National Geographic : 1919 Sep
Photograph by Edith P. Kingman LIKE CLINGING IVY, VILLAS CLAMBER UP THE SIDES OF CAPRI'S ROCKY CLIFFS The ancient home of the pleasure-loving Roman tyrant Tiberius is visited annually by 40,000 tourists in normal times. ply announcing some prearranged mes sage; they had codes and sent long messages. The Greeks signaled on one occasion 100 miles at one jump. This was from Mt. Chigri, 1,698 feet, to Mt. Athos, 6,500 feet. The subject is one of absorbing inter est, but little touched on by archaeologists. Polybius, the Greek historian, has de scribed ancient signaling methods in con siderable detail, particularly an ingeni ous and elaborate method invented by Cleoxenus and Democlitus and perfected by Polybius himself. Briefly, this method was about as fol lows, the letters of the alphabet being arranged on five boards: FK GL HM IN JO PU QV RW s TZ To send any letter, such as H, the sig naling party raised two torches, because H is in the second column. Next, three torches were raised, as H is the third letter in its column. Very briefly, this was the theory.