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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: Of Palladius the Courier.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XIX.—Of Palladius the Courier.

How the Emperor Theodosius received intelligence of what was done in an incredibly short space of time, and how he was quickly informed of events taking place far away, I shall attempt to explain. For he had the good fortune to possess among his subjects a man endowed with extraordinary energy both of body and mind, named Palladius; who rode so vigorously that he would reach the frontiers of the Roman and Persian dominions in three days, 956 and again return to Constantinople in as many more. The same individual traversed other parts of the world on missions from the emperor with equal celerity: so that an eloquent man once said not unaptly, ‘This man by his speed proves the vast expanse of the Roman Empire to be little.’ The king of the Persians himself was astonished at the expeditious feats which were related to him of this courier: but we must be content with the above details concerning him.



Much, of course, depends, in estimating the rate of speed here recorded, on the exact distance between Constantinople and the rather indefinite limits of the Persian empire. But even if the minimum of 500 miles be taken as a basis, the speed seems almost incredible.

Next: A Second Overthrow of the Persians by the Romans.

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