The Blue Mosque
In Istanbul, the Blue Mosque, Allah’s shrine
of Holy shrines, invokes his Love for all
who visit her but once, His holy sign
for every faith, to those who heed the call;
Yes, raise your eyes on high, and view her vaults
and Carian columns so fairly nuanced
you’ll fall on your knees... where?... in Allah’s sight,
whose Mind is in our humblest minds ensconced.
And if you sense that Jesus too is there
and Moses from the Mountain has returned,
how can the world ignore your every prayer,
how can we fail if love is never spurned?
Religions of the world must reunite
since this, our holy shrine, reveals the Light.
February 28 2019
I was profoundly blessed when I had the great good fortune to visit the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, on April 29 2012. Never in my entire life have I ever ever seen a religious shrine as lovely as this. I was utterly overwhelmed by its sheer glory. If you ever get the chance to visit the Blue Mosque, you should not pass it by. You will be so deeply moved and graced by it that you will never regret for an instant your having visited it.
The photo you see here is my own.
J’ai été profondément béni d’avoir la chance inestimable de visiter la Mosquée Bleue à Istanbul le 29 avril 2012. Je n’ai jamais vu de la vie un lieu saint aussi beau que celui-ci. J’ai été complètement bouleversé par sa gloire imposante. Si vous aurez jamais l’occasion de la visiter, vous ne devez pas la laisser s’échapper. Vous serez tellement ému que vous ne regretterez jamais un seul instant une telle visite.
C’est ma propre photo que vous voyez ici.
spring haiku de printemps – the Blue Mosque = la Mosquée bleue
the Blue Mosque
flush with flowers –
la Mosquée bleue
embellie de fleurs –
The Blue Mosque, Istanbul is one of the most famous and surely one of the loveliest mosques in the world. La Mosquée bleue à Istanbul est une des plus renommées et assurément l’une des plus belles au monde.
The Gezer Agricultural Almanac 925 BCE, Comparison Between the Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet on it & Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE
The Gezer Agricultural Almanac or Calendar was discovered in 1908 by R.A.S. Macalister of the Palestine Exploration Fund during the excavation of the ancient Canaanite city of Gezer, 32 kilometres to the west of Jerusalem. Inscribed on limestone, it describes monthly or bi-monthly periods of agricultural activities such as harvesting, planting or tending to specific crops. Paleo-linguistic scholars are divided concerning the language it is written in, some believing it to be Phoenician, others Proto-Canaanite, otherwise known as Paleo-Hebrew. But since the tablet makes as much sense in Paleo-Hebrew as it does in Phoenician (even though the translations must perforce differ), this raises a serious question which cannot be safely ignored over the perceived theoretical or actual relationship between the Phoenician and the Paleo-Hebrew alphabets, which in turn raises the further question whether or not Paleo-Hebrew is itself directly derived from Phoenician. Although open to dispute, if this notion holds any water, then the Proto-Canaanite or Paleo-Hebrew alphabet may very well be directly derived from the Phoenician, in which case even the ancient classical Hebrew alphabet, spawned from Paleo-Hebrew, is also indirectly derived from the Phoenician alphabet, despite appearances to the contrary.
But the vein may run even deeper. Since many scholars believe that the Phoenician alphabet grew out of Egyptian hieroglyphics, this in turn implies that the ancient Paleo-Hebrew alphabet at least is indirectly descended from Egyptian hieroglyphics. But there is a further complication. Since Paleo-Hebrew post-dates the almost identical syllabaries, Minoan Linear A by 7 centuries & Mycenaean Linear B, the latter falling into obscurity with the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization ca. 1200 BCE, fully 200 years before the advent of Proto-Canaanite, what are we to make of that? This is all the more pressing an issue, given that no fewer than 12 of 61 or 20 % of Linear B syllabograms look strikingly like the Paleo-Hebrew letters on the Gezer Calendar? — if in fact it is written in Hebrew.
For the sake of argument and sheer practicality, let us say it is. If that is the case, then we have to wonder whether or not both the Phoenician and Proto-Canaanite alphabets were actually at least partially derived from either Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B or both. Given this scenario, it is open to serious doubt whether or not the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets were exclusively derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics alone. This hypothesis cannot be safely ignored, given the striking similarities in particular characters in all 4 of these scripts, Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B, Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew. However, there is a wrench in the works. If this hypothesis is correct, then why on earth did both the Phoenician and Proto-Canaanite alphabets lose the five vowels of their more ancient predecessors, Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B? So we are left with an irresolvable conundrum.
Nevertheless, this hypothesis does raise doubts over Egyptian hieroglyphics being the sole ancestor of the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets. Why so? ... because neither Minoan Linear A nor Mycenaean Linear B are the offshoots of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Back to our messy little paradox. The Gezer Almanac is held in the Archaeological Museum Artifacts Collection of the Istanbul Archaeological Museums (ISTANBUL ARKEOLOJI MÜZELERI), here:
In the next three posts, I shall:
1. post a table illustrating the comparison between the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets, which are almost identical;
2. draw a thorough comparison between the Paleo-Hebrew letters (consonants only) on the Gezer Almanac and the 12 syllabograms + one ideogram in Mycenaean Linear B which resemble them;
3. translate the Gezer Calendar into Mycenaean Linear B, to clearly demonstrate the extremely close parallel in the efficacy of both scripts for statistical inventories. If anything, this remarkable parallelism reinforces the possibility that the Phoenician and Paleo-Hebrew alphabets may at least partially be outcrops of Minoan Linear A (preceding them both by at least 700 years) & Mycenaean Linear B, disappearing two centuries prior to widespread appearance of the former at the outset of what is commonly and largely erroneously referred to as the Dark Ages of the early Iron Age (ca. 1100-780 BCE).
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