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  • Linda M. Whitaker

What I'm Reading - Ask Historians on Reddit


Ask Historians on Reddit

r/AskHistorians





How is it that I just learned about this? This honestly has to be one of the best forums ever. Ever. Heavily moderated, and the most interesting questions and thoroughly amazing replies.


Also, they have a podcast too! I’ve not listened yet, but I will give it a go. Here is it…

The AskHistorians Podcast


So, in the subreddit, you start by asking a question. Here is one example....

You can’t even believe the wonderfully rich discussion this prompts. Multiple experts reply, and I learned not only about the messengers, but also how they traded and their system of government. It’s truly mind-blowing that there are such deep experts willing to share their time and knowledge so willingly.


A few quotes from this post so you can see what I mean by the awesomeness of it all.


Example responses:


If you’re a chaski runner, odds are you know your way around the route you’ve been running - it’s quite likely you’ve been conscripted for your duties from the local area. Your tambo way station may be a few miles from home, but it’s likely not too far. You only need to pass whatever qhipu messages - or perhaps fresh fish for the Sapa Inca, maybe he asked for some for dinner! - from your tambo to the next one. Then you’ll pass it on relay-race style. You may be one of only a few people around with ready access to the royal road (Qhapaq Ñan) that isn’t military - the road is for imperial business alone.”


Then a comment from another person…


“Do you really think that roads were off limits to all non-military traffic in practice? I know that's mentioned in some of the chronicles, but to me it always seemed like emphasizing the control the Sapa Inca had over his domain. I never interpreted it as "you actually have to ask a bureaucrat every time you want to go see a relative in a neighboring village". Seems like the widespread pastoral mobility in the Andes would make that difficult to enforce. Though I could definitely see a distinction between significant "ceque" roads in the Cusco Valley and those in the provinces.”









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