Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dear Mom, Please Write... wrote ancient Egyptian soldier Polion while serving with a Roman army unit in Hungary some 1,800 years ago.

 We don't know if his family received the letters, or if they replied, or if they did reply, that Polion ever received their letters in return.  No instant messaging or email back then and no U.S. Postal Service or FEDEX.  Did the Romans have a form of postal service for its soldiers scattered all over the known world at that time?  Yes, they did!  This is what a sidebar in the article says:

The back of the letter contains instructions for the carrier to deliver it to a military veteran whose name may have been Acutius Leon who could forward it to Polion's family. Although the Roman Empire had a military postal system, Polion appears not to have used it, entrusting the veteran instead.

Article at Live Science

Ancient Egyptian Soldier's Letter Home Deciphered

Polion says he has written six letters to his family without response, suggesting some sort of family tensions.
I wonder -- did Polion survive his enlistment with the Legion?  Did he get back home to Egypt, or did he settle down with a local girl and introduce Egyptian DNA into the population?  I'll never know.

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