A Secret Messaging Strategy for the De-platformed

Aeneas Tacticus, Fragments LI: on the Sending of Messages”

“People who plan to work with traitors need to know how to send messages. Send them like this. Have a man be sent openly carrying some note about other matters. Have a different letter be secretly placed under the sole of the sandals of the person carrying the first message. Sew it between the layers and have it inscribed on tin to be safeguarded against mud and water.

Once the messenger has arrived to his destination and he has rested for the night, let the intended recipient remove the stitches from the sandals, take the message out, write a response secretly, and send the messenger back once he has written some public message to carry openly. In this way, not even the messenger will know what he carries.”

Τοῖς κεχρημένοις προδόταις ἀναγκαῖον εἰδέναι πῶς ἐπιστολὰς δεῖ αὐτοὺς εἰσπέμπειν. ἀπόστελλε γοῦν οὕτως. πεμπέσθω ἀνὴρ ἐν τῷ φανερῷ φέρων1 ἐπιστολήν τινα περὶ ἄλλων πραγμάτων. τοῦ δὲ πορεύεσθαι μέλλοντος κρυφαίως αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ τῶν ὑποδημάτων πέλμα ἐντεθήτω εἰς τὸ μεταξὺ βιβλίον καὶ καταραπτέσθω· πρὸς δὲ τοὺς πηλοὺς καὶ τὰ ὕδατα εἰς κασσίτερον ἐληλασμένον2 γραφέσθω πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἀφανίζεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ὑδάτων τὰ γράμματα. ἀφικομένου δὲ πρὸς ὃν δεῖ3 καὶ ἀναπαυομένου νυκτὸς ἀναλυέτω τὰς ῥαφὰς τῶν ὑποδημάτων καὶ ἐξελὼν ἀναγνούς τε καὶ4 ἄλλα γράψας λάθρᾳ ἀποστελλέτω τὸν ἄνδρα, ἀνταποστείλας καὶ δούς τι5 φέρειν φανερῶς· οὕτως γὰρ οὔτε ἄλλος οὔτε ὁ φέρων εἰδήσει.

Exhibit in the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Greek_balsamaria_in_shape_of_lower_leg_with_open-toed_sandal,_6th_century_BC_-_Bata_Shoe_Museum_-_DSC00016.JPG

Fighting On Foreign Soil is Nothing Like Defending Your Own Land (Aeneas the Tactician, Introduction)

[This is from the fragmentary “How It is Right to Defend A Besieged City”]

“Should some calamity occur on land or sea when men set out from their own land to meet danger or struggles, the survivors still may return to their home country, their city and fatherland—they are not completely destroyed. But for those who risk danger for the most important things—shrines, fatherland, children, parents and everyone else—the struggle is not equivalent or even similar. If they save themselves by defending nobly against their enemy, then their antagonists are more fearful and dissuaded for some time, but if they perform badly in the face of danger then no hope of safety remains.”

῞Οσοις τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἐκ τῆς αὑτῶν ὁρμωμένοις χώρας ὑπερόριοί τε ἀγῶνες καὶ κίνδυνοι συμβαίνουσιν, ἄν τι σφάλμα γένηται κατὰ γῆν ἢ κατὰ θάλασσαν, ὑπολείπεται τοῖς περιγιγνομένοις αὐτῶν οἰκεία τε χώρα καὶ πόλις καὶ πατρίς, ὥστε οὐκ ἂν ἄρδην πάντες ἀναιρεθείησαν. Τοῖς δὲ ὑπὲρ τῶν μεγίστων μέλλουσι κινδυνεύειν, ἱερῶν καὶ πατρίδος καὶ γονέων καὶ τέκνων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων, οὐκ ἴσος οὐδὲ ὅμοιος ἀγών ἐστιν, ἀλλὰ σωθεῖσι μὲν καὶ καλῶς ἀμυναμένοις τοὺς πολεμίους φοβεροὺς τοῖς ἐναντίοις καὶ δυσεπιθέτους εἰς τὸν λοιπὸν χρόνον εἶναι, κακῶς δὲ προσενεχθεῖσι πρὸς τοὺς κινδύνους οὐδεμία ἐλπὶς σωτηρίας ὑπάρξει.

Aeneas the Tactician?