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Cursus publicus
(686 words)

[German version]

The term cursus publicus, attested from as early as the 4th cent. AD (Cod. Theod. 8,5,1), but which already appeared earlier (cf. P Panop. Beatty 2,275: 28.2.300), describes the state message and transport system of Imperium Romanum; in the 1st-3rd cent. AD offices, tasks and duties of the system were defined through links with vehicula or vehiculatio (CIL III 7251; RIC II 93). Augustus first established a courier service consisting of alternating messengers purely as a communications system. He extended the service into an efficient …

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Kolb, Anne (Frankfurt/Main), “Cursus publicus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 07 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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