Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Letters and CommunitiesStudies in the Socio-Political Dimensions of Ancient Epistolography$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paola Ceccarelli, Lutz Doering, Thorsten Fögen, and Ingo Gildenhard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198804208

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198804208.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 March 2021

Couriers and Conventions in Cicero’s Epistolary Network

Couriers and Conventions in Cicero’s Epistolary Network

(p.81) 2 Couriers and Conventions in Cicero’s Epistolary Network
Letters and Communities

Schröder Bianca-Jeanette

Oxford University Press

There was no postal service in antiquity: transmission of letters therefore always involved someone who carried the letter from sender to addressee. This chapter shows that the courier has to be inserted, as an important figure in his own right, into the complex and fascinating picture of etiquette and interaction that defined ancient epistolary communication. With special reference to the correspondence of Cicero, Schröder demonstrates that the author of a letter had to take into account not only the letter’s recipient and other potential readers within his circle (and beyond) but also, and every bit as much, the courier, who loomed over the potential contents of any letter as an inevitable frame and first filter. Detailed readings of passages from Cicero’s epistolary corpus illustrate the implications of this hitherto much-neglected aspect of letter-writing for our understanding of his correspondence.

Keywords:   postal service, letter-carrier, couriers, confidentiality, news, Marcus Cicero, Atticus, Quintus Cicero, epistolary conventions

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .