Table of contents:
- Ancient ways of transmitting information over long distances - signal lights and drums
- Courier news system: from nodal letter to parchment
- Heralds in Europe and in Russia
- Kaliki pedestrian, singing songs and telling epics
When the expedition of Miklouho Maclay's team was at anchorage near the coast of New Guinea, not yet landing on land, all the aborigines of the island were already aware of the visit of the guests. The explorer did not see a soul in the bay, only thick columns of smoke were seen on the hills. This is how the news of the arrival of strangers spread throughout the island. What other methods of disseminating information were used by people in different eras - later in the article.
Ancient ways of transmitting information over long distances - signal lights and drumsSince ancient times, humanity has used a variety of means to convey important information. The most popular way to communicate something meaningful to the neighboring villages was bonfires. They have been used since time immemorial, and became irrelevant only in the 19th century (when optical telegraph was used instead of torch fire).
Bonfires were burned in Ancient Greece, on the towers of the Great Wall of China, in Russia. The Indians of North America, who learned this skill from sorcerers and could be considered full members of the community only with the necessary knowledge, perfectly mastered the art of the fire.
The smoke code had extensive possibilities. By giving the clouds of smoke a certain color and shape, the Indians could transmit various information - to warn of a military invasion, to inform about the number of enemies and their location, to agree on help.
To vary the density and color of the smoke, different raw materials were used - dry grass and thin brushwood created a translucent light curtain. To obtain dark and thick smoke, minerals, wet wood, animal bones, and fabric were used. The capabilities of the fire telegraph used in Europe were much more scarce.
Drums are another mode of communication that has shown impressive vitality. It began to be used in prehistoric times, and to this day, the relevance of drums has not been lost in some West African tribes. The sounds are varied in tone and duration, this allows you to transmit messages with all sorts of meanings, and not just signal danger. In many villages in Africa, a meeting or the beginning of a ceremony is announced by the sounds of a conical okporo drum.
Courier news system: from nodal letter to parchmentIn ancient times, messages addressed to a specific person or group were transmitted using the services of messengers. This profession was very dangerous, because if you had to deliver a letter with bad news, then the probability of execution was quite likely.
The messengers of Ancient Egypt had to take care of the presence of the will, especially those who delivered letters outside the state, since their lives were in constant danger. Both wild beasts and the cruel customs of foreigners posed a danger.
Even special identification marks (bells in Japan, red shields in Russia) could not guarantee the safety of the life and health of the messenger. Messages were cords of various lengths and colors with knots. In the territory of modern Mexico and Peru, such a message was called kipu. Its meaning was determined by such parameters as the method of tying, the number and location of the knots.
And in the Greek city of Pergamum, the technology of writing on animal skins was improved, the raw materials were processed more carefully than the Persians did. Therefore, the new storage medium has become practical, lightweight and durable. It could be used several times, but it was written on parchment on both sides. The only drawback of the carrier was the high cost: in order to produce such a canvas, it was required to perform several types of work - thorough washing, soaking in a lime solution, drying at a certain temperature and humidity regime, separating the flesh, processing with pumice. Parchment was used to exchange messages between high-ranking officials.
Heralds in Europe and in RussiaSince the 12th century, people of a new profession have appeared in Europe, whose duty was to disclose socially important operational information. They were called heralds. They performed in public places delivering the latest news. It could be a solemn announcement of a military victory or, on the contrary, a defeat, an announcement of a circus performance, or a clarification of the time and place of distribution of bread. Also, heralds denounced criminals, traitors, announced the upcoming executions and trials, conveyed campaign messages to the people.
The role of heralds was highly valued in medieval society, representatives of this profession were endowed with special administrative rights. Since 1258, on the initiative of King Philip Augustus, the heralds have united into a single corporation. The requirements for their erudition and diction were quite high, they also had to know the Law of God and demonstrate respect for traditions.
In Russia, the honor of informing the people about important state events belonged to privet. He should also be honored, since he was considered a person close to the prince. The thunderous privet should have read the message to the people clearly and without hesitation. And if necessary, precise comments should have been given so that uneducated people would understand the will of the prince correctly. People who were lisping, lisping, or stuttering did not have the slightest chance of getting a prestigious position.
Kaliki pedestrian, singing songs and telling epicsFor those who had physical disabilities, there was still a niche in the "media space". Pilgrims to the Holy Land have been an important source of information in Russia about events in the spiritual world since the 10th century. They were called kaliki perepodikh, but despite the consonance, they were not all crippled. At first, representatives of this profession often had a heroic appearance, expensive clothes and accessories - sable fur coats, velvet bags.
Later, this group was replenished exclusively by beggars who lived on alms from grateful listeners. Nevertheless, the authors of epics, legends and songs, despite their unrepresentative appearance, were popular and respected. They were revered as people not earthly, but spiritual. Kalik was warmly received in the hut or in the yard, treated, attentively listened to their songs, epics and the lives of the saints.