No great empire is truly functional without a proper system of communication and transport. Logistics are what keeps a vast realm ticking like a good mechanism, and what brings it together into one well-ordered nation. Throughout history, every large empire had its own system of couriers, road networks, and transportation, ensuring its success and functionality. Arguably the most well-known of all these was the Cursus Publicus, the ancient Roman postal and transportation system.
Communication in the Ancient World
A great empire is a vast expanse of land. It incorporates many nations, ethnicities, languages, geographical areas, and even continents. Without a good communications and transport system, these aspects can never be connected together, forming one functioning realm. So, if we glance back into ancient history, we can see that all the great realms had some form of a public transportation and communications system. There exist historical references that tell us of postal systems existing in ancient Egypt as early as 2000 BC, and even in Chou Dynasty China, around a millennium later. The postal system was refined in ancient China, from where it was adopted by the Mongols – who had one of the largest empires in the world.
The Romans adapted their state post from the ancient Persian network of the royal mounted couriers, refining it to their famous Cursus Publicus. (पाटलिपुत्र/CC BY-SA 4.0)