Real Letters from the Roman Front Lines – What Do They Say? (Video)
Real letters from the Roman front lines offer a fascinating glimpse into the everyday lives of ancient soldiers. These letters were the primary means by which soldiers kept in touch with their families and friends, and they provide valuable insights into the social, political, and cultural realities of the Roman Empire. The process of writing a letter in ancient Rome was complex and required access to specialized tools like papyrus scrolls, ink pens, and scribes.
Once the letters were written, they had to be sent across the vast expanse of the Roman Empire, which was accomplished through both public and private couriers. The Cursus Publicus was the primary means of public communication, using a relay of riders to deliver messages across the Empire at incredible speeds. Private couriers, on the other hand, relied on merchants who traveled at their own pace, criss-crossing the Empire to deliver messages. The contents of these letters varied widely, ranging from personal greetings and family news to accounts of battles and other military matters.
Top image: Roman soldier in front of ancient writing. Source: Nejron Photo / Adobe Stock.