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Chalcis (Greece) (search for this): book 10, chapter 43
rt of signalling by fire was confined to a single method, it proved in very many cases unserviceable to those employing it. For as it was necessary to employ certain definite signals which had been agreed upon, and as possible occurrences are unlimited, the greater number of them were beyond the competence of the fire signals to convey. To take the present instance: it was possible by means of the signals agreed upon to send the information that a fleet had arrived at Oreus or Peparethos or Chalcis; but it was impossible to express that "certain citizens had gone over to the enemy," or "were betraying the town," or that "a massacre had taken place," or any of those things which often occur, but which cannot be all anticipated. Yet it is precisely the unexpected occurrences which demand instant consideration and succour. All such things then were naturally beyond the competence of fire signalling, inasmuch as it was impossible to adopt an arbitrary sign for things which it was impossib