The composite supersyllabograms ZE & RO with the ideogram for horse in Linear B


The composite supersyllabograms ZE & RO with the ideogram for horse in Linear B:

KN 259 N l 21 SSYLS ZE RO

This is one of only two tablets in the entire corpus of Linear B tablets which has two supersyllabograms modifying their ideogram, making them a unique phenomenon. The other one appears in the next post.

While the supersyllabogram ZE, meaning “a team of horses”, is straightforward, RO appears only once on this fragment, and nowhere else on any Linear B tablet or fragment, regardless of provenance. L.R. Palmer, in “The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts” (1963) defines it as meaning “a part of the horse trappings, made of leather”. I have no reason to discount this interpretation. It is unusual for the ideogram for armour to follow that for horse, and especially for the scribe to indicate that there are two (2) sets of armour for the (chariot) drivers, one for each... unusual because the ideogram for armour almost always follows that for chariot and precedes that for a team of horses. Be it as it may, that is the way the scribe inscribed it; so we'll take it at its face value.

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Photos of Michael Ventris (1922-1956) & Richard Vallance Janke (1945 – )


Photos of Michael Ventris (1922-1956) & Richard Vallance Janke (1945 - ): Click to ENLARGE each composite

Here is a composite of 2 photos, one of Michael Ventris (1922-1956) just before his tragic death in a car accident in 1956, and one of myself, Richard Vallance Janke, still younger, at age 23, upon my graduation for my first degree, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Latin and French (majors), English and German (minors) from Sir Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1968.

Michael Ventris age 30 & Richard Vallance Janke age 23

I have no hesitation whatsoever in declaring that I consider Michael to be my patron saint, and that I pray to him instead of to God, because he is the greatest inspiration in my entire life. I shall do so until God informs me otherwise.

And here is another composite of myself, first as a Reference Librarian, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, taken at the age of 43 in 1988, and the second of a lovely couple and  myself at the age of 63, taken while I was on holidays in Quebec in the summer of 2008.

Richard 1989 and 2008

I will be using these photos for my talk on The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Linear B at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, University of Warsaw, Poland, June 29 – July 2, 2015.


Richard