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The History of Communication in the Acient World - Research Paper Example

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The History of Communication in the Ancient World. Human settlements first grew into fully fledged cities around the major river deltas of the world, where nutrient-filled flood plains supported agriculture rather than hunting and gathering as a way of life (Bauer, 2007, p…
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The History of Communication in the Acient World
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Download file to see previous pages The invention of writing is assumed to have taken place as part of the commercial activities here, and the clay tablets of Mesopotamia show that trade by river and sea was a major channel of communication between centers of population. Writing was a crucial way of keeping track of goods between tradesmen and guaranteeing the prosperity of these early cities. The civilization of Ancient Egypt took the invention of writing to new levels by using the much more portable format of colored ink on carefully prepared papyrus made from the stems of plants that grew along the Nile. Longer texts could be written on this material, and it was much lighter and easier to transport than the heavy and fragile clay tablets of the Mesopotamian region. Hieroglyphic writing was used both in portable scrolls, and on huge monuments, proclaiming the greatness of this mighty civilization. The Phoenicians were also very active in the ancient world, traveling around the coastlines in their sailing craft, transporting goods and ideas across very large distances. They must have encountered people from many different countries, speaking different languages, and this need to communicate internationally may well have inspired the symbols which the Phoenicians used and these provide the building blocks which make up modern Western alphabets. The Greek civilization was renowned for its expansionism in a military sense but also for its philosophy and its invention of democracy as a form of government. In ancient times Greek ideas were passed from place to place through a combination of conquest and alliance as different cities became part of the Greek empire. Homer’s Odyssey, for example, describes how great leaders communicated to their citizens using direct word of mouth: “Straightway he bade the clear-voiced heralds to summon to the assembly the long-haired Achaeans” (Homer, Odyssey, 2.6). Human messengers were the main means of communication over longer distances between rulers of cities and states, and without modern technologies like telephones and mechanized transport, it took a very long time for news to travel back and forth. Hellenism, as the Greek influence is called, was the bearer of many cultural traditions, including ideas about education, the arts and philosophy. Greek citizens took their culture with them as they colonized new areas, often combining new ideas from other cultures with their Greek way of thinking. Many Greek artefacts borrowed ideas from cultures which had better designs and production technologies , such as Persia, for example, showing that trade was a bearer of culture as well as material benefits (Miller, 1997, p. 202). In the time of Greek supremacy great cosmopolitan hubs were created which served as a central pool of ideas from outlying areas. It was Persia also, which first invented a system of mail service, carrying documents and portable items along staged routes between key cities. The Greeks built libraries, preserving knowledge, and communicating it from generation to generation, so that scientific discoveries and technological advances could be passed on. People traveled far and wide to learn from great Greek teachers like Socrates, who greatly influenced the history of ideas. The Roman civilization brought many artefacts, ideas and traditions from their Mediterranean to the northernmost parts of Europe, and to North Africa and Asia also. The main channel of communication was the military roads that the armies built as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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