summer haiku/haiga/shahai – mother goddess = déesse mère = dea madre mother goddess of Mount Ida, harvest queen... your sheer golden locks! * the earliest name for Demeter déesse mère du mont Ida, reine des moissons ... tes cheveux dorés ! dea madre del Monte Ida alto ... lucchetti dorati! Richard Vallance
Restoration the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia: Here we see my restoration of the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia, which includes line 0. at the top and line 4. at the bottom. This is just a personal interpretation, which may stray from the actual text of the original tablet... but we cannot really know this. Note that the RECTO (front side) and the VERSO (reverse side) are reversed. If you horizontally flip the VERSO it fits correctly into the RECTO. So this means that we have to read the text on the RECTO from left to right (dextrograde) and on the VERSO from right to left (sinistrograde). The reconstruction certainly makes sense. It was hard work, but worth it and fun!
Rule 13: how to convert Linear B PASA into Greek:
To the Land of Dreams: Overview of the Linear B Lexicon This site provides us with a superb overview and summary of the contents of the Linear B Lexicon by Chris Tselentis.... a must read! It includes examples of noun declensions and verb conjugations. The entire Linear B Lexicon is found on this site!
Translation of Linear B tablet, KN 586 Rm 11, Knossos, by Rita Roberts: This is far from being a straightforward tablet to decipher. It presents at least 3 difficulties: 1. the presence of the relatively rare logogram RIYO (see the tablet above) in the putative personal name ARIYOA. 2. the presence of digamma (#) twice in the name on line 2, which could be either the putative personal name, KOWOWEYA or RUWOWEYA, depending on how one is able to decipher the first left-truncated syllabogram on that line, which could be either KO or RU. 3. the presence of what appears to be the rare syllabogram JU at the end of the second line, but we cannot even be sure of that. The tablet is damaged enough to raise the questions in 2. and 3. above.
Rule 10b: Converting Linear B to Greek: Q series of syllabograms to Greek p & Rule 10c: Converting Linear B to Greek: Q series of syllabograms to Greek b:
Rule 10a: Converting Linear B to Greek: Q series of syllabograms to Greek k:
Linear B - KN Dd1171, article by Peter J. Keyse on academia.edu Click on this graphic to view Keyse’s article: Peter J. Keyse provides a thorough analysis of Linear B tablet KN Dd 1171 in this fascinating article, which is well worth reading for anyone who is familiar with the Linear B syllabary, and certainly for anyone who is studying Linear B in depth. His article is not without errors. For instance, he deciphers PoRo as the name of someone in what he calls the PoMe “worker class” = a shepherd, but his interpretation of of PORO is clearly incorrect, as this word has 3 distinct meanings, one of which is the Linear B word for “a foal”, as demonstrated by Chris Tselentis in his Linear B Lexicon, here: (The other 2 meanings of POME offered by Tselentis do not fit the context) while POME is quite obviously Mycenaean Greek for “shepherd”: Keyse also notes that Michael Ventris identified 3 major styles for incisions - those at Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae. In his own words: The vertical lines are quite faint scratches and not easily seen. The cuts in the clay are ‘under-cut’ i.e. pushed in at an angle . This preoccupation with Linear B scribal hands recurs in a great many articles on Linear B. Keyse also covers the what he ascertains to be the phonetic sounds of the numerics on this tablet. He also emphasizes the nature and particulars characteristics of the scribal hand on this tablet. But it his conclusion which is most fascinating. He says, In conclusion: What would Dd1171 sound like if read aloud? Po-Ro. 20 OVISm, 72 OVISf. Pa-I-To. Pa 8 OVISm. While it reasonable to say that Linear B was no more the spoken language of its day than ‘double-entry bookkeeping’ speak is for accounting clerks today it is also true to say that accountants do on occasions talk in journals and double-entry (and not only when at dinner parties and down the pub) and they certainly call over inventories to each other. It is clear that Linear B had a sound but perhaps it is unlikely that we can fairly reproduce it today. Considering the importance of numbers within the Linear B archive I find it surprising that no phonic system has been devised to represent them or if devised is not clearly documented in the literature. COMMENT by Richard Vallance Janke on the sound, i.e. the general pronunciation of Linear B. In actuality, we probably do have some idea of how Mycenaean Greek was pronounced. Its closest cousin was Arcado-Cypriot, represented both by its own syllabary, Linear C, and by its own archaic alphabet. The Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects were much closer phonetically than even Ionic and Attic Greek. Phonological details of the archaic Arcado-Cypriot dialect appear in C.D. Buck, The Greek Dialects, © 1955, 1998. ISBN 1-85399-566-8, on pg. 144. He provides even more information on Arcado-Cypriot on pp. 7-8, and classifies it as an East Greek dialect, pg. 9. This is highly significant, because if Arcado-Cypriot is East Greek, ergo Mycenaean Greek also is. This places both of the archaic East-Greek dialects, Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot, firmly in the camp of all East Greek dialects, including Arcadian, Aeolic, Lesbian, Cyprian, Pamphylian, Thessalian, Boeotian, and the much later Ionic and Attic dialects. So it is probably fair to say that we may have at least an idea, even if somewhat inaccurate, of how Mycenaean Greek was pronounced. And this has huge implications for the further study of Mycenaean Greek phonology.
Converting Linear B to ancient Greek, Level 1b: Table 2 above illustrates further refinements in the conversion of Linear B spelling to (archaic) ancient Greek orthography. We note in particular Linear B pedira, which becomes pe/dila in ancient Greek. This is because there exists no L series of syllabograms, i.e. LA LE LI LO LU, in Linear B. On the other hand, a great many (archaic) ancient Greek words contain the letter l (lambda) = l Latinized. One such word is pe/dila. So it is to be expected that the l (lambda) = l Latinized in words such as pe/dila must be represented by R in Linear B. There is just no way around it. Next, we have the word onata in Linear B, which of course turns out to be o/nata in (archaic) ancient Greek, just as we would naturally expect. But this word has an alternative spelling o/naton, which is not feminine at all, but rather neuter. Now it just so happens that almost all neuter words in ancient Greek must terminate in n, Latinized as n. But since Linear B is a syllabary, it is impossible for any Linear B word to end in a consonant. However, since almost all neuter ancient Greek words end in n, this consonant must be added to the ancient Greek equivalent of the Linear B word to which it corresponds.
How to convert Linear B vocabulary into (archaic) ancient Greek: PART A: feminine PART A: Level 1a We note in the Table 1 above that in many instances the correlation between the Linear B and (archaic) ancient Greek orthography is (practically) one on one, i.e. the spelling is identical or almost identical in Linear B and in (archaic) ancient Greek. The attribute (archaic) is optional, since sometimes the Greek word parallel to the Linear B is simply ancient Greek, whereas at other times, the word parallel to the Linear B is archaic ancient Greek. But it really does not make any difference in the end, because the Greek spelling to the right of the Linear B word is the preferred orthography, as simple as that. Thus, in Table 1, the Greek for aiza, eneka, kama, meta and Samara is identical to the Linear B. Since Samara is capitalized, Greek S or sigma is also upper case, S rather than lower case, s. In the case of Linear B arura, the ancient Greek has an additional vowel, ou as in arou/ra. There is nothing at all unusual in such a small discrepancy in spelling between Linear B and ancient Greek, since Linear B u may be expressed as simply u or as ou in ancient Greek, because the pronunciation of u and ou is identical in ancient Greek. In the case of Linear B Manassa (also capitalized, because it is a theonym), Linear B single s becomes double ss in ancient Greek. This is because it is impossible for two adjacent consonants to follow one another in Linear B, which is a syllabary, in which absolutely all syllabograms must end in a vowel, whereas ancient Greek, which is an alphabet, far more frequently doubles consonants, i.e. allows for adjacent consonants. While this seems counter-intuitive at first sight, once we have covered all Linear B words in the feminine, masculine and neuter genders, this will become transparent. Finally, we note the / above one of the syllables in each of the Greek words in this table. This is called the acute accent (/), indicating on which syllable the stress must fall in that word. So ai/za (Latinized) is pronounced AIza in ancient Greek, e/neka Eneka, ka/ma KAma, Ma/nassa MAnassa, meta/ meTA and Sama/ra SaMAra. This phenomenon is identical to the stress on the primary syllable in English, except that English never uses accents, not even / acute. So in English we have HOUsing, deCIpherant, deCIsion, Elephant, instiTUtion and SEparation etc. etc. To English-speaking people, this is intuitive, but to people learning English as a second language (ESL) the position of the accented syllable is far from intuitive, because English simply has no accents of any kind. In this sense, English is very odd, because almost all other modern languages have accents (for whatever reason, stress or not). On the other hand, the stressed syllable in ancient Greek is glaringly obvious, because it always bears the acute accent / above it.
THE MYCENAEAN LINEAR B “ROSETTA STONE” TO MINOAN LINEAR Tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) Vessels and Pottery has just been uploaded to my academia.edu account, here: To DOWNLOAD it, click on the DOWNLOAD button on the top right hand side of the page. ABSTRACT In partnership with The Association of Historical Studies, Koryvantes (Athens), we address past and current prospects for the decipherment of the Minoan language, which has never met with any credible success in the 117 years since the ?rst discovery of Minoan Linear A tablets by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos in 1900. A considerable number of philologists and historical linguists, some of them amateurs, claim to have deciphered the Minoan language, yet no one has ever formulated a convincing decipherment. We advance a unique and entirely untested approach to unravelling the text of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada), based on the principle of cross-correlative retrogressive extrapolation (CCRE) from Mycenaean Linear B to Linear A. HT 31 so closely parallels Mycenaean Linear B tablet, Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) that the latter effectively serves as a kind of “Rosetta Stone” for the former. There is also credible evidence that a Mycenaean derived superstratum imposed itself on Linear A as the result of the Mycenaean conquest of Knossos and Crete ca. 1500 – 1450 BCE or, failing that, their all but absolute suzerainty over Knossos and its dependencies. Approximately 300 or 26 % of 1166 intact words in Linear A are very likely of Mycenaean origin.
Linear B syllabary with correspondances to the ancient Greek alphabet including digamma:
This table of the Linear B syllabary with correspondances to the ancient Greek alphabet including digamma outlines how each series of syllabograms, e.g. A E I O U, DA DE DI DO DU, KA KE KI KO KU, MA ME MI MO MU, TA TE TI TO TU etc. corresponds with the ancient Greek letter series, including the archaic Greek letter digamma, very common in Mycenaean Greek but absent from Classical Greek which are common to them. In some cases, the first consonant of the syllabogram series exactly matches the consonant + vowels of the Greek letters to which that series corresponds. These are:
DA DE DI DO DU = da de dei dh di dh do dw du
MA ME MI MO MU = ma me mei mh mi mh mo mw mu
NA NE NI NO NU = na ne nei nh ni nh no nw nu
SA SE SI SO SU = sa se sei sh si sh so sw su
But there is one significant problem. The Linear B syllabary cannot distinguish between short and long Greek vowels, or Greek double-vowel combinations. Thus,
DE DI DO = de dei dh di dh do dw
ME MI MO = me mei mh mi mh mo mw
NE NI NO = ne nei nh ni nh no nw
SE SI SO = se sei sh si sh so sw
must account for 2 or 3 vowel variations in the ancient Greek alphabet, as seen above. For example, as seen in the D series of syllabograms above, DE = any of 3 = de dei dh DI for either di dh & DO for either do dw. The list of syllabogram series and their Greek alphabetic equivalents above provides several examples of these vowel variations.
Syllabogram series representing multiple consonants + vowels:
Syllabogram series representing multiple consonants + vowels are more complex. These are:
ga ge gei gh gi gh go gw gu
ka ke kei kh ki kh ko kw ku
xa xe xei xh xi xh xo xw xu
PA PE PI PO PU corresponding to:
pa pe pei ph pi ph po pw pu
fa fe fei fh fi fh fo fw fu
ya ye yei yh yi yh yo yw yu
QA QE QI QO corresponding to:
ba be bei bh bi bh bo bw bu
ga ge gei gh gi gh go gw gu
RA RE RI RO RU corresponding to:
la le lei lh li lh lo lw lu
ra re rei rh ri rh ro rw ru
TA TE TI TO TU corresponding to:
ta te tei th ti th to tw tu
qa qe qei qh qi qh qo qw qu
Plenty of examples of all of the consonant + vowel variations explained in all instances above are found in the table, following the table of syllabogram series, at the top of this post.
CONVENTIONS in Linear A and ancient Greek orthography:
Linear B is also unable to account for the presence of consonants in the ancient Greek alphabet, especially in the case of final or ultimate consonants, which are extremely common in ancient Greek, and de rigueur in masculine and neuter nouns and adjectives, and in the conjugations of several persons, singular and plural, in all cases of ancient Greek verbs (present, future, imperfect, aorist, perfect and pluperfect in all moods, indicative, optative and subjunctive). But only the present and aorist (CHECK) in the indicative and the present in the optative occur in Linear B.
I shall be posting the Greek equivalents to Linear B nouns, adjectives and verbs in an upcoming post.
Just uploaded to academia.edu = Exhaustive Linear A lexicon of 1030 New Minoan and Old Minoan words, with extensive sectional commentaries.pdf What with its 1030 entries of New Minoan (NM1), Pre-Greek substratum and Old Minoan terms, this is the most exhaustive Linear A Lexicon ever published in history, exceeding Prof. John G. Younger’s (at 774 intact words) by 226, with the emphasis squarely on intact exograms (words). Every possible origin of Linear A words is investigated, with extensive sectional commentaries. This lexicon, 65 pp. long, includes 4 appendices and a bibliography of 108 items. You will not want to miss out on reading this paper, representing one of the most significant historical breakthroughs in the decipherment of the Linear syllabary. If you are a member of academia.edu, please download it, and read it at your leisure. If you are not already a member of academia.edu, you can sign up for free, and then download it. My recent research into (Minoan) Linear A has meant that I have been catapulted from the top 5 % to the top 0.1 % of users on academia.edu in the past three weeks, here:
Supersyllabograms on the large Linear A tablet in the A.Y. Nikolaos Museum, Crete:
There are a total of 6 supersyllabograms on the large Linear A tablet in the A.Y. Nikolaos Museum, Crete, far more than on any other Linear A tablet. In fact, there is no text at all on this tablet, which makes it unique in the Linear A repertoire. All in all, there are 27 supersyllabograms in Linear A, versus 36 in Linear B. The Minoans and not the Mycenaeans invented supersyllabograms. Since many visitors to our site are unfamiliar with supersyllabograms, even though they have been defined here on several occasions, a supersyllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a particular word of major import in any of the major sectors of the Minoan economy. On this tablet, we find 7, of which one is not actually a syllabogram but a symbol. They are as follows:
1 SU (a) OM (Old Minoan) supa2 (supai) + supa2ra (supa2ra) = a small cup with handles
2 A2/AI OM? unknown, currently indecipherable
3 U NM1 (New Minoan) udiriki = with water (instr. Sing.) = hudriki (archaic Greek Latinized
4 PO NM1 potokuro = reaching a full drink, i.e. a draught (agglutinative) = poton + kurwn (archaic Greek latinized)
5 a hook which symbolizes a handle
6 A NM1 aresana = an embossed cup (archaic acc.) = aleissana (archaic Greek Latinized)
SU (b) OM sup1/supu/supu2 = the largest size pithos
NOTE that all of the supersyllabograms on this tablet deal with vessels and pottery.
Linear A contains 27 supersyllabograms, some of which are Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM1) and others Old Minoan, i.e. in the original Minoan substratum, as illustrated in this table:
The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear A will be the feature article in Vol. 13 (2017) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448 , to be published early in 2019. This article is to be the follow-up to The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, Vol. 11 (2015), currently online on academia.edu here:
6 Minoan Linear A words from KE to KO which might be proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean: Here is the table of Minoan Linear A words from KE to KO in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon. As is the usual case, there are inherent problems with the “Greekness” of almost all of the Minoan Linear A words I have tagged as possibly being proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean. This should come as no surprise in view of the fact that I made myself crystal clear on this account in the previous post. The most convincing Minoan Linear A word by far of apparent proto-Greek origin is keite, which is highly likely to be the equivalent of archaic Greek keithen = “thence/from there”. The least credible is  koiru, which is far enough off in its orthography from ancient Greek, kairos = “due measure” to cast sufficient doubt on it. But in almost all cases, appearances can be, and often are, deceiving. I have said this already, and I repeat it for the sake of emphasis. We cannot be too overcautious. This brings the total number of so-called proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean words I have managed to isolate in Minoan Linear A to 22.
Tentative confirmation of 10 possible proto-Greek words out of 18 under the first vowel, A, in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon:
When I subjected the first alphabetical entries under A in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon to rigorous analysis in order to determine whether or not any of the entries under A just might have been proto-Greek, or more likely than not, proto-Mycenaean. I was able to extrapolate tentative archaic Greek “definitions”, if you like, for no fewer than 10 of the 18 entries under A. That is quite a staggering return! However, in spite of these encouraging findings, we must exercise extreme caution in assigning proto-Greek significance to any number of Minoan words.
Of course, the discovery right fro the outset of 10 words which might possibly be proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean, is highly tempting. One could, if one were so inclined, that as a consequence of this discovery, the Minoan language must have been proto-Greek. But I would warn us away from such a rash assumption, for several cogent reasons, all of which will become clear as we run alphabetically through the Reverse Linear A Lexicon. One of the most obvious roadblocks to accepting, even on a tentative basis, a proto-Greek reading of words such as the 10 I have isolated under A above is the extreme paucity of consecutive, running text and, what is even worse, the even rarer instances of extant Linear A words providing sufficient context on the tablets for us to be able to extract any real meaning at all from the tablets. This is the brick wall we run up against again and again in any endeavour at deciphering any Minoan word, taken as a single entity.
There is one tenet at least which bears out confirmation or abnegation, and it is this: if we continue to discover a considerable number of potential proto-Greek under subsequent initial syllabograms alphabetically from DA on through to ZU, then there might very well be a case for concluding that either (a) the Minoan language was entirely proto-Greek or (b) the Minoan language was pre-Greek and very probably non Indo-European, but which contained a great many proto-Greek words, for reasons which will become apparent as we proceed through our extrapolative analysis of Minoan words from DA to ZU.
This is bound to be one exciting journey of discovery!
Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos Linear B tablet KN 946 G a 303 (mid-term, second year university): Trust me, this is not an easy tablet to translate. ... with a translation into archaic ancient Greek added by Richard Vallance Janke.
Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in R = Greek = 423: In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in R. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter R: It is absolutely de rigueur to read the NOTES on Mycenaean versus ancient archaic Greek orthography in the chart above. Otherwise, the Linear B sentences will not make any sense. It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were. The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 423.
Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar: Derived (D) Verbs/Infinitives in Q = Greek B b = 413: In this post we find derived (D) infinitives in Q, corresponding to initial B b in ancient Greek. Here is the table of derived (D) thematic and athematic infinitives starting with the Greek letter B b (Q in Mycenaean Greek): Since there is no B series of syllabograms in Linear B (BA, BE, BI, BO) but only the Q series (QA, QE, QI, QO), the latter must stand in for the former. Read the notes in the Q chart above. It was highly likely that official documents, poetry (if any) and religious texts were written in natural Mycenaean Greek on papyrus. However, the moist climate of Crete and the Greek mainland meant that papyrus, unlike in the arid climate of Egypt, was doomed to rot away. So we shall never really know whether or not there were documents in natural Mycenaean Greek. But my educated hunch is that there were. The total number of natural Mycenaean Greek derived (D) infinitives we have posted so far = 413.