“Posting a Letter in Late Antiquity” is a project I began as a visiting Research Professor at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Sydney, in 2008. I gave a paper based on the work to the Centre, in May 2008, and a more developed one at the ANZAMEMS conference at the University of Tasmania in Hobart in December 2008.I was looking at the major letter collections of Late Antiquity (Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Avitus of Vienne, Basil of Caesarea, Cassiodorus, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory the Great, Jerome, John Chrysostom, Leo the Great, Libanius, Paulinus of Nola, Ruricius of Limoges, Sidonius Apollinaris, Symmachus, Synesius) not so much for what they tell us about late antique society or religion but very specifically what they reveal about the mechanics of the postal system in the Mediterranean world in the period c. 300 to c. 600. How did people post a letter? How long did it take? What were the effects of the mechanics of the postal system on the nature of the letters themselves? I intend to work this up into an article, or perhaps even a short book.
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I think this project should be privatised.