EXHIBITS > Telecommunication of the ancient Greeks >
Cryptic relay (Laconian)
A thin band (3mm) of cultivated leather rolled around a wooden cylinder, on which the sender would write the message and the receiver would read it by unrolling it onto a piece of wood of equal diametre. On this specific relay we can read the desperate message sent by the Laconians to Sparta after their defeat in the naval battle of Arginouse: 'the ships are lost, Mindaros is killed, the men are starving, we don't know what to do!'
SOURCES: "Plutarch, Lives parallel (Lysandros), 19"