Linear B

Interesting commentary on the difficulties inherent in the Linear B syllabary to accurately represent Greek orthography.

Several, Four, Many

Sun May 17 23:12:57 2009
Many of the surviving Linear B tablets are quite similar in their content to
Linear A tablets.
They are often accounting records of inventories or disbursements and follow the same pattern that combines syllabograms (usually for names or titles), logograms (for commodities) and numbers (for quantities).

The Phoenician script used to write Linear B does not correspond exactly to the Greek language. Each syllabogram represents a consonant-vowel combination. As a result they are unable to represent some sounds in the Greek language—double consonants, consonant endings or the differentiation between “L” and “R.” This, as well as the similarity between some syllabograms and logograms and the use of syllabogram abbreviations can make reading Linear B tablets challenging.


The accepted interpretation of the above tablet reads “O-pi-ri-mi-ni-jo (received) armor, chariot, horse.” With O-pi-ri-mi-ni-jo probably representing a masculine Greek name “Opiliminios” (which could also mean “[he who lives]…

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