Why Was Communication Important in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, communication played a vital role in the development and growth of civilizations. The exchange of information between people was crucial for survival, progress, and innovation. Communication was not just limited to verbal interaction but also included written forms such as inscriptions on stone or papyrus.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication was the primary mode of interaction in ancient times. It helped people to convey their ideas, emotions, and needs. A clear understanding of language enabled ancient civilizations to establish trade, political alliances, and cultural exchanges with other communities.

In ancient Greece, the art of public speaking was highly valued. Orators were respected members of society who could sway public opinion and make important decisions in the city-state’s affairs. The famous philosopher Socrates used dialogue as a means to share his philosophical ideas with his followers.

Written Communication

Written communication was another significant form of communication in ancient times that played a crucial role in preserving history and culture. Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphs to record their history on stone carvings and papyrus scrolls. In Mesopotamia, cuneiform script was used to record numerous transactions and administrative documents.

The invention of the printing press in the 15th century revolutionized written communication by making it accessible to the masses. Before that, books were handwritten by scribes or monks, making them very expensive and rare.

Importance of Communication for Governance

Communication was essential for governance in ancient times. Leaders needed information from different parts of their empire or kingdom to make informed decisions about managing resources or maintaining law and order.

In ancient India, Emperor Ashoka used edicts carved on rocks or pillars throughout his empire to communicate his policies regarding social justice, religious tolerance, and animal welfare.

The Incas developed an elaborate system of runners who carried messages across their vast empire by relaying them from one runner to another. This system was used to communicate orders from the emperor and maintain control over the empire.


In conclusion, communication was a critical factor in ancient times that helped people to interact, share information, and build communities. Both verbal and written forms of communication played an essential role in preserving history, culture, and tradition.

Effective communication allowed ancient civilizations to establish trade networks, political alliances, and cultural exchanges with other communities. The importance of communication in ancient times cannot be overstated as it laid the foundation for modern societies that we have today.