Przenoszenie listów między miastami hanzeatyckimi w strefie bałtyckiej w XIV–XV wieku

Roman Czaja



The aim of the paper is to present the infrastructure of transferring letters in the Baltic area in the late Middle Ages. Author focuses its interest on the question of professionalization process of communication services and of the system with features of stability and regularity. The first part of the article is devoted to the development of specialized staff to carry letters. The first pieces of information about couriers and messengers in the towns of Flanders and northern Germany are to be found in the sources from the second half of the thirteenth century. In the Prussian and Livonian towns the process of creating professional staff to carry correspondence ended only in the first half of the fifteenth century. The Author points out the differences between the Hanseatic towns in the methods of paying of couriers and messengers who were required to provide services to the city councils and the burghers. Supposedly, Hanseatic towns created a system of regular communication between Livonian Towns (Riga, Revel) and Flanders, in which the major role played by messengers called in the sources as “the servant and courier of the Hanseatic merchant”. This system of communication must be considered innovative on the European scale.


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