By Jenna Smith
The life of a courier involves a lot of driving, delivering large shipments and smaller packages and letters across the country. Modern technology like state-of-the-art vans and high quality roads allow this process to be completed at great speed – it is possible to cross the United Kingdom from south to north in under 24 hours, although this would require a pair of couriers taking shifts. Today’s couriers might be surprised to know that several thousand years ago, the Ancient Persians had some similar ideas about efficient deliveries.
The Persian Empire (c. 550-330 BCE) was vast by ancient standards, reaching from Aegean Turkey in the west to the beginning of India in the east, at its height. The King ruled over it all; although he entrusted local government to his satraps, he still wanted to know all the important news in a timely fashion, especially when it concerned invasions, plagues, famines and so on. Ancient couriers needed to cross the empire as fast as possible with this news.
But the journey across the empire, from Sardis to Susa and further, took up to 90 days on foot. A walking courier was far too slow for vital communications. Mounted couriers were faster, but still faced restrictions like the need to rest their horse, and the hazardous terrain that forced the horse to walk almost as slow as a human for fear of crippling injury.
The Royal Road
King Darius I’s solution was to build a 1,500-mile long road – the Royal Road – which traversed the empire, and establish 111 posting stations along it. Each station kept fresh horses for the couriers to change onto, ensuring that they could ride as fast as possible. The journey across the empire now took a mere 7 days.
The extent of this achievement was recognised by contemporary writers. Famous Ancient Greek writer Herodotus wrote that “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor darkness of night prevents these couriers from completing their designated stages with utmost speed” in his Histories. The Romans who invaded parts of Persian in later centuries continued its use
Herodotus’ writings – along with archaeological research and other historical records – have also furnished us with the Royal Road’s route, so that we can now follow those ancient couriers across the ancient empire. The Royal Road began in Sardis, above 60 miles east of present-day Azmir in Aegean Turkey. From there it went east through the middle northern section of Turkey and passed through the Cilician Gates to Nineveh (present-day Mosul in Iraq), formerly capital of Assyria. It then turned south to Babylon (near present-day Baghdad, Iraq), where it divided. The first route went northeast then east through Ecbatana and along what later became known as the Silk Road. The second went east to Susa (in present-day Iran), future Persian capital, and then southeast to one of Persia’s most famous cities, Persepolis.
An Assyrian road
While King Darius I of Persia ordered the development of the Royal Road’s full length, it seems likely that he wasn’t the first ancient ruler to envisage a quality road connecting important parts of his empire. The Ancient Assyrian Empire, which existed in many phases from as far back as the 20th century BCE until about a hundred years before Cyrus the Great forged Persia, most likely had a hand in building one part of the Royal Road. Its route through Nineveh and Babylon, old important centres of that Empire and not the most direct route across Darius’ empire, is strong evidence for the Assyrians devising infrastructure for ancient couriers even earlier in history, and the Persians simply expanding from it.
How does one identify sexy lingerie from, say, common everyday lingerie? While many women find strength, confidence and a sense of identity by wearing sexy lingerie all the time, for the most part sexy intimates are reserved for special occasions where more revealing lingerie styles are desired. In another article, I provide a better understanding of sexy lingerie and how sensual intimates are different. The purpose of this article is to discuss and show specific styles of sexy lingerie.
Bras – Sexy Bra Styles vs. Purely Functional Everyday Women’s Brassiere
Women’s bra sales represent over 50% of all lingerie and intimate apparel sales. First and foremost the brassiere was designed as a functional garment to support the bust. Many innovations for more comfortable and improved support have been introduced over the years, for example, underwire (and non-underwire) support and textile advancements such as spandex and microfiber. In general, a functional everyday bra is comfortable and provides support with no frills, such as a full cup and full coverage bra.
Sexy bras on the other hand may provide support; however, function is not necessarily the first consideration when designing sexier bras. The shelf bra, for example, provides little support, however, is among the best selling of sexy bra styles. The push-up bra is another type of more sensual bra style because it lifts the breasts, creating the appearance of greater fullness and cleavage.
While shelf and open tip bras are at the far side of the more sexy range, a plethora of less risqué, yet nevertheless, sensual bra styles exist such as the plunge bra, cut much lower in the front to reveal more cleavage; the backless bra to reveal more of the back; and, the strapless bra to show more of the shoulders. In essence, sexy bras reveal more of the woman’s bust, back and shoulders, whether with their design and cut or the fabrics of which they are made, such as sheer and see through materials.
Sexy Panties, Thongs and G-Strings vs. Women’s Panties and Briefs
The term ‘granny panties’ refers to old, greyed non-attractive underwear your mother’s mother would have worn. You know, the large, more than full coverage panty made of cotton in shades of beige and bare. Granny Panties serve the purpose of function only, which is to provide a lining between the body and clothing to prevent chafing of the body’s more sensitive areas as well as minimize the soiling of clothes.
Sexy panties, on the other hand, provide similar benefits, however, are designed with greater flair, including bright colors, lace, sheer fabrics and other means of sensual adornment. While the panty and brief provide full back coverage for the more modest woman, thongs, French tangas and g-strings reveal more of the woman’s buttocks, hips and front. Sales of sexier thong styles have far out-paced panty and brief sales over the past decade as younger generations feel more comfortable and confident in the minimal fabric and coverage provided by thongs and low rise thongs, such as those made by Hanky Panky, touted as “the world’s most comfortable thong”.
Sexy Sleepwear vs. Traditional Sleepwear
The variety of sleepwear available to women is massive. In additional to traditional long cotton sleep shirts and gowns, women often choose the less alluring, however, comfortable men’s t-shirt and boxers or shorts. Sexy sleepwear differs from other forms of evening wear in that it reveals more of the woman’s body.
Sexier sleeping attire is designed with shorter hemlines, plunging necklines as well as slit sides and backless designs. Sheer, see through and fabrics that hug and cling provide greater allure by showing more of a woman’s curves and features. Shorter and more revealing styles of negligees include the baby doll and chemise.
Bodystockings, Body Suits and Teddies
Many men and women find hosiery body suits and stockings to be extremely sexy, covering the woman from head to toe with sensual clinging fabric, often sheer or translucent to reveal all the beauty a woman has to offer. Sexier body stockings are made of sheer and fishnet fabrics as well as have an open crotch, thong back and/or open bust.
Teddies are a form of body suit that are both leg and sleeveless, covering just the torso. While some teddies do have sleeves for style and appeal, the majority of teddies do not. Like body stockings, teddies typically are designed with a thong back to reveal more of the buttocks and come in snap-closure and crotchless styles.
While there are many forms of sexy lingerie, the primary differentiator between sexier intimates and common every day lingerie styles is the amount of body that is exposed, whatever means may be used, including sheer and see through fabrics, stretch materials that hug and cling, and skimpier designs that are lower cut (or, for that matter, higher cut below the waist) and use less fabric.