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The postal service was invented by storytellers Photo: Expansión

The postal service was invented by storytellers


Belkys Rodríguez Blanco

It all began with storytellers who used to wander from town to town telling stories and legends. That is how the method of oral narration was born. An oral narrator is someone who has a special gift for communication, someone who was heard and respected by their contemporaries. Human beings are social animals and want to communicate and understand what is going on around them and also leave a mark in the world. 

In the Middle Ages, jesters were itinerant performers who used to tell real or made-up stories; they entertained kings and noblemen at the court telling stories during evening events. This was the ground for news transmission, a service demanded by an increasingly organised and complex society. That is how the postal service appeared. 

In Spain, according to the official website of Correos, the origin of the service dates back to ancient Roman times. The so-called cursus publicus went across Hispania through a well preserved path network carrying messages to the Roman army and administrators. In the Middle Ages the messengers went from court to court and carried orders of their kings. Traders, religious institutions and universities also requested for the service of messengers.   

The marriage of the Catholic Monarchs, which led to the unification of Spain, the beginning of the colonisation of the Americas and the extensive overseas exploration by Europeans during the reign of Charles V had great influence on the progressive development of the Spanish postal service. In 1716, Correos became a public service. In 1756, postman was considered a profession and six years later the first postboxes were installed. In 1850, postage stamps appeared and were used as a form of legal tender and in 1998 the first webpage was launched. Five years later, the Online Post Office appeared.  

What jesters who wandered from one place to another while singing in the rain or sun created is now a sophisticated network of services. A network that allows the delivery of parcels and communication all over the world. 


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