An Post issued two stamps on the theme of ‘Ancient Postal Routes as part of a Europe-wide Europa initiative where European postal operators issue stamps on a common theme. Designed by Dublin firm, Red&Grey, the stamps and First Day Cover (FDC) souvenir envelope are based on illustrations by artist Orlagh Murphy.

Taking inspiration from religious art, using a quadriptych (four quadrant layout), the stamps tell the story of the journey of a letter during the Middle Ages. The National rate (N) stamp shows a medieval monk preparing a letter and then carrying it overseas by boat. The International stamp (W rate) shows the message being carried onward by horseback and the delivery of the message to the recipient, a medieval prioress.
Inspired by an archival drawing, Orlagh Murphy’s illustration on the FDC depicts a map of the European travel route of Giraldus Cambrensis (c. 1146 – c. 1223), a colourful cleric of the time. The route shows how he travelled from Dublin to Rome via Paris.

Giraldus Cambrensis was a prolific writer and influential figure in the twelfth century Renaissance, a period of social, political and economic transformation in Europe. He wrote ‘Topographia Hiberniae’ as an account of the landscape and people of Ireland, circa 1188.

Source: An Post