Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!: A History of the Town Crier since the Medieval Period

The rang bells and shouted the words “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!” before making their announcements. Duties and Functions A town crier, also often called a bellman, is an officer of a royal court or public authority who makes public pronouncements as required.[1] The town crier was used to make public announcements in the streets. Criers often dress elaborately, by a tradition dating to the 18th[…]

A History of Homing Pigeons for Long-Distance Communication since the Ancient World

By 3000 BCE, Egypt was using homing pigeons for pigeon post, taking advantage of a singular quality of this bird. Introduction The true messenger pigeon is a variety of domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) derived from the wild rock dove, selectively bred for its ability to find its way home over extremely long distances. The rock dove has an innate[…]

Neanderthals Could Speak and Process Spoken Communication

Neanderthals had the capacity to perceive and produce human speech. When the ancestors of anatomically-modern non-Africans came out of Africa and met their Neanderthal sister species, they would probably have been able to communicate with them with speech. The fact that two related species of hominin could very probably use speech in exactly the same[…]

A Beginner’s Guide To Online Dating: Top 5 rules to follow

An increasing number of singles are being inspired to register with an online dating service. This upward trend began long before the present pandemic, although the closure of so many socializing outlets has certainly boosted the figures. If you are considering signing up to a dating site, there are certain rules to aspire to that[…]

Improving Listening Competence

Specific strategies for sharpening our critical and empathetic listening skills. Active Listening Overview Active listening refers to the process of pairing outwardly visible positive listening behaviors with positive cognitive listening practices. Active listening can help address many of the environmental, physical, cognitive, and personal barriers to effective listening. The behaviors associated with active listening can[…]

Barriers to Effective Listening

How environmental, physical, cognitive, and personal factors, and bad listening practices, present barriers to effective listening. Introduction Barriers to effective listening are present at every stage of the listening process. At the receiving stage, noise can block or distort incoming stimuli. At the interpreting stage, complex or abstract information may be difficult to relate to[…]

Finding the Good Argument – Or Why Bother With Logic?

Guidance in revealing the “mystery factor” and naming the qualities of a logical, ethical argument. By Rebecca Jones Introduction The word argument often means something negative.* In Nina Paley’s cartoon (see Figure 1), the argument is literally a cat fight. Rather than envisioning argument as something productive and useful, we imagine intractable sides and use[…]

How Did the Ancient School of Writing Develop?

Writing is the most important invention because it makes all the other innovations possible. While researching a 99papers review, I started to think about the craft itself and how it developed. With all living things, every generation is a blank slate. When an elephant or a wolf dies, everything he experienced, all that he learned,[…]

A Short Story of Propaganda since the Ancient World

Whenever any society has had common knowledge and a sense of common interests, it has made use of propaganda. The fact that wars give rise to intensive propaganda campaigns has made many persons suppose that propaganda is something new and modern. The word itself came into common use in this country as late as 1914,[…]

Stamping an Identity on America: The Beginning of the United States Post Office

George Washington convinced Congress to support a sweeping expansion of postal routes with greater scope and reliability. Introduction Research for my recent book on the postal inspector Anthony Comstock introduced me to the prominent role the Postal Service played in enabling Americans to conceive of themselves as a singular nation. Sending a letter from Virginia[…]

Political and Personal Themes of the Graffiti in Ancient Pompeii

One of the most common types of graffiti found lining the streets of Pompeii were political graffiti. These graffiti opened a window into how the city of Pompeii was operated. Equally popular were graffiti that were simply personal comments or remarks. Let’s learn more about the political and personal graffiti of Pompeii. Political Campaign Graffiti[…]

‘Talking Drums’: Long-Distance Communication in Early Africa

People have used drum telegraphy to communicate with each other from far away for centuries. Developed and used by cultures living in forested areas, drums served as an early form of long-distance communication, and were used during ceremonial and religious functions. Types of Drums “Talking” Drum While this type of hourglass-shaped instrument can be modulated[…]

A History of Pigeon Post Since the Ancient World

As a method of communication, it is likely as old as the ancient Persians, from whom the art of training the birds probably came. Introduction Pigeon post is the use of homing pigeons to carry messages. Pigeons were effective as messengers due to their natural homing abilities. The pigeons were transported to a destination in[…]

The Means of Ancient Communication

Since the art of writing was discovered, nearly every form of writing material has been used. By Grahame Johnstone Introduction The invention of writing and in particular of alphabetic writing marked a milestone in cultural development. It provided humanity with a new means of communication that literally inscribed in stone the spoken word. Communication could[…]

An Historical Overview of Communication since the Prehistoric World

Human communication was revolutionized with the origin of speech approximately 500,000 BCE. Introduction The history of communication technologies (media and appropriate inscription tools) have evolved in tandem with shifts in political and economic systems, and by extension, systems of power. Communication can range from very subtle processes of exchange, to full conversations and mass communication.[…]

Letters and Post in the Ancient World

Surviving letters such as clay tablets and papyrus scrolls contain a mine of information and they have been invaluable to historians. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Letters and their delivery via a state communication system was a feature of many ancient cultures. The writing medium may have differed but the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Incas[…]

Disaster Ahead: How Danube Floods Created Telegraph Networks

Telecommunication would prove to be a powerful agent of change. Rivers flood, some more regularly than others. The more infrastructure humans construct in floodplains, the more vulnerable to extreme hydrological events they become. Thus, when Danube floods hit Vienna, a Habsburg residence and the most important city of the monarchy, its waters regularly swept over[…]

Good Public Relations: What Ancient Persian Propaganda Tells Us about the ‘Nehemiah Memoir’

Inscriptions ranging from the first Persian king, Cyrus, through Artaxerxes reveal elements in common in both Babylonian and Egyptian texts. Stretching from Egypt to the Indus River, the Persian Empire was the largest empire yet seen in the ancient Near East. Typically, the Hebrew Bible depicts ancient Near Eastern empires as divine instruments of punishment.[…]

Fighting talk: First World War Telecommunications

As a result of the need to exchange information faster and more efficiently, telecommunications advanced rapidly. As the First World War raged, governments harnessed modern technologies to give them an advantage in conflict. New inventions – from tanks to Zeppelins – appeared on the battlefield, while existing technologies were adapted to fit the needs of the British[…]

Morse Code Marks 175 Years and Counting

Morse code works whether flashing a spotlight or blinking your eyes – or even tapping on a smartphone touchscreen. The first message sent by Morse code’s dots and dashes across a long distance traveled from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore on Friday, May 24, 1844 – 175 years ago. It signaled the first time in human[…]

The Spread of Knowledge via Print in Early Modern Europe

By the end of the fifteenth century, the majority of Western European cities had a printing press. By Richelle McDaniel Introduction While printing had already existed for several centuries, Johannes Gutenberg turned the printing world upside down and brought on a new era of print with his revolutionary innovation of movable type in 1445.[1] Movable[…]

Cultural Transfer of Scientific Knowledge in the Early Modern and Postcolonial Worlds

Some general principles for approaching the topic of knowledge transfer and science transfer. Abstract We are all familiar with stories of the daring voyages of discoverers and researchers who braved the seas and severe privation in the service of truth and enlightenment. The title of this article, “Knowledge Transfer and Science Transfer”, and the fact[…]

A 20th-Century History of the Raised Fist as a Changing and Cross-Applicable Symbol

The raised fist, or the clenched fist, is a symbol of solidarity and support.[1] It is also used as a salute to express unity, strength, defiance, or resistance. History A raised fist was used as a logo by the Industrial Workers of the World[3] (IWW) in 1917. However, it was popularised during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939, when it was used by the Republican faction as a greeting, and was known[…]

How the Post Office and Postal Products Shaped Mid-Nineteenth-Century Letter-Writing

In an age of electronic communication it is easy to forget the vital role that letter-writing played in people’s everyday lives in the nineteenth century. By Susan Donovan Abstract In an age of electronic communication it is easy to forget the vital role that letter-writing played in people’s everyday lives in the nineteenth century. Critical[…]

In the Shadow of the Little Giant: Lincoln before the Great Debates

Until their great debates, Abraham Lincoln lived for a quarter-century in the shadow of Stephen A. Douglas. Until their great debates, Abraham Lincoln lived for a quarter-century in the shadow of Stephen A. Douglas. While his biographers often view his development before 1858 as a prelude to his presidential achievement, Lincoln saw himself in relationship[…]

Linguistic Understanding and the Philosophy of Language

What is it to understand a language, hence others? By Dr. Paul TomassiFormer Professor of PhilosophyUniversity of Aberdeen Introduction Current understanding of the nature of language[1] owes much to two authors: Noam Chomsky and the later Wittgenstein. What is interesting is that the conceptions of language proposed by each appear to conflict. The key question[…]