Archaic Greek in Book II, The Iliad, “The Catalogue of Ships” Translation into English: Part II, Lines 35-75 (Click to ENLARGE): My commentary on the derivation of the archaic Greek vocabulary and grammar in Book II of the Iliad from its much older Mycenean Linear B counterparts appears immediately after this post, and after every consecutive post of my running translation of Book II. As we proceed through Book II of the Iliad, we shall come to realize, quickly enough, that in fact the grammar and vocabulary of Book II, and in particular of the Catalogue of Ships (Lines 484-779), is inextricably woven with its parent dialect, namely, Mycenaean Greek, and consequently with the grammar and vocabulary of Linear B itself, from which the archaic Greek of this book of th Iliad is ultimately derived. One thing I would like to make perfectly clear. While the Greek of Book II of the Iliad is archaic in many places, there is no way on earth that I would translate any of the Iliad into archaic English! Far too many translations of the Iliad reek of archaic English, and to my mind at least, have no place whatsoever in the annals of twenty-first century translations of ancient Greek texts into English, or into any other modern language, for that matter. The whole idea of the exercise is to make the ancient Homeric Greek as accessible and as readable as is humanly possible to today's allophone readers of the Iliad. Otherwise, I see no point in translating the text at all. If we are to get any real enjoyment out of any translation of the Iliad, for heaven's sake, let it be easy (and perhaps even fun) to read! Richard
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9 Practice Sentences for the Final Examination: Levels 1 & 2 (Basic Linear B) [Click to ENLARGE]: Those of you who are new to our blog may not realize that I offer a complete free course on learning Linear B, which progresses through 5 Levels: 1 & 2 (Basic), which introduce students to all 59 of the basic values, i.e. vowels and syllabograms of Linear B, as well as the Linear B accounting system: 3 (Intermediate), which introduces students to homophones & finally, Levels 4 & 5, which study Linear B in far greater detail, illustrating the extreme significance of logograms and ideograms in the decipherment of Linear B tablets. Once students have mastered all 5 Levels of Progressive Linear B Grammar and Vocabulary, they will then move onto the far more daunting task of deciphering the extant Linear B tablets. Possessing a fundamentally sound knowledge of Linear b does not mean that we are simply able pick up our new-fangled tools and translate Linear B tablets willy-nilly. As it turns out, this turns out to be far from the actual experience of having to decipher the some 6,000 extant tablets, so many of which almost defy interpretation. In fact, as we shall soon enough discover throughout the course of 2014 & 2015, rarely do Mycenologists (completely) agree on the decipherment, i.e. the translation of any single Linear B tablet into English, for a number of reasons, none of which can be ignored. These factors are: 1. a great number of tablets use ideograms which have not yet been deciphered. There are at least a dozen undeciphered syllabograms and homophones 2. The longest tablets make use of vocabulary so archaic that it is next to impossible to know what it means or even (yes!) whether some of it is even Greek, and even where the vocabulary is Greek, most of it went extinct shortly after the fall of the Mycenaean civilization, only to re-appear once, and once only, in Book II of the Iliad, "The Catalogue of Ships", thereafter to disappear forever from ancient Greek. Decipherment of the most complex Linear B tablets cannot even hope to be even remotely accurate, unless we take all of these factors into account at all times, and then some. Richard
Breakthrough in world's oldest undeciphered writing, by Sean Cough lan BBC News (Click Tablet to see the News Release:) The world's oldest undeciphered writing system, which has so far defied attempts to uncover its 5,000-year-old secrets, could be about to be decoded by Oxford University academics.
#decipherment of #LinearB #KNV684 http://wp.me/p2eeVL-6b via @wordpressdotcom #war #spoils spoils of war by Gretchen Leonhardt fascinating translation. I will see what I can make of it.
Originally posted on Konoso:
The Spoils Tablet
An inventory of the spoils of war
.1 e-re-pa-to , ka-ra-ma-to 46
.2 ka-so , ke-ma-ta 8
- e-re-pa-to | ἀρείφατο(ς) (areipatos) | (1) slain in war (2) slain by Ares
- ka-ra-ma-to | χρημάτω(ν) (khrematov) | money of, property of,
- ka-so | χασο (khaso) | loss, waste
- ke-ma-ta | *καμήτα (khameta) | things on the ground; *detritus
.1 ἀρείφατο χρημάτω 46
- property of slain warriors : 46 items
.2 χασο *καμήτα 8
- detritus (of war): 8 items
Notes: I envision the writer, or another person, roaming the battlefield to loot bodies and to gather χασο *καμήτα “lost things on the ground” (detritus), such as weapons, armor, and personal items.
Paradigm for the First Perfect in Linear B & the Profound Implications of Complex Verbal Structures for the Great Antiquity of Greek (Post 200) [Click to ENLARGE]: We have now successfully reconstructed 4 tenses of the active voice in Linear B, the present, the future, the aorist and the first perfect, which are regressively derived from ancient alphabetical Greek, Homeric wherever possible, and failing that, from those Greek dialects which were the descendants of the Mycenaean Dialect, namely; Aeolic, Arcadian, Arcado-Cypriot (Linear C) and early Ionic Greek, all of which are found in the artificial Epic Greek of the Iliad, an in particular in the Catalogue of Ships of Book II. I repeat, Epic Greek was never an actual dialect of ancient Greek, but was used solely for the exigencies of metric scansion in the Iliad and Odyssey. We shall now proceed to the regressive-progressive reconstruction of the passive voice in these same tenses, before turning our attention to participles which, amazingly and most significantly, appear frequently in Linear B. The reliance on participles, both active & passive, in Linear B, attest to the extreme antiquity of the structural integrity and sheer complexity of ancient Greek grammar. Otherwise, why would the scribes writing in Linear B made such liberal use of complex participial constructs, which are one of the most distinctive features, not only of ancient but of modern Greek as well? Why? - because the entire edifice of Greek grammar, even as we know it today, was already firmly established even as early as the Mycenaean Era, and very probably, long before that, when Greek at its most archaic was as yet an unwritten language. This of course raises the really critical question: just how old is ancient Greek? No-one knows, but one thing seems certain, it is much older than the Greek of written Mycenaean Linear B. Otherwise, Mycenaean Greek grammar could not possibly have evolved to the level of sophistication it reached, making that dialect the actual foundation for the evolution of the Greek language from Homeric times, through to Attic, the “koine” Hellenistic Greek, the Greek of the New Testament, virtually the same “koine” or the one and only“common language”, no longer a dialect, but the Greek language per se, spoken and written by everyone everywhere, right on through to modern-day Greek. In essence, the Greek language has undergone far fewer changes than practically any language in the entire world, making even Mycenaean Greek reasonably intelligible, even today! The perfect tense of these two verbs, KEKAUSA & PEPOKA, make this painfully obvious. The highly plausible Mycenaean conjugation is virtually the same as the one in use today! That is one hard act to follow. Richard
Rogue Classicism is routinely reblogging POSTS from my own Blog, so I am returning the favour, and I shall repost POSTS from their Blog where there is some relevance to my own studies.
Remnants of Linear B Spelling in Book II of the Iliad: the Incidence of PTE & PTO (Click to ENLARGE): Book II of the Iliad is replete with archaic and anachronistic spellings, as for instance, with PTE & PTO as the first syllable of the words “citadel” and variants of “wing” (such as “flapping their wings”), spellings which are clearly reminiscent of the orthography of the same or similar words in the Linear B syllabary. We see in this table that the alphabetic Greek equivalent of the syllabogram PTE recurs 3 times in Book II of the Iliad, and always in association with wings. On the other hand, the first syllable PTO is always associated with the “city” or “citadel”. It has crossed my mind that the latter spelling may possibly be a later permutation of an original Linear B spelling PTEO, although this is highly conjectural at best. On the other hand, there may well have been a syllabogram PTO, and if so, it is probably one of the syllabograms that have not yet been deciphered. I intend to closely investigate this hypothesis, in the hope that I or someone else may be able to decipher one of the as yet unknown syllabograms as being in fact PTO. Failing that, the only other alternative is, as I have just pointed out, that the Homeric spelling “pto” is a later development from “pteo”, however flimsy the evidence. In either case, the syllabogram PTE (or PTO?) is almost certainly the first syllable in any Linear B word in which it occurs. Richard
2 Plausible Alternative Decipherments of Pylos Tablet cc 665. Be sure to read the entire text and the accompanying notes to the Linear B tablet Pylos cc 665, in which I have transcribed the scribe's Linear B into the Linear B font for clarity, & translated into Greek & into English. (Click to ENLARGE): Come to think of it, the second translation is actually absurd (and uproariously funny, since there is no way in heaven or on earth the Mycenaeans could cram that many rams and pigs into one of their little ships, without displacing all of the rowers and sinking the ship, unless of course they brought them to Potnia in a small armada, (kind of like they sent off to the Trojan war), which she would certainly would have appreciated! The Table above is entirely self-explanatory, but it is even easier to interpret in light of the previous 2 posts, An Analysis of the Archaic Greek in the Iliad: Book II (Lines 1-34) & The Extreme Significance of the Archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad in the Reconstruction of Mycenaean Greek grammar and vocabulary, which is the fundamental thesis of this blog. You may wish to go back and re-read those posts to get an even clearer perspective on the decipherments I propose here. Criticism and comments are welcome, especially from our new friends at our brand-new sister blog, Konoso, which I am delighted to have discovered. You can jump immediately to the Konoso blog by clicking on the Link to it in Friends & Links at the bottom of this page. Enjoy! Richard
Hello from Richard Vallance, Blog Moderator, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae http://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/ in which I am reconstructing Mycenaean Linear B grammar & vocabulary (both attested & derivative) from the ground up. I am following your fascinating board now, and will IMMEDIATELY add it to my links. I believe you will find my own blog of great interest. Your Linear B decipherments are very helpful. Richard Vallance Janke
An Analysis of the Archaic Greek in the Iliad: Book II (Lines 1-34) [Click to ENLARGE]:
This post takes the text of the first 34 lines of Book II of the Iliad, which appear in the previous post with my translation into English, and extrapolates from that text most of the archaic Greek grammar and vocabulary which appear in it. And there is quite a lot. For instance, the archaic Mycenaean genitive appears in line 18 (i9ppoda/moio Linear B IQODAMOYO), dative in line 3. (nhusi\n Linear B NEUSI) and accusative in line 19. (pannu/xion… …a1ndra Linear B PANUKIO… ….ADARA), to cite just 3 examples in the first 34 lines alone. Archaic forms of all parts of speech are found throughout Book II of the Iliad, but they occur far more frequently in the Catalogue of Ships (Lines 484-789) than anywhere else. The significance of this cannot be overestimated. The liberal use of archaic Greek grammar and vocabulary, above all in the Catalogue of Ships, provides extremely strong circumstantial evidence that Catalogue of Ships is of Mycenaean origin, and was recited by Mycenaean bards, not as myth but as historical fact. Apparently, the Trojan War did in fact occur around 1200 BCE. It is my belief that the Trojan War, although it culminated in victory for the Greeks, was in fact a Pyrrhic victory, because it completely exhausted the military and naval resources of Mycenae and its subject cities (Pylos, Tiryns, Orchomenos, Thebes & Athens),
resulting in the inevitable utter destruction of Mycenae and all its satellite cities, which were no longer able to defend themselves against the invasion of the barbaric Dorian hordes. It strikes me as singularly strange that this entirely plausible explanation for the destruction of Mycenaean civilization is almost never mentioned in historical literature of early ancient Greece.
The Extreme Significance of the Archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships in Book II of Iliad in the Reconstruction of Mycenaean Greek: As an introduction to the application of the Greek of Book II of the Iliad, I shall be posting passages from it as the need arises to confirm the inextricable link between Book II of the Iliad, and first and foremost, of the Catalogue of Ships (lines 484-779), in which we find the most archaic Greek in the entire Iliad. We start, of course, with the parallel Greek-English text of the introduction to Book II, in my own modern twenty-first century English translation of Book II. I remind you all, in passing, that the majority of translations of any part or all of the Iliad are either archaic or inaccurate, hence, entirely misleading, serving no practical purpose in research into Homeric Greek or its ancestors, archaic Greek and its own parent, Mycenaean Greek. I have attempted to make my translation as literal as possible, without being clumsy. Here it is (To make this legible, you will need to Click to ENLARGE): Book II of the Iliad, and in particular the archaic Catalogue of Ships (lines 484-779) serves as the true foundation for the regressive-progressive reconstruction of Mycenaean Linear B grammar. In all the Iliad there is no passage as archaic as the Catalogue of Ships (lines 484-779). By this I mean that almost all of the Iliad, with the sole exception of the Catalogue of Ships in Book 2, is composed in so-called Epic Greek, an artificial form of ancient Greek which is an admixture of Ionic, Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot Greek (often written in Linear C). Epic Greek is not a dialect of ancient Greek. It is a grave error to assume that it is. But notice the dialects upon which it is based, particularly the last two. Of all the ancient Greek dialects, these two have at their own roots an even more archaic dialect, namely, Mycenaean Greek. The most archaic form of these two dialects is to be found in the Catalogue of Ships (lines 484-779) of Book II of the Iliad. The significance of this cannot be over-stressed. It is in the Catalogue of Ships that we find the most archaic vocabulary and grammar, which appears only sparsely in the rest of the Iliad, and all of which was to fall permanently out of use in ancient Greek, after the composition of the Iliad. Archaic Mycenaean vocabulary and remnants of Mycenaean grammar are peppered liberally throughout the text of the Catalogue of Ships. Thus, if we are to regressively reconstruct the grammar and the vocabulary of Mycenaean Greek, whether attributed on the extant Linear B tablets, or merely derived from ancient Greek, we should, in so far it is possible, resort to the Greek of the Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad as the most reliable source by far and thus as the firm foundation for the reconstruction of Mycenaean Greek. Since the Greek of the Catalogue of Ships is significantly more archaic than any other form of ancient Greek, whether artificial (Epic Homeric Greek) or dialectical, this text and this text alone is able to corroborate with a sufficient degree of precision the most probable antecedents of its grammar and vocabulary in the ancestral dialect upon which it is squarely based, that is, Mycenaean Greek. Throughout 2014 & 2015, I shall demonstrate, over and over, how closely the grammar and vocabulary of the Catalogue of Ships mirrors that of its ancestral parent, Mycenaean Greek. By far the finest background source for research into the genesis of the archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships is: Page, Denys. History and the Homeric Iliad. Berkeley, University of California Press, © 1966. vi, 350 pp. Anyone wishing to seriously pursue the study of Mycenaean Greek cannot afford to pass over this extremely persuasive analysis of the archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships, and its inextricable bond with its ancestor, Mycenaean Greek. In fact, the archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships can be considered the grandchild of Mycenaean Greek. Finally, in passing, may I add this reminder. Failing the establishment of a firm link between any element or part of the text of the Catalogue of Ships and its Mycenaean counterpart, the next best source for regressive-progressive reconstruction of Mycenaean Greek must, of course, be the Iliad itself. As Denys Page so often confirms, even the Epic Greek of the Odyssey has moved beyond the confines of the archaic Greek in the Catalogue of Ships, meaning that it cannot be considered as reliable a source as the Catalogue for regressive-progressive reconstruction of Mycenaean Greek. Nevertheless, failing the first two options elucidated here: above all, reliance on the archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships and, secondly, on the Greek of the rest of the Iliad, we shall occasionally have no other recourse than to resort to ancient Greek texts in other dialects, in particular, the Ionic (and even Attic) dialects, both of which strangely enough contain, however infrequently, a few vestiges of the most archaic Greek. But the further afield we stray from the archaic Greek of the Catalogue of Ships, the weaker and weaker the link(s), if any, that can possibly obtain between Mycenaean Greek and those dialects. Denys Page makes this perfectly clear. Richard
Derivative [D] Reconstruction of the First Aorist in Linear B (Click to ENLARGE): Taking the First Aorist conjugation (EKAUSA) of the verb KAUO “to burn” from the Homeric Greek as our point of departure for regression to the same tense in Linear B, we end up with the paradigm illustrated in the table above. It is impossible for me to reconstruct the 2nd. person sing. or the 3rd. person pl. of this verb in Linear B with any degree of certainty, as the Homeric conjugation necessitates that these persons end with a consonant, for which Linear B, consisting of syllabograms and vowels only, cannot account. We have now successfully reconstructed (for the most part) the following tenses of Linear B verbs: the present, the future & the first aorist of active verbs. We shall eventually proceed to regressively reconstruct the imperfect & perfect tenses (leaving aside the pluperfect, as it is very rare even in ancient alphabetical Greek). Afterwards, we shall move onto the same conjugations for middle & passive verbs. Finally, later this year, we shall attempt to reconstruct at least some of the conjugations in the subjunctive and optative, in so far as this is feasible. Once we have reconstructed the conjugations of Linear B verbs in all tenses, voices & moods, we shall move onto the reconstruction of the declensions of nouns & adjectives, probably in the summer of 2014. As we can already glean, the reconstruction of Linear B grammar is a highly labour-intensive project, but this is, after all,the whole point of this blog. Richard
A Closer Look at Sir Arthur Evans' Attempts at Deciphering Certain Linear B Syllabograms (Part 2) [Click to ENLARGE]: These are the observations Sir Arthur Evans makes on the syllabograms and homophones Michael Ventris et al. were eventually to correctly decipher as: Linear B: PA2 a homophone, which can be difficult to distinguish from QO a syllabogram on Linear B tablets, due to the variable “handwriting” of various scribes SE which, being practically identical to Cypriot SE, has the same value. RA which Evans correctly correlated with Cypriot LI (in the same syllabic series) YU (or JU) versus DU which Evans once again correctly differentiates ZA which he knows perfectly well is equivalent to the Egyptian hieroglyph ANKH. All of these insights were to prove invaluable to Alice Kober, Michael Ventris et al., in the eventual decipherment of Linear B. I will be making further observations on Sir Arthur Evans' ground-breaking research later this month and in coming months, whenever and wherever they cast light on particular aspects of the eventual decipherment of Linear B. Richard
A Closer Look at Sir Arthur Evans' Attempts at Deciphering Certain Linear B Syllabograms (Part 1) [Click to ENLARGE]: As we can readily see in the entries above (AB 4, 5 & 15) which I have excerpted from Sir Arthur Evans' Scripta Minoa, published by Oxford in 1952, the distinguished archaeologist and self-made linguist made some truly remarkable conjectures on the presumptive values of at least a few syllabograms in the Linear B syllabary, coming very close to the truth of the matter in spite of himself, or should I say rather, in spite of the absolute dearth of any supportive evidence whatsoever to support his claims. There is simply no way on earth he could have known that his assumptions were even remotely close to the mark, but as it turns out for favourable future prospects for the decipherment of Linear B as undertaken by Alice Kober and Michael Ventris respectively, his own ground-breaking research was to vindicate at least a few of the meticulous observations in his voluminous notes on the script. As for the note  in the excerpts above, please see the previous post, in which I discuss at some length the apparent disparity between the Linear B and Cypriot (Linear C) syllabaries. I say, apparent, because that is all it is. The 2 syllabaries are far more alike than they are unalike. Richard
Sir Arthur Evans' Tentative (& Amazingly Correct) Decipherment of 6 Linear B Syllabograms: Sir Arthur Evans spent years and years methodically and meticulously recording the contents of some 4,000 Linear A & Linear B tablets he unearthed at the site of Knossos between 1900 and 1903, and then again, years later, after the First World War, when it was possible to return to the site, and continue with the painstaking, indeed mind-boggling, task of not only inventorying all those tablets, but cataloguing them by categories, according to their contents, which he correctly took to be accounting records, and even transcribing, character by character, syllabogram by syllabogram, ideogram by ideogram, the texts of every single one of these thousands of tablets. Not only was Sir Arthur Evans reasonably convinced that a great many of the Linear B syllabograms were directly derived from their ancestors, the corresponding Linear A syllabograms, had the exact same values both scripts, he was (as it turns out) perfectly right in that assumption. But what is even more remarkable is this: Sir Arthur Evans (amazingly!) was able to tentatively identify the possible Linear B values of 6 syllabograms, with a remarkable degree of accuracy, even in the face of the total absence of any corroborating evidence that could have possibly lead him to the (seemingly) most preposterous conclusion that there was, in fact, any conceivable link, however tenuous or solid, between the Cypriot Script (Linear C), which had already previously been deciphered in the nineteenth century as being Greek by the brilliant cryptographers G. Smith, thanks to his discovery of a Phoenician-Cypriot bilingualinscription found at Idalium, the Egyptologist Samuel Birch(1872), the numismatist Johannes Brandis (1873), the philologists Moritz Schmidt, Wilhelm Deecke, Justus Siegismund (1874), and the dialectologist H.L. Ahrens (1876). See Wikipedia for the fascinating history of this extremely important syllabary. It was later to turn out that there is in fact a very tight correlation between Linear B and its offspring Linear C, as we shall gradually discover in greater detail throughout 2014, even though the actual syllabograms in Linear B and Linear look completely different. But looks can be (very) deceptive, and in the case of Linear B and Linear C, they most certainly are. Never judge a book by its cover. And there is much more to this remarkable correlation between the Linear B and Linear syllabic scripts than you can possibly imagine (unless of course you have). The striking similarity of Linear B and Linear C is in fact no accident, and as I shall demonstrate later this year, the fact that Linear C is Greek provesbeyond doubt that Linear B likewise is Greek, and can be nothing else. These are the 6 Linear B syllabograms which Sir Arthur Evans, even on the tentative basis he was forced to espouse, correctly identified in his Scripta Minoa. Cypriot = Linear B TA DA * LA RA ** LO RO ** PA PA PO PO *** SE SE as illustrated in this Table (Click to ENLARGE): * While Linear B has both a D + vowel and a T + vowel series of syllabograms, Cypriot (Linear C) has no D series; so once again, Cypriot TA, which looks exactly like Linear B DA, is in fact the “same” syllabogram. But bear in mind that Linear B also has T series, and so it makes a clear distinction between the D & T series. ** These syllabograms are in fact identical, since Linear B always used RA & RO to represent both LA & LO + RA & RO, while Cypriot has it the other way around, using LA & LO to represent both LA & LO + RA & RO. I believe I know why. Just as the Japanese are unable to pronounce what we term a “pure l” or a “pure r”, but pronounce something in between the 2 semi-vowels L & R, which are almost identical anyway, so also – or at least it appears so – neither the Mycenaeans (1500-1200 BCE) nor the Cypriots after them (1100 BCE) were able to quite make up their minds whether their identical syllabograms were pronounced one way or the other, which is not a problem to the linguist. For if we look at it the other way around, from the Japanese point of view, it is they who are pronouncing the separated (or more accurately split) semi-vowels we call L & R in the Occident as the one single semi-vowel, which is precisely what it is to them. So who is right? Both. The Occidental view that these are two (split) almost identical semi-vowels holds water; but so does the reverse for the Oriental Japanese, who do not see L & R as split, but as one semi-vowel in and of itself, which only sounds like “rl” to us in the West. It strikes the Japanese as just as funny to hear two separate semi-vowels R & L, when there is clearly only 1 for them, just as it strikes us as strange to hear one when we expect 2. But who is “right”? *** While the syllabogram for PO is vertical in Linear B, and appears to be slanted about 30% to the right in Cypriot, this apparent difference is merely that and nothing more, only apparent, because the “penmanship” or “scratchmanship” if you like, of Linear B and Linear C scribes, like handwriting in any alphabetic script, varies widely from one individual to the next. We can sometimes (though not too often) see PO incised slanting to the right by some renegade Linear B scribes, while the same phenomenon occurs in reverse in Linear C. While most Cypriot scribes slanted PO to the right, you can just count on it, some (though only a few) went their merry way and transcribed it as we usually (but not always) see it on Linear B tablets. To each his or her own, eh? Evans also made highly intuitive, soundly-researched, but (as we know now, but only after Michael Ventris finally figured it all out when he did decipher Linear B in 1952) “incorrect” guesses for: NA TI ZA which I will explain in detail in the next post. CONCLUSION: we are not really entitled, at least to my mind, to retrospectively judge Evans' attempts at decipherment Linear B syllabograms as amateurish or anything other than brilliant, because, as I have already stressed he had absolutely nothing to work with. No bilingual tablets with either Linear A or Linear B and a known ancient language has ever been found (yet). So he had to simply grope around in the dark like a blind man. His accomplishments speak volumes to his genius. These were (and remain): 1 his history-making archeological find and meticulous reconstruction of the ancient Palace of Knossos; 2 the gargantuan task of cataloguing and transcribing some 4,000 tablets in both Linear A & Linear B, without which the research of Alice Kober (1906-1950) and Michael Ventris (1922-1956) would have been quite simply impossible; 3 his successful decipherment of both the Linear A & Linear B accounting systems, which are not quite identical, the latter being an outgrowth of the former; 4 and his successful guesses, which he had no choice but to make intuitively, at the then tentative (and unverifiable) values of 6 of the 59 or so basic syllabograms, which is after all 10 % of the whole. Once again, how far could Alice Kober and Michael Ventris have come without Evans' ground-breaking work on decipherment? I leave it to answer this question for yourself, but as for myself, you all know where I stand. My 4 conclusions make that perfectly clear. And there is more, as we shall soon see in our further investigation of Evan's brilliant insights early in February. Keep posted. Richard
I am reblogging the comparison between Cypriot (Linear C) and Linear B preparative to my thorough analysis of Sir Arthur Evan’s meticulous observations on the parallels between these 2 syllabaries, which lead him to correctly decipher 6 Linear B syllabograms. Stay POSTED.
Originally posted on Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:
Linear Cypriot Script (ca. 1100-400 BCE) compared with Linear B (ca. 1500-1200 BCE) Click to enlarge:
While both Linear b and Cypriot are linear syllabaries, we would be jumping to conclusions to assume that Cypriot was derived from Linear B. However, the striking similarity between some of the syllabograms, even when they convey entirely different vowel or consonant + vowel meanings, is fascinating, especially considering that the Cypriot script did not come into its own until AFTER Linear B had lapsed into disuse. I would like to make a further observation. Many linguists frequently claim that there was a lapse of at least 3 centuries between the disappearance of Linear B (ca. 1200 BCE) and the advent of the Greek alphabet (ca 900 BCE or later) when written Greek completely disappeared, but clearly this is not the case. Greek was continuously written in Linear Cypriot from around 1100 BCE (immediately after the demise of Linear…
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2 Collages of Minoan Goddess, her worshippers, Saffron Gatherers & other beauties (Click to ENLARGE):
The Minoan Snake Goddess and her Worshippers
1. Minoan Priestess (modern representation) 2. Minoan Snake Goddess 3. Minoan worshipper with incense box 4. Procession of Mycenaean women (Pylos)
Saffron Gatherers and Minoan Beauties:
1. detail from the fresco, Knossos, Les Parisiennes 2. Saffron gatherer: notice her open bodice, in the same style as that of the Minoan Priestess & Snake Goddess in the first collage. 3. Minoan Princess with a feather crown (Heraklaion Museum) 4. elegant fresco of a saffron gatherer