Rita Roberts’ Translation of the famous “Ivory” Tablet, Knossos Tablet KN 684 U h 11
Rita Roberts’ Translation of the famous “Ivory” Tablet, Knossos Tablet KN 684 U h 11: Click to ENLARGE:
Once Rita and I had finally managed to establish our connection with Skype, due in no small part to her patience in assisting me to get it up and running on my computer, I began to teach her interactively. Her lessons have run to about one hour each, which is what I would have expected. Rita emphatically told me that she found this tablet, the famous “Ivory” one, to be the most difficult one by a long shot that she has had to translate so far. And she was right. I had deliberately assigned her this tablet with the express intention that she had to move on to more complex Linear B tablets; so this one came as a shock to her.
During the classroom session, in which we tackled this difficult tablet, we spent some time comparing her translation to my own, and as a result of our conversation, I have come to the conclusion that I prefer Rita’s to my own, if only for the fact that her approach is less academic than mine, hence more realistic. Whereas I have translated the notion of loss as “8 accounts written off”, where “written off” is meant to be the equivalent of “lost”, Rita takes this as meaning a single transaction or sale which the Minoan palace administration has lost. This translation makes more sense than mine.
I now believe she is more than ready and willing to tackle more and more Linear B tablets at this advanced level, a task which she will find herself confronted with more and more often as she progresses towards her matriculation at the secondary school level either in December 2014 or in January 2015. She is already fully aware that in order to graduate to the university level she will be obliged to translate the very first Linear B tablet which Michael Ventris himself deciphered in 1952, Pylos Tablet PY 641-1952 (Ventris): Click to ENLARGE
Meanwhile, compare Rita’s translation of KN 684 U h 11 to my own and to the faulty one by Gretchen Leonhardt (with the demerits of the latter discussed at some length here: