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Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae has joined Co-Promote: Click to VISIT the site:

co-promote

We invite you to visit Co-Promote, and join up is you like, so that you and your site can co-promote yourselves in tandem along with us.

We are also sending out invitations to our own friends for whom we have e-mail contacts.

Richard

 


KEY POST: my translation of Knossos Tablet KN RA 1548 = 3 finer quality swords... another tough nut to crack: Click to ENLARGE:

There are MAJOR problems with this post, all centred around the word, ariyete, which I now believe I have translated wrongly. As soon as I can clear up the problems, I will report the Tablet, KN RA 1548, and modify the text accordingly. I also invite any Linear B expert to catch me out on this one, as I am quite certain you will.  Apart from this tricky (sneaky) word, I believe the rest of the translation is accurate. 

Translation KN RA 1548
There are several noteworthy aspects to my translation of this very significant tablet from Knossos, which has been translated many times over. However, each translator has his or her own take on what the tablet signifies, and I am no exception. I researched every single word on the table very carefully before translating it, but the word which caused me the greatest grief was “ariyete”. What on earth was that supposed to mean? Once again, Liddell & Scott (1986 ed.) came to my rescue, as you can see on the tablet above. Some will say I am really going out on a limb with this interpretation, and actually I suppose I am. But as I have so often said before in this blog, and shall never cease to repeat, one has to take chances with translations of Linear B Tablets, which are often (to say the very least) ambiguous. Now let us turn to the map upon which I base my hypothesis for my translation. Click to ENLARGE:

Eastern Mediterranean 1250-1150 BCE
At least my translation has the elegance of being consistent within its ambit. The swords here are described as “finer”, and there are only 3 of them in inventory, further attesting to their quality. Moreover, the attribution of Median origin of manufacture is not such a far stretch of the imagination, since as the map itself clearly illustrates, the Medians were a migratory people at that time, and the word for the people described as “ariyete” on the tablet bears a more than passing resemblance to “Arzawa” on the map. I am not at all claiming that my translation is the “right” one, as there simply is no such thing in cases such as this, with Knossos KN RA 1548, which is about as ambiguous as you can get.

While my literal translation is just that, literal, following the tablet word by word, what is my justification for my free translation?  Why do I insist that the 3 swords, which are made of Cyperus, have “chain-braided hilts”, rather than simply saying what the text clearly says, that they are “with chains” (dative plural)? I do so for two good reasons: (1) because if the swords were hung from chains (presumably shoulder straps), the poor blokes who wanted to attack with them would be killed themselves before they even got them off their shoulders! & (2) Bronze-Age swords were frequently adorned with chain-braided hilts, as you can see in these two examples: Click to ENLARGE:

Bronze Age Sword inlaid with gold braid top & second example below

We must recall at all times that the Minoan & Mycenaean scribes were very adept at using shorthand in transcribing their tablets, since the tablets were almost invariably very small. That is why a literal translation is quite unlikely to represent accurately what they really meant when they wrote out their tablets. It is for this reason, for instance, that the noun “kuperos” stands (in) for the adjective “kuperosiya”, which in fact would be feminine, were it to modify the noun, “pakana”. So why did the scribes use the noun instead of the adjective? The answer is apparent... to save space on the tablet. Minoan and Mycenaean scribes resorted to this ploy over and over on 100s, even 1,000s of tablets, so is it any wonder they would have done so on this tablet? 


I welcome any and all observations, critiques and criticisms of this translation, however agreeable or, on the other hand, contrary or vexatious.


Richard


Comparison between 5 words in Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, using the 22 syllabograms we have seen so far: Click to ENLARGE:

Linear B & Linear C Basic Vocabulary of 5
For your entertainment and, if you like, instruction, here is a table of 5 words in the Mycenaean Greek dialect in Linear B and the same words in its closest cousin, Arcado-Cypirot in Linear C. As you can see from these examples, the syllabograms for DA or TA (there is no DA series in Linear C), PA, NA & TO look similar in each of the syllabaries. These 5 words also serve to illustrate that Linear B & C words (vocabulary) are very similar, and in many instances, precisely the same.

Enjoy! Richard


All 22 Arcado-Cypriot Linear C syllabograms we have learned so far

I have tagged each of 22 of the syllabograms we have covered so far with a large asterisk on the chart of the Arcado-Cypriot syllabary below. Click to ENLARGE:

Arcado-Cypriot Syllabary
& again!

cypriot-examples b

I will introduce the remainder of the Arcado-Cypriot syllabary sometime in the late summer.


Richard


Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Syllabograms: Moderate-Intermediate Linear: Click to ENLARGE:

Linear C SO LI NE LA MI MU RI NI
These 8 syllabograms all consist of 3-6 linear strokes only, and are relatively easy to learn. Once again, remember that the majority of Linear C syllabograms are primarily linear, with a few of them circular, or a combination of linear & circular, making the syllabary relatively straightforward to learn. For the time being, this is as far as we intend to go with Linear C syllabograms, having introduced the first 22 or already 40 % of 56 syllabograms, enough for us to decipher a few words on the Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Idalion Tablet, and to compare these with their counterparts in Mycenaean Linear B. These comparisons, or as I prefer to call them, cross-correlations, serve to make it perfectly obvious to anyone familiar with either of these syllabaries, Linear B or Linear C, and especially to those familiar with both syllabaries, that indeed the Mycenaean dialect in Linear B and the Arcado-Cypriot in Linear C are the 2 most closely related early East Greek dialects, which were all to eventually merge into the Ionic and finally, the Attic dialect. In other words, what I am saying is that all of these East Greek dialects, from Mycenaean to Attic, are all of the self-same family.


Richard

8 more Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Syllabograms: Simple Linear: Click to ENLARGE

Linear C  WE SA PI O KA R PE U
From here on in, we can forget about correlating any Linear C syllabograms whatsoever with any Linear B syllabograms, simply because the two scripts part ways once and for all, beyond the 6 which we just introduced in the last post, which simply happen to look like their counterparts in Linear B, whether intentionally or not.

Apart from that, these 8 syllabograms all consist of 2-5 linear strokes only, and are easy to learn. It should also be noted that the majority of Linear C syllabograms are primarily linear, with a few of them circular, or a combination of linear & circular, making the syllabary relatively straightforward to learn. The problem is -  and I don’t know about you - trying not to confuse the 56 syllabograms in Linear C with the 81 in Linear BV just might drive one half nuts. I only hope it doesn’t do that to me. I will let you know if it does (joke!). Anyway, as it stands, we now have 14 or exactly 25% of the 56 syllabograms under our belt, which is a good start.

Richard




Let’s Learn Arcado-Cypriot Linear C: the First 6 Syllabograms Very Similar to their Equivalents in Linear B: Click to ENLARGE:

Linear B NA PA DA SE RO TO & Linear C NA PA TRA SSE LO TRO
For those of us like myself who have absolutely no choice but to learn Arcado-Cypriot Linear C (in use ca. 1100 – 400 BCE), the syllabary most closely related to Mycenaean Linear B (in use ca. 1500 – 1200 BCE), as indeed are the dialects themselves, being the nearest cousins and the earliest East Greek dialects, this serves as our little introduction. Anyone else visiting our Blog already familiar with Linear C can use these lessons to brush up on it, while those of you who are just curious yellow and wish to learn it, please be my guest, and go right ahead.

The first 6 syllabograms in Linear C are strikingly similar to their equivalents in Linear B. Whether this is mere happenstance, I do not know, but I rather doubt it, as they look remarkably like direct borrowings from Linear B.

However, none of the other 50 Linear C syllabograms look the least bit like any Linear B syllabograms. But, thank Heavens, they are a lot simpler.

Certain striking characteristics distinguish Linear C from Linear B:
1. While Linear B has at least 81 syllabograms, Linear C has only 56. Thus, it is approaching the size of an alphabet.
2. While Linear B has over 200 ideograms and logograms, Linear C has none.
3. Arcado-Cypriot Linear C is the very last stage in the development of Greek script before the adoption of the primitive Greek alphabet ca. 900-800 BCE.
4. The script is so simple and easy to learn that the Arcado-Cypriots persisted in using it in their inscriptions right on up to ca. 400 BCE, when they finally cried Uncle, and caved in to using the by-then standard universal Attic alphabet.
5. The extremely important legal source document, the “Idalion Tablet” is absolutely critical in establishing the tight grammatical and vocabulary bond between Linear B, which fell into disuse only 1 century (!) before the adoption of Linear C. Since it has long since been proven beyond a doubt that Linear C was consistently used to write Arcado-Cypriot, an East Greek dialect, which is beyond question Greek, all we need to do to convince the few agnostics or silly “nay-sayers” who still insist Mycenaean Greek is not Greek (yes, such people still exist, especially in Macedonia, for some bizarre reason). Once I have mastered Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, I fully intend to establish beyond any reasonable doubt that both the vocabulary and the grammar of Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot Greek are practically identical, thereby rationally settling once and for all time any controversy that Mycenaean Greek is not Greek. The two dialects being almost identical (and trust me, they are), if Arcado-Cypriot is Greek, which it emphatically is, then we must conclude that Mycenaean is Greek and nothing but Greek. I shall have proven this conclusively sometime in 2015, once I have mastered Linear C, and have read the very substantial Idalion tablet, illustrated here: Click to ENLARGE:

Mission Consolidation Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C & Idalion Tablet

In the next post, to lend further weight to my hypothesis, I shall translate these words in this little table in Linear C into Linear B, and place them side-by-side for your edification and mine alike.

cypriot-examples


Richard


Why I hate Facebook and Why it is so Inimical and Dangerous to Research and Intellectual Pursuits: Click to ENLARGE:

IHATEFACEBOOKPERIOD

It should scarcely come as a surprise to anyone who regularly visits our Blog, and reads our posts that I utterly DESPISE Facebook (Farcebook, F$*kbook, ForcedBook, FaceBoot etc., Foolbook etc). Here are my reasons, and they are all relevant to the encroachment of stupidity and frankly stupid people on legitimate pursuits on the Internet, not the least of which are scientific research and investigation, which, in blunt terms such persons are quite incapable of appreciating. If this sounds too harsh, as I know some of your are on Facebook, I have been for years! So I am as guilty as the next person for pandering after the lowest common denominator in human intelligence.

Lord knows it was never a question that I wanted to be on Facebook. The very thought turned my stomach. But I restricted my account to friends only, and would not let anyone post anything on it without my approval (moderation). Moreover, it is almost impossible to keep them from tracking you, and that scares the wits out of me. But, if you must stay on Facebook, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself from their shameless intrusion on your privacy.

There are plenty of add-ons out there for browsers such as Chrome and Opera (which I use, because it is the cleanest browser around.  Here are some really powerful add-ons, most of which are available for both Chrome and Opera, and which will surgically remove at least 95% of Facebook's nasty intrusiveness:  AVG Privacy Fix, Do Not Track Me Online Protection (very powerful.... my browser has stopped over 9,000 trackers dead in their tracks in only 3 months), FaceBook Adless (Removes almost all of the Ads from your Farcebook page), HTTPS Everywhere (forces HTTPS or secure connections to ALL sites regardless), Remove Facebook Suggested Pages & Posts (!!!), Safe Browser, Scanner Sites (scans and blocks fraudulent sites), SurfPatrol and ZenMate. Even with ALL of these add-ons, my Opera browser is still fast, and in fact probably faster because almost no trackers, spammers or internet criminals can get at my sites, especially Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae. The very thought of our Blog being compromised, blocked or simply mashed to bits gives me the creeps.

In addition, consider these highly pertinent points:
1. Facebook adds “Friends” to your account, even when you try to block them! I have over 200, and I have not the faintest idea who most of them are, nor would I ever wish to, I am sure.
2. Facebook just recently decided to share ALL OF OUR INFORMATION WITH ALL ADVERTISERS WORLD-WIDE and all TRACKERS... and that means YOUR information too, and there is nothing you can do about it, short of installing at least all of the add-ons I have mentioned above. And they are very effective.
3. I know this for certain, because in my HTTPS secured e-mail account on gmx.com,

gmx

one of the securest online e-mail services, over 98% of spam is instantly blocked and the very very few that get through once every few weeks or so I can instantly add to the SPAM list, and hasta la vista. I strongly recommend gmx.com. Click the Banner to sign up.
4. Facebook is getting more and more intrusive and more and more shameless than ever, and if you do decide to stick with it, you are putting your privacy at great risk.

Of course, all of this is just my own opinion, but when fear of less of privacy becomes obsessive, as it has with me, this is the only way out. In fact, Facebook makes me paranoid almost to death. 
5. Finally, Facebook LOCKED my account because I never use it, which has got to be the one and only intelligent thing they ever did. It appears they are trying to rid themselves of all those who strip away most or all of the advertising, tracking and spamming nonsense from their pages. So much the better.

And if you think I will answer any posts from any one on Facebook, you have another think coming. Anyway, I canot anymore, and GOOD!  May they burn in hell.

More on Internet Security for you in the next Post.


Richard 


PROTO-GREEK: Online Resources – including my response to a query whether ASTU (town) & KAIO = KAUO (to burn) are Proto-Greek Words:

A research colleague of mine recently asked me whether  ASTU (town) & KAIO = KAUO (to burn) are Proto-Greek Words. Here are my answers.  

A: ASTU

In answer to your question, is ASTU Proto-Greek, it appears so. But always remember that it is also a Classical Attic word meaning “town/ city”, equivalent to the Latin “urbs” Liddell & Scott, pg. 110 (1986), as opposed to “polis” meaning “the fortress of the city” or even a “whole country”  Liddell & Scott, pp. 570-571 (1986).

B: KAIO/KAUO

See Greek Civ., Quiz 1:

http://quizlet.com/26471816/greek-civ-quiz-1-flash-cards/

RE KAIO it appears, YES, again, probably Etruscan & Proto-Greek:

from: Etruscan Phrases

http://quizlet.com/26471816/greek-civ-quiz-1-flash-cards/

And anyway, its variant, KAUO, to burn, is all over the place in Mycenaean Linear B, so the answer is a definite YES.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Proto-Greek title
PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN & PROTO-GREEK ONLINE RESOURCES:

NOTE that Mycenaean Greek is NOT Proto-Greek, and should never be considered as such. It is the earliest pre-Ionic Greek Dialect in the class of Eastern Greek Dialects, which include Mycenaean, Arcado-Cypriot, Aeolic, Ionic and much later, Attic Greek. 

Sites and Pages with further informationon Proto-Greek:

1 Wikipedia: Pree-Greek Substrate:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Greek_substrate#Possible_Pre-Greek_loanwords

2 Proto Indo-European Vocabulary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-European_vocabulary

3 Proto-Greek Vocabulary: Quizlet

http://quizlet.com/14227179/proto-greek-vocabulary-flash-cards/

4 Hellenic Ancient Dialects, on hte Blog: We the Ecoumenists

https://spacezilotes.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/hellenic-ancient-dialects-proto-graieak-meros-a/

5 Brill Indo-European Languages Online

http://iedo.brillonline.nl/dictionaries/content/greek/index.html

(need a password to search: I will contact the professor and try and get one, Peter)

6 Proto-European & Sanskrit (important grammatical observation on reduplicating athematic MI verbs)

https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/tag/proto-indo-european/

7 ***** Do Inscriptions in Linear A Belong to Different Languages? *****

http://www.anistor.gr/english/enback/v011.htm

PRINT IT OUT!

8 Proto-Germanic & Indo-European Studies: Pre-Greek Substrate 

http://www.protogermanic.com/search/label/Pro


9 EUPEDIA: Forums = Proto-Greek

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/27821-Proto-Greek

10 Current Status on the Controvery on the Date of the Indo-European Dispersion

https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/7259/current-status-of-the-controversy-on-the-date-of-indo-european-dispersion


Richard




Originally posted on WE THE ECOUMENISTS exontes zilon FOR AN OECOUMENIC POLIS:

Greek substrate
The term Pre-Greek substrate refers to an unknown language that is conjectured to have been spoken in prehistoric Greece before the settlement of Greek-speakers in the area. It is believed by some linguists that Greek took over a large number of words and proper names from such a language (its substrate), because a large proportion of the vocabulary of Greek does not have demonstrable Indo-European roots.
Non-Indo-European words

Including the following:

  1. Terms of insult and pejorative vocabulary
  2. Maritime terms, words for the sea, shipping (e.g. thalassa)
  3. Words relating to Mediterranean agriculture, (e.g. elaia, “olive” etc.)
  4. Words regarding rulers, given by the populace (e.g. Tyranos)
  5. Building technology
  6. Words relating to Non-Indo-European divinities (e.g. Athena)

To this list, others have added placenames, for example those placenames that include -ss- (e.g. Knossos, Parnassos), -inth- (e.g. Korinthos), or -tt- (e.g. Attica).

Various explanations have been put forward to explain…

View original 1,668 more words


How on earth did Sir Arthur Evans manage to read 3,500+ messy Linear B fragments & tablets?

.... without going blind! I just downloaded the first 20 or so actual Linear B fragments and tablets which Sir Arthur Evans unearthed at Knossos from 1900-1903, and what immediately struck me is that most of them are practically illegible, at least online. Of course, the actual fragments and tablets, as housed in museums such as the Herakleion Museum, would surely be easier to read than mere copies online. However, the fragments and tablets must have been a real headache to Sir Arthur Evans and his team of copyists who transformed the contents of the originals into facsimiles, which we actually can read.  So, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sir Arthur Evans for transcribing all of those 3,500+ fragments and tablets into the same no. of facsimiles in the Scripta Minoa, published in 1952 by Oxford University Press.

Now, just to make it clear how very difficult... rather I should say, tedious... it is to read any one of the fragments or tablets, I am providing you with two examples here [1] Click to ENLARGE:

Plate XV 04.22 partially legible

You can see for yourself that my own pathetic attempt at merely reading the original tablet was an almost total failure! So you can imagine how extremely tedious this task must have been for Sir Arthur Evans, who had to transcribe all 3,500+ !  And I hasten to add that, without the meticulous and thorough travail of Sir Arthur Evans, Michael Ventris would have had a much more daunting task in his years-long endeavours to decipher Linear B:

In the second example, here [2] Click to ENLARGE:

Plate XV 04.33 legible

I met with complete success, for 3 obvious reasons, [1] it is only a tiny fragment with just 3 characters [2] one of the characters is none other than the super-syllabogram ZE I just recently deciphered... at least to my mind & [3] the second factor directly lead me to being able to actually decipher this fragment. So everything isn’t so hopeless after all.

Richard 
 

Haiku: eni wanakatero... kowo suni kowaisi... prenuptial celebrations! (Click to ENLARGE):

haikueniwanakaterjpg2

Imagine yourself joyous in the presence of the King and Queen of Knossos, 6 lush floral arrangements, some with the sacred lilies, circling the throne room, while boys and girls swirl about, dancing with one another, celebrating the marriage of the Princess, the daughter of the King and Queen, to the Prince of Lilies, such as we see in this lovely triptych of 2 frescoes and 4 of the 6 flower pots: Click to ENLARGE:

PrincessandPrinceofLilies
Finally, we see that in the second line of this celebratory haiku, I have used two of the new ideologograms for “flower pot”, for a total of 6 flower pots, which I take to be a floral arrangement, as for instance for a wedding, which may be what this haiku is about, at least to my mind. Others will find other interpretations for this haiku, as that is what haiku are all about. We leave it to our own imagination to see what we see in the haiku.
Richard



							

This is the second concrete example of what I have already identified as the “Ideologogram”, meaning “Flower Pot”: Click to ENLARGE:


Ideologograms for flower pot flower arrangements & 4 Minoan Vase and ring with flower pot
Before proceeding any further, as well recall, the first ever concrete example of the “Ideologogram” was that for “chariot halter”, which you can review here:   

https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/the-moment-weve-all-been-waiting-for-this-is-it-ideologogram-ideogram-supersyllabogram-our-first-concrete-example-chariot-halter/

Moving on then, and basing my deductions on precisely the same principles as outlined in the post for the first ideologogram for “chariot halter”, we find that in this case, our 3 ideolograms for  “Flower Pot” once again all occur on one single page of The Scripta Minoa, i.e. pg. 182.  A mere happenstance? .... at this point in the  “game”, so to speak, that argument holds up well. However, if we keep on stumbling on more and more entirely new, discrete ideologograms on subsequent pages of the Scripta Minoa, the contention that all of these new ideologograms that keep popping up are merely co-incidental or random holds less and less water, if it turns out that all of the ideololograms for any new single word, phrase or concept in Linear B always keep appearing on the same page or the same two consecutive pages of the Scripta Minoa. As it so happens, even though I have as yet only 2 concrete examples to show for, I have already rummaged through over 700 separate tablets and fragments from the Scripta Minoa, and sure enough, every time I stumble upon (quasi-) identical repeating patterns of the same ideogram followed by the exact same syllabogram in every single instance, all of the other instances so substantiate my basic premise, namely that,  all of the ideologograms for any new single word, phrase or concept in Linear B always keep appearing on the same page or the same two consecutive pages of the Scripta Minoa. If it so turns out that I am able to substantiate this sort of recurrent pattern at least 10 times, then I believe I will be on pretty firm ground for confirmation of my present thesis. But we shall have to wait on that.

In the meantime, I should like to illustrate as clearly as I possibly can how I came to (as it turns out, pretty swift) conclusion that the ideologogram you see in the table above very likely means “flower pot” and even at times “flower arrangement”. My intuitively deductive process is identical to that employed by Thomas G. Palaima in his identification of the 5 supersyllabogams KO = Konoso + ZA = Zakoro + PA = Parakastaro -or- Paito + PU = Puro + MU = Mukene on Heidelburg Tablet FL 1994, which I then re-applied to the newly discovered supersyllabogram ZE, which in turn lead me to its “decipherment” as “zeugos” or “yoke/halter”, precisely following Thomas Palaima’s consistently sound line of reason. But what of the vowel U, which we see here sticking one in two pots and twice in another? What the blazes is that supposed to mean?  Well, I just just going on hunch, but what a hunch it proved to be! More like a bombshell!

By simply looking at the Table above illustrating the “meaning” of this new ideologogram, at least as I see it, you can see how I (once again!) felicitously stumbled upon the solution, which literally slapped me in the face.

Now, first of all, we ... meaning I... have to assume that the vowel U in Mycenaean Linear B can also represent the dipththong “eu”, which makes perfect sense, given that their pronunciation in Classical Greek is almost identical.  And what did I discover when I consulted my Dictionnaire français – grec (Hatier, Paris : 1828, 1956, ISBN 2.218.725061)? .... just this!... on  pg. 393, under “fleur” the entry “anthos”, of course, but far more significantly, this, “euanthos” = qui a beaucoup de fleurs, i.e. in English, “with many flowers”. PRESTO! ...  a pot with many flowers in it, i.e. a flower pot.

Now, what with Thomas Palaima's translation of 5 Minoan/Mycenaean city and town centres + my own “horse halter” + this translation, this makes seven times (7X!) in a row that this method of translation has demonstrably “worked”.

And as we shall soon enough see, it is going to work again and again. You can trust me on that one.

Meanwhile, the other phenomenon that is striking us smack in the face is just this: if we accept the principle that a syllabogram can be a sypersyllabogram, that is to say, the same syllabogam immediately following the same and always the same ideogram, the combination of which in the precise order, i.e.

ideogram (always the same) + syllabogram (always the same) = ideologogram

then we have already identified no less than seven (7!) supersyllabograms in Linear B, Palaima's 5 s KO ZA PA PU & MU, plus my own ZE & U. If we keep on discovering more and more sypersyllabograms, and I no longer have any doubt whatsoever in my mind that we will, then there is a lot more to the Linear B syllabary than we ever could have imagined or dreamt of. If we are finally on the right track, we may be on the threshhold of cracking another 5% - 10 % or more of those stubborn Linear B “ideograms”, “ideologograms” or whatever you want to call them, and such a discovery would make Michael Ventris leap for joy in Heaven! I know it would me.

So in conclusion, the syllabograms in linear B which already appear to be or may soon prove to be supersyllabograms are: Click to ENLARGE

Supersyllabograms KO MU PA PU ZA ZE U


Richard


CONSOLIDATION OF MYCENAEAN GRAMMAR: Part 1 – Verbs in the Active Voice: Click to ENLARGE:

CONSOLIDATON of Conjugations of Thematic & Athematic Verbs in the Active Voice in Mycenaean Greek

NOTE: if you are already very familiar with Mycenaean Linear B grammar, or if you are a serious student of the same, it is highly advisable to print out this Consolidated Table & keep it for your records.

Just as I promised in our last post, the time has come for us to start consolidating Mycenaean Grammar in Linear B, beginning with the Conjugations of both Thematic and Athematic Verbs in the Active Voice for all of these tenses: Present, Future, Imperfect, First & Second Aorist & Perfect tenses.

The obvious question many of you will be asking is: why on earth has Richard omitted the Future Perfect & Pluperfect, let alone any other oblique tenses... and the answer is as simple as Mycenaean Greek on the extant tablets practically and logically permits. Nowhere on the tables will we find any usage of even the future & perfect tenses (at least so far as I know), so the inclusion of these tenses might seem a bit of a stretch. But is it really? I for one emphatically say, not so. Why so? It is a quite straightforward, and indeed, highly plausible hypothesis to assume, and on fair evidence, that the Mycenaean Greeks made us of all of these tenses liberally in the spoken language. What evidence can I possibly have for that? The evidence we have is in the frequent recurrence of participles in all of these tenses on extant tablets, circumstantial evidence which, by association, fairly well confirms that the Mycenaeans spoke all of these tenses all the time.

This conclusion I have drawn is further buttressed by the fact that some of the aforementioned tenses do occur, even if only in partial conjugation(s) on extant tablets, and here of course, I speak of the present tense (extensively used on the tablets, to no-one’s great surprise, given that the vast majority of the tablets are accounting records for the current year ("weto”) or, as we call it the "current fiscal year”.

But the scribes also had to make reference to (recent) historical events, especially in the realms of trade and commerce (for which there exist scores of tablets, some of them very extensive, especially from Pylos), to the trades & crafts, to agricultural production and certainly to military matters and war. Thus the aorist plays a real role on the extant tablets. But what about the perfect tense? What evidence is there for it? Plenty. Even the most cursory look through even the smallest Mycenaean glossary, namely, The Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary, reveals 3 examples of uses of perfect participles passive (dedemeno = corded, kekaumeno = burnt, muyomeno = initiates (part. as a noun), and there are plenty of examples pf present participles active and passive, which you can root out for yourself, by consulting this meagre glossary. However, we can easily ferret out plenty more participles from the much larger and more comprehensive glossary by Chris Tselentis, Athens, Greece, Linear B, 149 pp. long! My point is simply this: if the Mycenaeans were so "into” having recourse to participles, both active and passive, especially in the present, aorist and perfect tenses, it practically goes without saying that they used those tenses liberally in their spoken language... to my mind at least.

Richard

Our First Anniversary has come and gone and now the time has come for the Consolidation of the Mission & Ultimate Goals of Linear B, Knossos Mycenae (2014-2018).

In it first full year (May 2013-May 2014), our Blog has become the premier Linear B blog on the Internet, and for many sound reasons:

1 In our first year, we designed and set up a Lesson Plan at 5 Levels (Levels 1 & 2, Basic), Level 3 (Intermediate) & Levels 4 & 5 (Advanced), which were specifically designed with the needs and tailored to the learning curve of each and every serious new student of Linear B, and of course, a review guide for students and researchers already familiar with Linear B.  All the vocabulary we introduced in these Lessons is attributed [A] vocabulary found on extant Linear B tablets. We have not quite finished with Level 5. 
2 We introduced our new Theory of the Regressive-Progressive Construction of both Linear B Grammar and Vocabulary, a theory which is elegant in in its simplicity & which we believe is sound, viable and eminently logical to that end.
3 We began reconstructing our all-new Progressive Grammar of Mycenaean Greek in Linear B, by building the first ever all-but complete tables for the indicative active voice of both thematic and athematic verbs in all of these tenses: present, future, imperfect, aorist and perfect. This was merely the first step in our long-term project to reconstruct as much of the corpus of Mycenaean Greek grammar as is feasible and practical.
4 We began translating Book II of the Iliad, which exemplifies the most ancient alphabetical Greek in existence, and hence, serves as our reference point or as we say in French, notre point de repère, for the regressive reconstruction of missing Mycenaean vocabulary in Linear, which we designate as derived [D], as opposed to attributed [A] vocabulary found on extant Linear B tablets.
5 We translated a number of Linear B Tablets, some of them simple, some of them of intermediate difficulty, and a few extremely complex ones, amongst which we count:

BM 1910.04 232 (British Museum); Knossos: KNV 684 + Scripta Minoa pg 154: 217 N j 31, 218a KN 07, 222 Nk 224 Nk 06, 231 N k  04, 259 N k 21 & 264  N k 02 + Pylos: AE08, cc665, TA 641-1952 (Ventris) + FL 1994 (Heidelburg: Thomas C. Palaima) + Tosa Pakana (Total number of swords), Attendants & Millworkers tablets
 6 We made a few first tentative baby steps into the study of Linear A, which is however not a main goal of this blog, but merely ancillary. 7 We made a few first tentative baby steps into the study of Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, the most ancient Greek script, also Linear, after Linear B, which is a major project of this blog. See more below in the Table Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:  CONSOLIDATION 2014-2015. 8 We began to investigate the 3.5 K + tablets & fragments in Sir Arthur Evan’s Scripta Minoa & soon came to the realization that a massive effort at translating at least 50 % of these must be undertaken, if we are to further our understanding of Linear B beyond the bounds of present-day knowledge. Those were our targets for our first year and 1 month of our Blog, and we met them handsomely. However, up until now, threads of our goals and projects have been posted willy-nilly throughout the blog, and this has now to change, as it is time for us to CONSOLIDATE, and expound in the clearest possible ways the specific distinct goals, projects as well as the overall mission of our Blog throughout the remainder of 2014 and to the end of 2015 at least. Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae: CONSOLIDATION 2014-2015 & Beyond: Click to ENLARGE: Mission Consolidation Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C & Idalion Tablet 

5 Newly "Deciphered” Ideograms in Linear B: B190, B221, B180, B213 & B218 in that order: Click to ENLARGE:

5 newly deciphered ideograms boars tusk helmet olive oil lamp lustrallbasin and royal throne and nestors cup variartion

Upon minute and scrupulous examination of 5 previously undeciphered Linear B Ideograms, I have been able to conclude (or as some folks might very well say, jump to the conclusions) that the 5 Ideograms I have illustrated with actual pictorial examples here may very well mean what I believe they do, or if not that, closely approximate my guesstimates. Now, here as elsewhere in our blog, whenever I have proposed new decipherments of Linear B ideograms previously considered opaque, I have taken risks.  And again, I say, why not? — because if no one else is willing to take such risks, I might as well, especially when and where contextual evidence (either from text on extant tablets or pictorial evidence – as in this case – gives me some room to manoeuvre with.

As for my estimates of the % accuracy of each of the 5 Ideograms, these are all of course, entirely subjective, and any of you reading this blog may very well disagree with some or even all of my estimates. No one is ever "right” when on the threshold of new discoveries or insights into ancient scripts which have been mostly, but not not entirely, "cracked”, as the saying goes.

On a last note, I should like to say that while I do not feel quite as confident about my "decipherments” of B190 (Boars Tusk Helmet) & B221 (Oil Lamp), I feel much more confident of my dual "decipherment” of B180 (Throne) & B213 (Lustral Basin) because, at least to my impressionable mind, these 2 Ideograms look so uncannily like the throne and the lustral basin in the Queen's Megaron as almost to boggle the imagination.

And as for B218, “the one handled-cup similar to Nestor's cup” I am pretty much 100% convinced that I have nailed it.

However, if anyone disagrees with me, however little or however much, please let me know ASAP, because no one gains from a one-sided learning experience.

Comments on this critical post are most welcome! 

What with these 5 new attempts at deciphering previously opaque ideograms, this brings the total number of ideograms I have tackled so far in my attempts to decipher them to at least 18. By the autumn of this year, I shall review them all plus any discoveries I chance upon this summer.  Keep posted.

Richard


The Homophone HA, used less often than AI, but equally significant: Click to ENLARGE:


HA homophone series Linear B 


This makes for entertaining reading, though possibly somewhat perplexing to some.
 
Let no-one be under any illusion that the Linear B homophone HA is any less significant than AI, regardless of the fact that it appears less often in Linear B texts on extant tablets. The homophone HA is not a diphthong! This homophone (HA) takes an enormous leap forward, specifically and exclusively in the Linear B syllabary, by explicitly expressing initial or even internal aspirated A’s. This incredible achievement eclipsed even the ancient Greek alphabet, which, need I remind you, was always written in CAPS (uppercase) alone, and hence, was utterly incapable of expressing any aspirated, let alone, unaspîrated vowels.

"What” I hear you indignantly explain, "Of course, they had aspirated and unaspirated vowels.” Yes, they did. But they never expressed them. Search any ancient alphabetical text in any dialect whatsoever for aspirated or unaspirated vowels, and you search in vain. Search Linear B, and voilà, staring us squarely in the face, is the aspirated A. Astonishing? Perhaps... perhaps not. But what this tells us unequivocally is that the ancient Greeks, even after the appearance of the alphabet, must have pronounced aspirated and unaspirated vowels, because in Mycenaean Greek, the aspirated A is squarely in the syllabary.
"But”, I hear you exclaim again, "If those Mycenaeans were so smart, why didn’t they also have a homophone for the aspirated E, which pops up all over the place in Medieval manuscripts in Classical Greek?”  The answer is that Mycenaean Greek almost certainly had no use for the aspirated E, since all classical Greek words beginning with an aspirated E invariably begin with an aspirated A in Mycenaean Greek, as for instance, Mycenaean "hateros” versus classical Greek "heteros” (well, in most dialects, if not all). In other words, Mycenaean Greek grammar has no homophone for aspirated E, simply because they never used it, nor were they even aware of its existence. 

Still, the fact remains that, at least where the aspirated A is concerned, Linear B was one step ahead of ancient alphabetical Greek. Both aspirated and unaspirated initial consonants were a feature introduced into written classical Greek alphabet only in the Middle Ages, when monks & other scribes began making extensive use of lower case letters. And, sure enough, along with the aspiration and non-aspiration of initial vowels (most often A, E & U), they also introduced all those other crazy accents we all must now memorize: the acute, grave, circumflex and susbscripted iota, just to make reading ancient Greek wretchedly more complicated. Don’t you wish they had left well enough alone? I often do. But this was not to be, since from the Middle Ages, and especially from the Renaissance on, almost all Occidental languages (Greek & French being two of the worst offenders) used accents liberally. Apparently only the Romans never bothered with accents ... but even here we cannot be sure, as they too wrote only in CAPS (uppercase).  Even English, which is the Western language most adverse to accents, always uses them in borrowed words from French, Italian, Spanish etc.  So you just can’t win.
    
Once again, amongst the ancient languages, at least as far as I know, Linear B alone was able to explicitly express the initial aspirated A, just as Linear B had the common sense to separate every word on the tablets from the next with a vertical line (|). After that, "something got lost in translation” (so to speak), and for at least 2 millennia, when all of a sudden everyone in the whole world went bonkers for accents.

Such are the vagaries of linguistics.


Richard


Review of Homophones in Linear B: the Diphthong AI (the Most Common in Linear B): Click to ENLARGE:


AI series homophones in Linear B

This post, as the next few following it dealing with homophones in Linear B, is intended for students of Linear B who have already mastered the Basic Syllabograms, and for researchers and others who would just like to review their homophones. I would like to point out that I have no intention of covering all of the homophones, since some of them are so rarely used as to be practically inconsequential, but that I shall focus on these ones alone: AI, HA, PTE, DIPTE, RAI, RIYA, RIYO, SIYA and TIYA, with passing references to SWA & SWI.  Our final review of homophones will be concluded well before the end of June 2012.

In the next post, we will be featuring the next most commonly used homophone in Linear B, HA, which was used to express an initial aspirated A.

Richard

vallance22:

Personally, I am SICK TO DEATH of The British Museum refusing to restore the Parthenon Marbles to the Parthenon. This is one of the most heinous crimes of major theft in all of history, and is utterly inexcusable. What would you think if Sir Arthur Evans had moved all of the Knossos buildings and gorgeous frescoes to the British Museum! Ghastly thought.

Originally posted on rogueclassicism:

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vallance22:

You simply HAVE to read this!

Originally posted on rogueclassicism:

@Smarthistory

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