By Adam J. Silverstein
Adam Silverstein's ebook deals a desirable account of the authentic equipment of verbal exchange hired within the close to East from pre-Islamic instances during the Mamluk interval. Postal platforms have been manage by way of rulers as a way to continue regulate over big tracts of land. those platforms, invented centuries sooner than steam-engines or vehicles, enabled the speedy flow of alternative commodities - from letters, humans and horses to unique culmination and ice. because the correspondence transported frequently integrated personal studies from a ruler's provinces, such postal structures doubled as espionage-networks in which information reached the important experts fast adequate to permit a well timed response to occasions. The ebook sheds gentle not just at the position of communications expertise in Islamic background, but additionally on how nomadic tradition contributed to empire-building within the close to East. this can be a long-awaited contribution to the heritage of pre-modern communications platforms within the close to jap global.
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Additional resources for Postal Systems in the Pre-Modern Islamic World
1969, XXX: 3–5. It is possible that in the later Byzantine period, centuries after the rise of Islam, a dual system of relay-stations and resting-stations was reintroduced into the Byzantine world. Michael Psellus (eleventh century CE), for instance, makes reference both to stathmoi and hippostaseis, the latter being a Greek equivalent of the mutationes (in M. F. Hendy, Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c. 300–1450, Cambridge, 1985, p. 609). R. , 1975, passim, esp. p. 26. The sudden disappearance of milestones from the roads of the Byzantine Near East during this period also indicates a decline in the state of imperial routes on the eve of Islam (cf.
Ibn H ab al-mas alik wa al-mam alik, Leiden, 1873, p. 130) suggests that in the tenth . awqal (Kit century the Byzantine ‘Barıdp stations were located at 1-parasang intervals, this being every 6 kilometres. On these sources, see Hendy, Studies, p. 604. It is worth mentioning that of these three itineraries, only the Itinerarium Burdigalense indicates mutationes in addition to the mansiones recorded in the other sources. On the composition of route books in the context of ‘geographical intelligence’, see Sheldon, Intelligence, pp.
Moreover, with the adoption of 154 155 156 157 158 159 Hendy, Studies, p. 606. This is not to say that stations were provisioned on a daily basis, but that delivering supplies to a station and returning had to be accomplished within a single day, suggesting that the total distance covered cannot have been more than 35 kilometres. Procopius, Anecdota, XXX: 10. John Lydus makes similar remarks, albeit without directly implicating the emperor (see below, p. 39).
Postal Systems in the Pre-Modern Islamic World by Adam J. Silverstein