Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,765 words)

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By a signal we mean a specific sign, normally generated mechanically, whose meaning is based on a previously adopted agreement. The word was borrowed in the 14th century from Old French signal (from Latin signum, “sign”). Signals have been in use since antiquity, but usually limited to rudimentary content. An agreed signal could warn of the incursion of a foreign army or report a victory. Visual transmission of a message at night employed lig…

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Beyrer, Klaus, “Signal”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027504>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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