, 2016 posting.

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“King Darius of Persia, who reigned from c. 521 to 486 BC, presided over perhaps the most celebrated ancient postal system and used it to extend his power throughout the Middle East and into Asia. The king copied his orders onto wax-covered tablets using a metal stylus and entrusted them to his postmen, who were legendary for their efficiency. ‘Nothing mortal travels so fast as these Persian messengers,’ marveled the Greek historian Herodotus. ‘These men will not be hindered from accomplishing at their best speed the dis­tance which they have to do, either by snow, or rain, or heat, or by darkness of night. The first rider delivers his dispatch to the second, and the second passes it to the third; and so it is borne from hand to hand along the whole line, like the light of the torch-race.’

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For the complete posting, click here.