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tabellāriī


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Freedmen or slaves employed as couriers by the Roman state and by companies and private citizens of importance. To reduce costs, friends might share their services; and under the republic the couriers of the state and of the publicani would carry private mail for important men. An eminent Roman, when abroad, would put someone in Rome in charge of forwarding (as Caesar did when in Gaul). But for reasons of security—esp. in times of trouble—it was essential to have one's own trusted letter‐carriers for confidential messages. A good messenger, in the best conditions, could apparently cover 60 Roman miles or more in a day. For the Principate, see postal service.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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