30 Oct '13, 7pm

Social media: It’s so 1st century B.C.

Today it’s easy to assume that social media platforms are a recent development, a phenomenon unique to the Internet age. But the exchange of media along social networks of friends and acquaintances is in fact much older than Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. Consider the situation in the late Roman republic, in the first century B.C. At the time there were no printing presses and no paper. Instead, information circulated among the intermarried families of the Roman elite through the exchange of papyrus rolls. The correspondence of the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero, the best preserved collection of letters from the period, shows that he and his friends wrote to one another constantly, recounting the latest political machinations, passing on items of interest from others and providing commentary and opinion. “I sent you on March 24th a copy of Balbus’ letter to me and of...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/social-media-it-s-so-1st-century-b...

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