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Communication systems and correspondences in Ancient Eastern Mediterranean Context 'A World of Communication in Ancient Times’

We live in a world of communication, which is the sharing of information and entertainment by conversation, writing and various other methods. Communication is expanding everyday and without it we would be isolated from the rest of world. Modern civilization has made a lot of progress due to the development of a wide range of communication means. Communication covers all aspects of the individual and social activities. The mass media governs our lives, and we learn a lot by listening to the radio, television and reading daily news. Answering our telephone and letters, talking, are all examples of our personal interaction with others as well as in modern times we are able to communicate with the segments of Political-State systems and governing bodies. The people we meet, and the knowledge we share makes us different and influences human beings. The magic system of communication in general makes some kind of the world order with interaction and contact of different states and cultures.

Communication is the exchange of meanings and information between individuals through a common system of symbols. The subject of communication has concerned scholars since the time of Ancient Greece.  In 1928 the English literary critic and author I.A. Richards offered one of the first—and in some ways still the best—definitions of communication as a discrete aspect of human activity:

"Communication takes place when one mind so acts upon its environment that another mind is influenced, and in that other mind an experience occurs which is like the experience in the first mind, and is caused in part by that experience.”

Richards’s definition is both general and rough, but its application to nearly all kinds of communications— between individuals, between individuals and states, and between various state systems from Ancient times through the contemporary period.

More recently, questions have been raised concerning the adequacy of any single definition of the term communication as it is currently employed. According to modern scholars there exist at least 50 modes of interpersonal communication, which includes: architectural, anthropological, psychological, political, and many other forms of communication.

Interest in communication systems has been stimulated by advances in science and technology, which, by their nature, have attracted attention to a man as a communicating creature. Since about 1920 the growth and apparent influence of communications technology have attracted the attention of many specialists who have attempted to isolate communication as a specific aspect of their particular interest. Social scientists have identified various forms of communication by which myths, styles of living, civilizations, and traditions are passed either from a generation to a generation or from one segment of society to another. Political scientists and Historians have recognized that communication of many types lies at the heart of the regularities in the social and political order. According to the modern scholarship the Model of communication could be varied but one of the most popular models of communication is a linear model. As originally conceived, the model contained five elements—an information source (on our occasion, researching the Ancient period it would be more appropriate to use the term  as "a massage”), a transmitter ( we may  recognize under this expression  ‘ a messenger’), a channel of transmission ( we may define this term as’ the "road networks”) , a receiver (  On our occasion the "receiver” could be a person or recipient of information), and a destination ( under this term we  comprehend an  issue  of the extent of  spreading the information, local and distant destinations)—all arranged in a linear order.

In this paper, I have limited my interest to the issue of   diplomatic communication system in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean area; to comprehend the question we intent to stress some issues in relations with the early forms of political communication model, which encloses several elements and is ordered in below presented arrangement. We have juxtaposed those elements to the modern linear system with some addition and interpretation:

Modern information source

Modern sender

Modern transmitter

Modern channel of transmission

A modern receiver of massage

Spreading the information and  Destination factor in Modern times

The Timeline of spreading information  in the modern World


a variety of groups and resources

a variety of groups and resources

Various resources

A concrete recipient as well as a social group and  public

covers local and  remote areas as well


fast, immediate, direct

An Ancient information source


Ancient authors

An Ancient transmitter

An Ancient channel of transmission

A receiver of massage in Ancient times

Spreading the information and  Destination factor in  Ancient  times

The Timeline of spreading information  in the Ancient World

A verbal or a written massage

Ruling class and bureaucratic bodies


a messenger, or a group of political delegation, or merchants




Road infrastructure, caravan  and  seafaring networks

A specific recipient

Covers local and far areas as well, but limited space.


slow, gradual, irregular


Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (08.11.2009)
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