Linear B seal BE Zg 1 as erroneously interpreted by Gretchen Leonhardt, corrected here: Gretchen Leonhardt, a self-styled Linear B expert, has erroneously deciphered Linear B seal BE Zg 1. As she so often does, she misinterprets syllabograms, all to often blatantly violating their phonetic values. It is clear from this seal that the last syllabogram must be either ru or ne, and certainly not me, by any stretch of the imagination. Leonhardt is also in the habit of recasting the orthography of Linear B words she interprets to suit her own purposes. In this instance, she translates what she mistakenly takes to be the word on the VERSO to be dokame as dokema in Latinized Greek, flipping the vowels. But the second syllabogram is clearly ka, and cannot be interpreted as anything else. The problem with Ms. Leonhardt’s so-called methodology in her decipherment of any and all Linear B tablets is that she runs off on wild tangents whenever she is confronted with any word that does not meet her preconceptions. In this instance, she is desperate to cook up a meaning which appeals to her, no matter how much she has to twist the Linear B orthography. She indulges in this very practice on practically every last Linear B tablet she “deciphers”, interpreting Linear B words to suit her fancy, except in those instances where she is faced with no alternative but to accept what is staring her in the face. For instance, allow me to cite some of her translations of certain words on Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952. She has no choice but to accept tiripode as signifying “tripod”, eme as “together/with” and qetorowe as “four year”, even though it properly means “four”, in line with the Latin orthography, quattuor. Linear B regularly substitutes q for t. As for her so-called decipherment of apu, she should know better than to translate it as “to become bleached/white”. After all, how could a burnt tripod be bleached white, when scorching turns pottery black? It is astonishing that she would overlook the obvious here. What is even more damning is the indisputable fact that apu is the default aprivative preposition for “from/with” in Mycenaean, Arcadian, Arcado-Cypriot, Lesbian and Thessalian, as attested by George Papanastassiou in The preverb apo in Ancient Greek: Then we have mewijo, which she interprets as “a kind of cumin”. Why on earth the Mycenaeans would have bothered with naming a specific kind of cumin when the standard word suffices, is completely beyond me. In fact, the alternative word she has latched onto is extremely uncommon in any ancient Greek dialect. Finally, she bizarrely interprets dipa, which is clearly the Mycenaean equivalent to the Homeric depa, as “to inspect”, another wild stretch of the imagination. Sadly, Ms. Leonhardt is much too prone to these shenanigans, which mar all too many of her decipherments. She ought to know better. This of course applies to her decipherment of Linear B seal BE Zg 1. Finally, we can also interpret the figure on this seal as representing the Horns of Consecration ubiquitous at Knossos.
Just added to my academia.edu page, Translation of the Introduction to Book II of the Iliad, and its Profound Implications in the Regressive-Progressive Reconstruction of Unattested, Derived (D) Mycenaean Greek Vocabulary and Grammar, here: This is the first of a series of several papers I shall be publishing this year and next (2016) on my hypothesis underpinning the theoretical and proposed actual links between the archaic Greek of Book II of the Iliad by Homer, and in particular of the Catalogue of Ships (lines 459-815). These papers are of extreme significance to the methodology, process and procedure of regressive extrapolation of Mycenaean Greek vocabulary or grammatical constructs derived from the most archaic Greek in the Iliad, considered by many researchers to be an in)direct offshoot of Mycenaean Greek itself. Vocabulary or grammatical constructs thus derived are then progressively applied to reconstruct parallel elements missing from any attested Linear B sources regardless. I cannot stress too much the extreme significance of this particular line of research I am pursuing in the reconstruction of numerous elements (possibly even into the hundreds) of Mycenaean Greek derived from these sections alone of the Iliad. Richard
Two New Book Titles on the Arcado-Cypriot Dialect, Rare Birds Indeed! Click to ENLARGE: This first title is most unusual, I dare say, unique, since I have never, ever seen, let alone heard of a book on ancient Greek philosophy written in Linear C, which is to say, if it is written in Linear C rather than in alphabetical Arcado-Cypriot. Either way, it is of inestimable value. Of course, I just have to lay my hands on it. What’s more, this title confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that Arcado-Cypriot, quite unlike Mycenaean Linear B, was a literary script, as well as legal + constitutional, given that the Idalion Tablet (which is in Linear C) runs along those lines. This characteristic in particular may lead to some complications in our attempt to correlate a significant cross-section of Arcado-Cypriot Linear C vocabulary, of which more words are bound to be connotative & abstract rather than merely denotative or concrete with presumably equivalent vocabulary in Mycenaean Linear B, of which of which more words are bound to be denotative rather than connotative, i.e. the reverse scenario. However, this situation is not all that likely to actually cripple the process of cross-correlation between Linear B and Linear C vocabulary, since after all, there are bound to be plenty of denotative, concrete nouns, along with connotative, abstract, in both dialects, given our personal interest in the latter for the purposes of establishing a corpus of derived (D) Mycenaean words, however minimal it may prove to be. Only time will tell. In this endeavour, I expect to be able to work well with another Linear B colleague and translator, Ms. Gretchen Leonhardt, who I suspect is rather more interested than am I in collating a derivative (D) vocabulary of Mycenaean connotative words in Linear B. But that I am sure is fine with both of us, as we are surely going to share our resources. You may visit Ms. Leonhardt’s blog here. Her approach to the decipherment of Linear B is both highly unusual, and to my mind, radical, running rationally, practically and instinctively against the grain to me at least, but fascinating nevertheless: The second book to which I wish to draw your attention is — Click to ENLARGE: Actually, I was astonished to find any books at all on Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, since practically no-one seems even remotely interested in it, not counting myself, of course, or another Linear B colleague of mine, Gretchen Leonhardt, who also wants to learn Linear C. All the more power to us! At least she and I will probably end up being the only two researchers in practically the entire world who can not only read Linear C but translate it as well. And trust me, if we do (more like, when we do, as it is only a matter of time), that is bound to raise a few eyebrows in the Mycenaean Linear B research community, given the extremely close relationship between these two dialects. One can easily call them kissing cousins, as they are even closer to one another than Ionic and Attic Greek are! Richard
20 Greek Words in the Arcadian Dialect Translated into Tentative & Actual Linear B: (Click to ENLARGE): As I just did in our previous post with a much larger vocabulary of the Cypriot dialect, from which I extracted as many putative or hypothetical Linear B concrete and semi-abstract words as I could, leaving purely abstract words aside (as they almost never appear in in Linear B in Mycenaean Greek), I am providing 20 hypothetical Linear B equivalents to everyone on our blog or on the Internet fascinated by the near intimate relationship between the Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects, written in Linear B and C respectively, with a vocabulary in the Arcadian dialect, somewhat briefer than that I posted for the Cypriot. By way of introduction, I should like to draw your attention to some highly pertinent facts. In his ground-breaking exhaustive survey of all of the ancient Greek dialects, C. D. Buck, in The Greek Dialects (a), has this to say about the relationship of the Arcadian and Cypriot dialects, which are fact but minor variants on the same dialect (all italics mine): “No two dialects, not even Attic and Ionic, belong together more obviously than do those of Arcadia and the distant Cyprus. They share in a number of notable peculiarities which are unknown elsewhere. See 189 and Chart I. This is to be accounted for by the fact that Cyprus was colonized, not necessarily or probably from Arcadia itself, as tradition states, but from the Peloponnesian coast, at a time when its speech was like that which in Arcadia survived the Doric migration. This group represents, beyond question, the pre-Doric speech of most of the Peloponnesus whatever we choose to call it... passim... ... There are in fact notable points of agreement between Arcado-Cypriot and Aeolic (see 190.3-6 and Chart I,) which cannot be accidental... passim... and there are certain points of agreement with Attic-Ionic...” C.D. Buck’s comments pretty much speak for themselves. But it is extremely important to stress the very intimate relationship between Arcado-Cypriot Greek (being the natural conflagration of the Arcadian and Cypriot dialects into one almost seamless continuum) on the one hand to Aeolic and Attic-Ionic on the other, all of these dialects inclusive falling squarely within the orbit of East Greek, as we move chronologically forward in time. On the other hand, along the same timeline, only in reverse chronological order, we can confirm that (proto-)Arcadian and Mycenaean Greek also unquestionably belong to the same class of ancient Greek dialects, namely, the East Greek. This is precisely why I choose to term both Mycenaean and (proto-)Arcadian as proto-Ionic, since that is in fact what these dialects were. In this perspective, we need to add one more critical comment, again quoting directly from C.D. Buck (although he and I would certainly mirror one another, if we either of us were to say this, even without knowing the other one had. He did say this, and I do.) So allow me to steal the words right out of his mouth, in the sure realization that this is precisely what I, and for that matter, all linguists worldwide would say about the relationship between the ancient Greek dialects would assert... save for a few lone renegades, whom I won’t even bother with, as it is a waste of my breath and our time. C.D. Buck has this to say: “The most fundamental division of the Greek dialects is that into the West Greek and the East Greek dialects, the terms referring to their location prior to the great migrations. The East Greek are the “the old Hellenic” dialects, that is, those employed by the peoples who held the stage almost exclusively in the period represented by the Homeric poems, when the West Greek peoples remained in obscurity in the northwest. To the East Greek belong the Attic and Aeolic groups... passim... And to the East Greek (dialects) also belong the Arcado-Cyprian.” And, of course, just to be certain we have the whole picture clearly in focus, we must also include Mycenaean Greek and early Arcadian as proto-Ionic, both of which dialects held sway “prior to the great migrations.” Here C.D. Buck is referring specifically to the great Doric invasion of the Greek peninsula ca. 1200-1100 BCE or thereabouts. The following summary can be drawn with relative ease from C.D. Buck’s linguistic analysis: 1. The division between the East Greek dialects, among which we count the Arcado-Cypriot (subsumed by its slightly different Arcadian and Cypriot variants) plus the Aeolic, Ionic and Attic dialects, as representative, there being others as well... and the West Greek dialects, under the generic, Doric, is clear and distinct. Never the twain shall meet. 2. Since Mycenaean, proto-Arcado-Cypriot and its later metamorphoses, Arcadian and Cypriot, are all in the same dialectical class, i.e. East Greek, any consideration of the function(s), historical rôle and influences of any and all of these dialects in particular play, must be decisively distinguished from the rôle the Doric dialects played, since the former were all firmly in place and fully operative all over the Greek peninsula well before the Doric invasions ca. 1200-1100 BCE. In fact, in the case of Mycenaean Greek, that dialect held sway for at least 300 years prior to the Doric invasions, so that any putative influence or impact of the latter on the former is de facto impossible. 3. The proto-Arcado-Cypriot dialect is clearly the younger cousin of Mycenaean Greek, as is its later evolution into literary Arcado-Cypriot (Arcadian/Cypriot) as found on the Idalion tablet (fifth century BCE). This fact alone serves to reinforce beyond a shadow of a doubt that Doric Greek could have had no influence on Mycenaean Greek any more than it did on Arcado-Cypriot, as both of the latter were, as C.D. Buck underlines, the “the old Hellenic” dialects. Thus, the intimate relationship between Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot doubly reinforces the total exclusion of Doric influences, however meagre. 4. It naturally follows from 3., as day follows night, that documents composed in Mycenaean Linear B and in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C are soundly ensconced in the framework of the very same class of ancient Greek dialects, the East Greek. Henceforth, in this blog, any discussion of the intimate relationship between the Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects and of the application of their respective scripts, Linear B and Linear C is firmly set in the framework of this hypothesis, which bears extensive historical linguistic evidence mitigating strongly in its favour. A few final comments are in order with respect to the actual Linear B correlatives of Arcadian words in the vocabulary above. These observations revolve around the methodological process of cross-correlation between Arcadian documents, in this case in alphabetical Greek, with those in Linear B. What we have already discovered, to our great astonishment and delight, even without taking the requisite step of a thorough methodology of cross-correlation, as discussed at length in our previous post on the relationship between Cypriot and Mycenaean Greek, is that at least one of the words in Linear B extracted from this vocabulary of Arcadian, and very probably two, are clearly and indisputably real attested (A) Linear B words. They are, of course, the Linear B for “and” (QE) and for “girl” (KOWA). By extension, we may as well add a third, “boy” KOWO, since it is simply the masculine of the former. KOWA appears both in Linear B and in Linear C, and is therefore, by default, attested (A) in both. This is a rare jewel of a find, and to my mind, it is the very first instance of actual confirmation of any word in the vocabulary of Linear B & C common to Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot. This in effect constitutes our very first, albeit baby, step in the cross-correlation of Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot vocabulary by means of a tried-and-tested linguistic methodology. How many Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot will eventually (nearly) match up, whether scores, some or just a few, I cannot possibly predict right now. But it is certain that we shall eventually be able to compile at least a small vocabulary of equivalent Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot words, and as soon as we can (b), I shall be sure to let you know. Such a vocabulary will prove of inestimable value in going a long way to confirming attested Linear C = derivative Linear B words (ALC+DLB), as explained in the previous post. NOTES: (a) Buck, C.D. The Greek Dialects. London: Bristol Classical Press, © 1955, 1998. ISBN 1-85399-566-8. xvi, 373 pp. (b) sometime in 2015 or at the latest, early 2016. (c) All italics mine.
Which Greek Dialects are the Descendents of Mycenaean Greek? (Click to ENLARGE): Allow me to cite at some length four authoritative sources for the close-knit relationship between Mycenaean Greek (ca. 1500-1200 BCE) and the East Greek dialects which sprang up later, spreading out, first to Arcadia itself, as the Arcado-Cypriot dialect, which then in turn spread westward to Cyprus in the period of the great Greek migrations through colonization (ca. 750-550 BCE), also northwards towards Ionia and Attica, and eastwards to the island of Lesbos and its environs (Aeolic). Arcado-Cypriot, as C.D. Buck states in his ground-breaking study, The Greek Dialects (University of Chicago Press, 1955; republished in 1998 by Bristol Classical Press, © 1998 – ISBN 1-85399-556-8. xvi, 373 pp.), belongs to “The East Greek... Old Hellenic dialects, that is, those employed by the peoples who held the stage almost exclusively in the period represented by the Homeric poems, when the West Greek peoples remained in obscurity in in the northwest. To the East Greek division belong the Ionic and Aeolic groups.. [and].. also the Arcado-Cyprian.” Then he makes a point of stressing that “no two dialects, not even Attic and Ionic, belong together more obviously than do those of Arcadia and the distant Cyprus.” (pg. 7), and goes on to say, “There are, in fact, notable points of agreement between Arcado-Cypriot and Aeolic... which cannot be accidental.” (pg. 8, all italics mine). I have taken pains to quote all of these observations to make it abundantly clear that following dialects, Mycenaean, Arcado-Cypriot, Attic-Ionic, Aeolic and Lesbian, are all East Greek dialects, as illustrated by his table on page 9, as opposed to the West & North-West Greek dialects, which include all of the Doric dialects, such as Argolic, Megarian, Cretan etc. while Egbert J. Bakker. in his A Companion to the Ancient Greek (Wiley-Blackwell, © 2010. 704 pp. ISBN 978-1-4051-5326-3), asserts that “Mycenaean is clearly, therefore, an East Greek dialect, along with Attic-Ionic and Arcado-Cypriot... passim ... Some features align Mycenaean more closely with Arcado-Cypriot... passim... Mycenaean is therefore a dialect directly related to Arcado-Cypriot – not unexpected, given the geography...” (pp. 198-199), and again, Roger D. Woodward, in The Ancient Languages of Europe (Cambridge University Press, © 2008 ISBN 9780521684958), states that “Of the first-millennium dialects, it is Arcado-Cypriot to which Mycenaean Greek is most closely related.” (pg. 52) I wish to stress emphatically that there is no direct relationship between the East Greek dialects (Mycenaean, Arcado-Cypriot, Attic-Ionic or Aeolic) and the West Greek dialects, most notably, the Doric dialect, since the earliest of the East-Greek dialects, Mycenaean Greek, was widely spoken in the Peloponnese and around the Saronic Gulf well before the Doric invasion, and that consequently since all of the other East Greek dialects, Arcado-Cypriot, Attic-Ionic & Aeolic, spread out from the Mycenaean epicentre, they too are not and cannot be directly related to the West Greek dialects. To add further fuel to the fire, allow me to conclude with these highly pertinent observations Denys Page makes in, History and the Homeric Iliad (University of California Press, © 1966. 350 pp.) He says: The new theory maintains, in briefest summary, the following position. “The dialect which we call Ionic is fundamentally akin to Arcadian; the peculiar features which differentiate it from other dialects as Ionic are all (or most) of relatively late development. In the Mycenaean period one dialect was predominant in southern Greece: when the Dorians occupied the Peloponnese, part of the Mycenaean population stayed at home, part emigrated; the stay-at-homes, to be called “Arcadians”, retained their dialect with comparatively little change through the Dark Ages, ...” Now, from all we have just seen here, I feel I can safely draw the following conclusions: 1 there is no direct relationship between the East Greek dialects (Mycenaean, Arcado-Cypriot, Attic-Ionic or Aeolic) and the West Greek dialects, most notably, the Doric dialect; 2 All of the East Greek dialects migrated from their original home base during the great age of Greek colonization (ca. 750-550 BCE), as witnessed by the spread of the Arcadian dialect to Cyprus in the historical period, and of Attic-Ionic eastwards as Aeolic towards Lesbos and its environs. 3 these patterns of migration of the East Greek dialects were paralleled by the migration of the West Greek dialects to colonies as prosperous and large as the great city of Syracuse (Doric) and other Greek cities along the west coast of Italy. 4 Confirmation of Denys Page’s “new theory” (1966) has been re-affirmed and validated over and over again all the way through to the present day (Cf. Woodward, 2008 & Bakker, 2010), so that there remains little doubt, if any, that his “new theory”, which is no longer new at all, having persisted a half century, is here to stay. Richard
Tabular Comparison of the Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Syllabaries (Click to ENLARGE):
Mycenaean Greek, which was written in the Linear B syllabary, and Arcado-Cypriot, which used the Linear C syllabary, both belong to the family of East Greek dialects, which were to spread from these two into Ionic-Attic and Aeolic during the period of Greek colonization (ca. 750-550 BCE). For more on this, see the next post, “Which Greek dialects of Mycenaean Greek”?
What is the Relationship between Mycenaean Greek & Arcado-Cypriot? ... there is a lot more to this than meets the eye! NOTE! Researchers in the field of Mycenaean Linear B, who are also fascinated with Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, would do well to read the illustrative dialectical map and text below, for on it hinges the foundation of the entire theory of Progressive Linear B as I intend to expound it in greater and greater depth throughout 2014 and 2015. And here you can clearly see where I am carrying this ball (Click to ENLARGE this huge illustrative text): My basic premise is this, that since Arcado-Cypriot (written in the syllabary Linear C) subsisted all the way through from ca 1100 BCE to ca 400 BCE (700 years!), before the Arcado-Cypriots, i.e. Arcadians, finally caved in to alphabetic Hellenistic Greek, otherwise known as “koine” (the common language), in the face of its otherwise universal use, is without a shadow of a doubt the ancient Greek dialect most closely related to Mycenaean Greek (written in the syllabary Linear B), being for all intents and purposes its younger cousin, it must logically follow that Mycenaean Greek must be Greek and nothing but Greek. The really peculiar notion held by a tiny minority of self-appointed high-minded “researchers” that Mycenaean is not Greek, and that Michael Ventris, as brilliant and methodologically logical as he was to a fault, was merely “making clever guesses as to what the language was, truly boggles the mind. It intend to establish once-and-for-all that such silly notions are not only specious in the extreme, but entirely tautological. The mere fact that the two dialects share a virtually common grammar and vocabulary is enough to lay the myth that Mycenaean Greek is not Greek to rest forever. For if it is not Greek, then what on earth is it? And if such researchers are so clever (and apparently brighter than a genius of Ventris' stature), then they ought to have long since been able to decipher whatever the blazes they imagine it is. But they have not, and I wager my life they never will. To this end, I will also master Linear C this year, and subsequently translate the entire Idalion Tablet (the longest text by far composed in Linear C) into English, with the view to cross-correlating Arcado-Cypriot and Mycenaean down to the most fundamental level, by reconstructing the grammar and vocabulary of both dialects to the greatest possible extent that I can. And I shall. The next post displays Idalion Tablet. Progressive Linear B Grammar & Vocabulary © Richard Vallance Janke 2014