“Amnisos” Ring sold to Sir Arthur Evans on his second day at Knossos ANNOTATED (Click to ENLARGE):
Here you see the beautiful “Amnisos” Ring sold to Sir Arthur Evans by a local antique dealer on his second day at Knossos, March 24, 1900. Of course, the original is gold. This is the first time you have ever seen this glorious ring on the Internet ANNOTATED in Linear B, Greek & English. When I refer to the genitive “Aminisoyo” as being Homeric, I do not mean that the Linear B genitive in Mycenaean Linear B is the Homeric genitive, but that it is the Mycenaean genitive, “aminisoyo” of “aminiso” regressively derived from the Homeric genitive, as it would have appeared in the Iliad and/or the Odyssey, even if it did not. What is that supposed to mean? ... simply this, that the most ancient masculine singular genitive, attested over and over in (The Catalogue of Ships) Book II of the Iliad (and sometimes elsewhere) always ends in “oio”, as for instance, with : ἱπποδάμοιο: (Iliad II, l. 23) and with εἰ μὴ Ὀλυμπιάδες Μοῦσαι Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο (Iliad II, l. 491, Catalogue of Ships). NOTE that clicking on the two citations from Book II of the Iliad will lead you to the Study Tool for the genitive in question in the Perseus Catalogue.
If the genitive singular ends in oio “oio” in these citations from Homer and elsewhere and there exist attested forms of the genitive with the exact same ending in Linear B, then we must conclude that regressive extrapolation of the genitive singular in Linear B is precisely the same as is the archaic masculine genitive singular in Homer's Iliad. As I shall shortly demonstrate with several examples, there are plenty of attested examples of the masculine genitive singular on Linear B tablets. If the regressively extrapolated and the attested examples of the masculine genitive singular are always identical, it necessarily follows that the masculine genitive singular in Linear B is absolutely airtight. The genitive singular masculine in Mycenaean Greek and in Homer is in fact. always identical.
Sir Arthur Evan's Meticulous Classification of the Linear B Tablets at Knossos:
It goes without saying that the genius of Sir Arthur Evans (1851-1941),
who not only intuitively (and correctly) triangulated the exact location of Knossos before his methodically scientific excavation of the site from 1900-1903, but who also spent years in his meticulous classification of the 3,000 Linear A & Linear B tablets he discovered on site, that the task of decipherment of Linear B, pioneered by the brilliant Alice Kober (1906-1950), and finally achieved by the genius of Michael Ventris (1922-1956), would have proved a far more daunting tasks than it already was. It would be a great disservice and a great shame not to credit Arthur Evans for his magnificent achievements, not only as the first truly “professional” archeologist of the twentieth century, but also as a man of great skill and acumen, whose conscientious and unflagging devotion to all that the splendid Minoan civilization exemplified, has bestowed on him forever the stature of one of the greatest archeologists of the twentieth century, if not of all time. Evans was almost the diametrical opposite of his predecessor, the impetuous, hot-headed and greedy Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), who unearthed, all but desecrated and robbed of their splendid treasures both Troy and Mycenae. I do not mean to impugn Heinrich Schliemann's great achievements, since after all he was a man of his era, the late nineteenth Victorian Era, when western European intellectuals entertained rather too lofty notions of their expertise in a time of great material progress.
Sir Arthur Evans was, in fact, every bit as painstaking and punctilious as his successors, Alice Kober and Michael Ventris; so I think it safe to say that we actually owe the decipherment of Linear B to the combined efforts of these three determined researchers, rather than to any one them singly.
Arthur Evan's keen intellect is clearly manifest in these 3 examples of efforts at deciphering Linear B characters, all of which he came very close to resolving.
Click to ENLARGE all 3 examples:
In the first example, above, from his “Scripta Minoa”, he nailed the value of this ideogram pretty much on the nose, because he knew perfectly well that it was an ideogram and not a simple character (vowel or consonant) or syllabogram.
In the second instance, he again correctly deduces that the character in question, which is almost identical to the Cypriot syllabogram for SE, means just that. Although he suggests alternative solutions to the significance of this character, I think we can safely assume that he truly preferred the assignation of SE to the character, since it is the very first of three explanations he proposes. People usually prioritize their assumptions from best guess to worst.
In the third example, Evans once again identifies the characters as an ideogram, and once again, he gets it right. It would have been utterly surprising if he did not, as the symbolic value of the ideogram is a clear as the nose on one's face. But even in this case, Evans was unwilling to accept this interpretation as a given, sceptical as he was. Scepticism is after all one of the hallmarks of sound research. Never take anything for granted, without adequate evidence (even circumstantial) or factual data to back you up.
To summarize, many researchers, to my mind, do not give Evans full credit where credit is due. In an effort to fully vindicate his tireless and painstaking research, I shall eventually post more of his “correct” guesses at the significance of certain Linear B characters.