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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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a messenger or regulated courier appointed to carry with expedition the despatches of princes, or the letters of private persons in general, Job 9:25 ; Jeremiah 51:31 ; 2 Chronicles 30:6 ; Esther 3:13 , &c. It is thought that the use of posts is derived from the Persians. Diodorus Siculus observes that the kings of Persia, in order to have intelligence of what was passed through all the provinces of their vast dominions, placed sentinels at eminences, at convenient distances, where towers were built. These sentinels gave notice of public occurrences from one to another, with a very loud and shrill voice, by which news was transmitted from one extremity of the kingdom to another with great expedition. But as this could not be practised, except in the case of general news, which it was expedient that the whole nation should be acquainted with, Cyrus, as Xenophon relates, appointed couriers and places for post horses, building on purpose on all the high roads houses for the reception of the couriers, where they were to deliver their packets to the next, and so on. This they did night and day, so that no inclemency of weather was to stop them; and they are represented as moving with astonishing speed. In the judgment of many they went faster than cranes could fly. Herodotus owns, that nothing swifter was known for a journey by land. Xerxes, in his famous expedition against Greece, planted posts from the AEgean Sea to Shushan, or Susa, to send notice thither of what might happen to his army; he placed these messengers from station to station, to convey his packets, at such distances from each other, as a horse might easily travel.

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Post'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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