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ca - 480 BC __ Burnished Shield
Xenophon (ca 430-354 BC)
Comment : Herodotus tells of a signal flashed from Athens to Marathon by means of a burnished shield at the time, 480 BC, when the Greeks were about to come to grips with Darius's army. Xenophon in 405 BC (Hellenica, Book II, 1.27) mentions one such signal given by Lysander before the Battle Aegospotamos (or Aegospotamoi, the final battle of the Peloponnesian War (431- 404)).Later, King Demetrius of Macedonia is represented as giving the signal for battle at Salamis in Cyprus by displaying a gilded shield (Diodorus, XX. 51), and a shield is used by Antoninus for a similar purpose (Dio Cass., LXXVII. 13).
Original excerpt 1 : « On the fifth day as the Athenian ships sailed up, Lysander gave special instructions to the ships that were to follow them. As soon as they saw that the Athenians had disembarked and had scattered in various directions over the Chersonese.as they were now doing more freely every day, since they had to go a long way to get their food and were now actually contemptuous of Lysander for not coming out to fight.they were to sail back and to signal with a shield when they were half-way across the straits. These orders were carried out and as soon as he got the signal, Lysander ordered the fleet to sail at full speed. Thorax went with the fleet. When Conon saw that the enemy were attacking, he signaled to the Athenians to hurry back as fast as they could come to their ships. But they were scattered in all directions. » (Xenophon, Hellenica, Book II, 1.27)
French translated excerpt 2 : « 27. C'était le cinquième jour que les Athéniens venaient défier Lysandre. Celui-ci commanda à ceux qui les suivaient par son ordre que, dès qu'ils les verraient débarqués et dispersés dans la Chersonèse, ce qu'ils faisaient chaque jour plus librement, soit pour aller acheter des vivres au loin, soit parce qu'ils méprisaient Lysandre, qui ne répondait pas à leur défi, il leur commanda, dis-je, d'élever, en revenant vers lui, un bouclier, quand ils seraient à mi-chemin. Ils firent ce qu'il leur avait commandé.28. Aussitôt Lysandre donna le signal de naviguer à toute vitesse. Il emmenait avec lui Thorax et l'infanterie. Conon, voyant venir l'ennemi, donna le signal pour qu'on courût en toute hâte aux vaisseaux. Mais comme les équipages étaient dispersés, certains vaisseaux n'avaient que deux bancs garnis de rameurs, d'autres un seul, et d'autres étaient entièrement vides. Le navire de Conon, sept autres qui étaient près du sien et qui avaient leur équipage au complet, et la galère Paralienne gagnèrent le large. Tous les autres furent pris par Lysandre près du rivage. Il ramassa sur terre la plupart des soldats athéniens; les autres s'enfuirent dans des bourgs fortifiés. » (Xénophon, “Les Helleniques”, Livre II)
Source : Harlow, Alvin F. (1936), “Old Wires and New Waves”, originally published by D. Appleton-Century company, New York, Read Books Publisher (2008), pp. 9-10.
Source : Holzmann, Gerard J., and Pehrson, Björn (1994), “The Early History of Data Networks”, Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Pr.
Source : Merriam, Augustus C. (1890), “Telegraphing Among the Ancients”, Papers of the Archaeological Institute of America, Classical Series III, Vol. 3, n°1, Cambridge : University Press, printed by John Wilson and Son, p. 10.
Urls : http://remacle.org/bloodwolf/historiens/xenophon/index.htm (last visited ) http://remacle.org/bloodwolf/historiens/xenophon/hellen2.htm (last visited )

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