This one is a real hoot… very funny! first UTube video on Mycenaean Linear B, all about Michael Ventris’ remarkable success in deciphering the syllabary in June-July 1952.


This one is a real hoot... very funny! first UTube video on Mycenaean Linear B, all about Michael Ventris’ remarkable success in deciphering the syllabary in June-July 1952. 

UTube these symbols are not letters

AND very poetic!

Once I have mastered the technique of posting videos on UTube, I shall begin posting my own videos on key aspects of Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, including their decipherment.

2 Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, archaic Greek, English & French on the Mycenaean invasion of Troy =


2 Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, archaic Greek, English & French on the Mycenaean invasion of Troy: Click to ENLARGE =

2 haïkou en linéaire B, en grec archaïque, en anglais et en français sur l’nvasion mycénienne de Troie: Cliquer pour ELARGIR

Mycenaean expedition to Troy warships

 The latinized Linear B texts of these haiku read as follows:

soteria *
aneu Akireyo
mene Toroya

Omero
Toroyade
peree

* Note that the archaic dative termination -i- does not appear in Mycenaean Greek.  

 

Double-Edged Sword – Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B: the sea, the wind & the navy… Who is the victor?


Double-Edged Sword - Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B: the sea, the wind & the navy... Who is the victor?

While this haiku is possible in Mycenaean Greek, it is impossible in any later ancient Greek dialect. This happens to be the case because in the Linear B syllabary all syllables must perforce end with a vowel, never a consonant. Hence, it is impossible to distinguish the subject from the object in the second declension in o in Mycenaean Greek composed in Linear B. But that is just what makes this haiku so intriguing. See the notes following the first translation into archaic Greek for my explanations. Click to ENLARGE:

Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B the sea the wind the victor
  

New article on academia.edu. My translation of Sappho’s Ode, “The Moon has set, and the Pleiades…” from Aeolic Greek to Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, English and French


New article on academia.edu. My translation of Sappho’s Ode, “The Moon has set, and the Pleiades...” from Aeolic Greek to Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, English and French, here: Click to OPEN

academiaedusublimesappho
This article with my translation of Sappho’s Ode, “The Moon has set, and the Pleiades...” into two archaic Greek dialects (Linear B & Linear C), as well as into English and French, is the first of its kind ever to appear on the Internet.

Osbert sapho ou  la poésie lyrique
It will eventually be followed by my translations of several other splendid lyrics by Sappho, as well as by serial installments of my translation of the entire Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad by Homer, and several haiku which I have already  composed in parallel Mycenaean Linear B, English & French (I kid you not!)

If you would like to keep up with my ongoing research on academia.edu, you should probably sign yourself up with them, and follow me. Additionally, you can follow anyone else you like, especially those researchers, scholars and authors who are of particular interest to you (not me). And of course, once you have signed up with academia.edu, which is free, you can upload your own research papers, documents, articles, book reviews etc. to your heart’s content.

Oh and by the way, we have a surprise coming up for you all, a research paper by none other than my co-administrator, Rita Roberts of Crete. 

Richard

Ode to the Archangel Michael = Ode à l’Archange Michel (translated from Mycenaean Linear B = traduit du grec mycénien )


Ode to the Archangel Michael = Ode à l’Archange Michel: Click to ENLARGE = Cliquer pour ÉLARGIR :

Ode to the Archangel Michael a l-archange Michel

As far as I am concerned, the French version of the original Ode in Mycenaean Greek is more successful and more convincing than the English.

Franchement et à mon avis, la traduction du texte intégral de l’Ode en grec mycénien est plus réussi, donc plus convaincant que celle en anglais.     

Richard

A Lovely Ode to the Archangel Michael in Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE


A Lovely Ode to the Archangel Michael in Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

Ode to the Archangel Michael Akero Mikero in Mycenaean Linear B

NOTE that the English & French translations of my Ode to the Archangel Michael appear in the next post. Have you ever wondered what Mycenaean Linear B poetry would have sounded like? I know I have, many times over. I invite you to simply read aloud the Latinized version of the Ode in Mycenaean Linear B, even if you do not understand it. The point is to enjoy the music of the poetry, not to worry about your pronunciation or your accent. Nobody really knows how any ancient Greek dialect sounded anyway.

Here a few hints on how to bring out the music in the Mycenaean Greek.

1. Whenever you see the ending, oyo (genitive singular), pronounce it like “oiyo”, but in a single breath. It will sing that way.
2. If you put a little stress on the second-last syllable (penultimate) of words such as “peDIra ”“euZOno” “doSOmo” & “paraDEso”, this will also assist the melody of the poem.
3. Be sure to pronounce all “u”s & “eu”s (euzono) as you would “u” in French, if you can.
4. The disposition of the phrase “para paradeso para meso”  is very peculiar for Greek poetry... “meso ” should be on the same line as the previous words. But I did this deliberately, again for melodic reason. If you read this phrase like this, “PAra paraDEso PAra MEso”, it should sound very nice.
5. The word “mana” (“manna” in English) is obviously not Mycenaean, and not even Greek. It is Hebrew. But I could take liberties introducing this word into a Christian poem. So I did.
6. Recite “pamako atanatoyo” (medicine of the immortal...) like this “PAmako aTAnaTOyo”...

So long as you are consistent and satisfied with how it sounds to you, that is all you need. Yes, and do read it aloud. Otherwise, you will not benefit from hearing the music and the harmony of the Mycenaean Greek, which is after all the earliest of the ancient East Greek dialects, the great-great-grandfather of dialects such as the Ionic & Attic. Besides, you can always allow yourself the pleasure of admiring the pretty Linear B script, however weird it may look to you at first. Just give it a chance.

Being a poet of sorts myself, I decided to write this lyric ode, somewhat along the lines of Sappho (although I cannot even remotely claim a foothold on her astonishing lyrical powers!) It is by no means inconceivable that poetry may very well have been composed in the Mycenaean era, ca. 1450 – 1200 BCE. Simply because we do not have any evidence at all of such activity does not mean that the Minoan/Mycenaean scribes never wrote any poetry at all. The problem lies not with the non-survival of any Mycenaean poetry, but with the impossibility of conserving anything written on papyrus in a humid environment, such as that of Minoan Crete and of Mycenae.

It is indeed fortunate, fortuitous and a great asset to us today that so many Egyptian papyri have been preserved intact since a distant period equal to that of the Mycenaean civilization at its apogee. Call it what you like, the extremely arid sand of Egypt was far far more favourable to the survival of ancient papyrus than the moist climate of Mycenaean Crete and the Mycenaean mainland. That is the real reason why we have no extant literature from their great civilization. But given the astonishing levels their civilization reached in so many areas, in art, architecture, fresco painting, the textile industry, crafts of all kinds, international commerce and even science, it strikes me as passingly strange that no literature of any kind survives, apart from the thousands of Linear B inventory, accounting and ritual tablets, which can hardly be called literature in any sense of the word.

There are those who contend that in fact the Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad was derived from an earlier Mycenaean epic poem, no doubt in a much simpler and more earthy guise, stripped of much of the telling Homeric metaphorical language which is his hallmark even in the Catalogue of Ships. You can count me among these. For this reason, it strikes me as a distinct possibility that, if the Mycenaeans were able to tackle even a mini-epic poem, even if it were a much shorter, stripped down version of its descendant (if ever there was) of the Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad, they surely would have been up to the task of composing considerably shorter poems along the lines of this one you see posted here. Of course, they would never have written about angels and archangels. But that is beside the point. Simply by successfully composing this lyric poem, I believe I have demonstrated that such poetry was, at least conceivably, within the grasp of soi-disant Mycenaean bards. We shall never know, but it is well worth the speculation.

A comment on the phrase epi pedira euzona. As a preposition, epi should take the dative. But here I have used the accusative plural. My reason is this: in archaic Greek, prepositions were less common than adverbs, and in many cases, what we would recognize as a preposition in classical, say, Attic Greek, could very well have been an adverb in Mycenaean Greek. This is how it should be read in this context... pedira euzona is thus to be seen as accusative of aspect or aspectual accusative, reading literally something like this:

with his feet on them...    

I welcome comments on any aspect, as suggested above or otherwise, of my stab at composing a lyric poem in Mycenaean Linear B, Christian though it be.

English and French versions to follow in the next post.


Richard

Sublime Sappho. The moon has set & the Pleiades (in Aeolic Greek, Linear B, Linear C, English & French)


Sublime Sappho. The moon has set & the Pleiades (in Aeolic Greek, Linear B, Linear C, English & French): Click to ENLARGE

Sappho poetry Elihu Vedder 1836-1923 The Pleiades 1885

This is the first of many exquisite poems by the sublime Sappho (ca. 630-570 BCE), who was considered by the ancient Greeks to be second only to Homer, as well as the greatest lyric poet of their age. Indeed, even today, a great many poets and poetry critics, including myself, consider her to hold this exalted station still. You will all see this for yourselves as I post one after another of her exalted lyrics. I have decided to go all the way, by presenting you each poem in the original Aeolic Greek, as well as in Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, and even English and French! Throughout history, to this very day, no one has ever done this. I am the first. I am so in awe Sappho’s consummate skill and artistry that I will do anything to broadcast her name and her sublime poetry to the whole world.

This particular poem is my absolute favourite. It flows so naturally in Aeolic Greek that it washes over me, emotionally and spiritually. Like Italian, Aeolic Greek is superbly suited for lyric poetry, as it has no aspirates. Aspiration can and sometimes does sound harsh in lyric poetry. Aeolic Greek is notable for its sublime melody. If you could only hear this stunning poem, even if you could not even read Aeolic Greek, the Harmony of the Spheres would fairly floor you. Sappho knew this perfectly well. Her lyrics were, of course, sung to the accompaniment of the lyre. I have never read any lyric poet in any language (English, French, Spanish, Italian, German or Russian) who has ever been able to rival her consummate artistry. I adore her. Click to ENLARGE her portrait.

Simeon Solomon 1840-1905 A Study of Sappho 1862

A few linguistic notes:

Being an East Greek dialect, Aeolic Greek is related to both the Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot dialects. There are many striking similarities and some notable differences in these three dialects.

Mycenaean Greek in Linear B:

Mycenaean Greek has no L series of syllabograms. The R series must be substituted, hence “serana” for Aeolic “selanna”. Since Linear B is an open syllabary, in which all syllabograms must end with a vowel, it is impossible to spell any word with two consecutive consonants, hence the last syllable of “serana” has only 1 N. For the same reason, final consonants, which are normative in almost all ancient Greek dialects, must be omitted in Mycenaean Greek. Hence, we have “me” for “men”. It is difficult to express the plural in Mycenaean Greek. However, there are precedents. The plural of “apore” (amphora) is “aporewe”. This allows us to write the Pleiades as “Periadewe”.

Arcado-Cypriot Linear C:

Similar bizarre (parallel) spelling conventions plague Arcado-Cypriot Linear C . Unlike Linear B, which has a dental D series of syllabograms, Linear C lacks it, and must substitute the dental T series. On the other hand, Linear C has both an L and an R series, and so both liquids can be accounted for. Since documents in alphabetic Arcado-Cypriot must express the final consonant, in line with almost all other ancient Greek dialects, Linear C has no choice but to resort to the opposite strategy from Mycenaean Linear B for the orthography of the ultimate, when it is meant to express the dative singular, the nominative plural and for all other Greek words ending with a consonant. The consonant must be expressed in Linear C, since it is always written in the alphabet. This is absolutely de rigueur, since many documents are simultaneously composed in Linear C and in the alphabet. In order to achieve this, Linear C has no choice but to use syllabograms, which still end in a vowel. It neatly skirts this annoying problem by expressing the ultimate consonant, following it with a filler vowel. A weird solution, but it works. If it works, it works. No hay problema nada.
 
Hence, we have “mene” for “men”, which is the opposite of “me” for “men” in Linear C. Likewise, the plural is always clearly expressed, as in “peleitese”, where Linear C must also insert a final filler vowel, in most cases SE (to express the consonantal plural in sigma), as well as NE for all nouns ending in the consonant N. Such nouns are extremely common in ancient Greek dialects. Notice also the “te” in “peleitese”, since Linear C has no D series of syllabograms. On the other hand, both Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot have no G series of syllabograms.

Mycenaean Linear B must substitute either the K or the Q series. Arcado-Cypriot has no guttural Q series either, so all words with G + vowel must be expressed by K + vowel, hence “eko” for “ego” in both Linear B & C. I can hear you who read ancient Greek well or who are ancient Greek linguistics loudly protest that there were no personal pronouns in either Linear B or Linear C. And you are right. However, I had to take liberties with the Aeolic Greek, because it does use personal pronouns, and frequently. As for the likelihood that Mycenaean Greek would have used the Q series of syllabograms to express words with guttural G + vowel, I would readily grant that this may have been true, except for one critical consideration. Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot were the closest ancient Greek dialects by far, being kissing cousins. So if Arcado-Cypriot expresses G + vowel with the guttural K series of syllabograms, it stands to reason that it is more likely than not that Mycenaean Greek must have done the same thing. But there is no guarantee of this. Still, the Q series of syllabograms would have fit the bill just as well.

And there you have it.

Richard

Le Prince aux lys (sonnet) (fresque de Cnossos 1500 av. j.c.)


Le Prince aux lys (sonnet)

(fresque de Cnossos 1500 av. j.c.)

yZn ,<V wanaka kirino #a&nac xri&nwn

Prince of Lilies fresco Knossos

À l’alentour lys épars, échus à ses pieds,

le Prince aux lys séduit de son sortilège

les cuirassiers fiers et leurs coursiers dressés

qu’ils réjouissent en devançant le beau manège.

En pagne embelli d’azur si scintillant

qu’il éblouit les invités, voilà la grâce

d’onyx du bel éphèbe élu, insouciant

du sortilège insinuant Cnossos sans trace.

Devant les murailles aux dauphins ensoleillés,

les vieux augures arrivent à célébrer la joie

du dauphin qui s’incarne aussi aux invités

au mariage à vénérer l’épouse en soie.

Les bien-aimés s’agenouillent et, grâce aux dieux,

sans mot ils s’entrelacent à témoigner leur voeux.

Richard Vallance © 2015,

sonnet révisé ― été publié dans Sonnetto Poesia,

ISSN 1705-4524, pg. 16. Le vol. 6 no. 2, printemps 2007

The Prince of Lilies (Sonnet) Knossos Fresco 1500 BCE


The Prince of Lilies (Sonnet)

Prince of Lilies fresco Knossos

(Knossos Fresco 1500 BCE)

yZn ,<V wanaka kirino #a&nac xri&nwn

Lilies at his feet, lilies in his hands,

the Prince of Lilies casts his sortilège.

proceeds with friends, with loved ones and his bands

of cuirassiers, and their white manège.

His loin cloth purled in alabaster folds,

a lily chaplet crowns his onyx hair,

a peacock feather glistening with golds

and azures in the fragrant air.

In sea green silk soigné for Royalty,

this way he casts and that his princely glance

the bridegroom incarnates for all to see,

before they commence the epipthalamic dance.

To come and wed his modest virgin bride,

her fine illumined grace he’ll take in stride.

Richard Vallance © 2015

Sonnet revised, previously published in

Sonnetto Poesia, ISSN 1705-4524, pg. 15. Vol. 6 No. 2, spring 2007

Haiku: “peri rimeni Aminisi anemo paidio pasi” = “all around the port of Amnisos the wind is everyone’s child”


Haiku: “peri rimeni Aminisi anemo paidio pasi” = “all around the port of Amnisos the wind is everyone’s child”

Haiku of Amnisos in Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French =
Haïkou d’Amnisos en linéaire B, en grec antique, en anglais et en français

Click to ENLARGE

peri rimeni Aminiso anemo paidio pasi

This is the one haiku in Linear B which appeals to my sensibilities more than any other I have composed en Mycenaean Greek. The reason is simple: the Linear B of this haiku, which anyone can read in its Latinized version beneath the original in Linear B, has an entrancing rhythm, a melody about it that truly appeals to the ear, evoking a light sea breeze wafting around the sunny harbour of Amnisos. The language of the haiku is simple and direct. The alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia are almost Italianate and so very appealing. In a word, I love it.

I elected to use the miniature Minoan frieze of the harbour of Thera, rather than a frieze of Amnisos, for its exquisite beauty.

I sincerely hope you love it as much as I do, and that you will tag it with LIKE. I would also appreciate your comments.

Thank you

Grâce à sa musicalité innée qui se déroule si aisément à travers les lignes, ce haïkou est assurément celui qui plaît à mes sensibilités avant tous les autres que j’ai jamais composé en grec mycénien. La version du haïkou en lettrage latin de l’intégral en linéaire B a un charme tout particulier, une mélodie qui nous hante l’oreille, comme si une brise maritime légère s’élèvait sur le havre ensoleillé d’Amnisos. Son langage est simple et direct. Il y en a une allitération, une assonance et une onomatopée quasi italiennes qui s’y harmonisent si parfaitement. En un mot, je m’en raffole.

Au lieu de choisir une fresque d’Amnisos, j’ai pris la frise miniature minoenne du havre de Thère, grâce à sa beauté exquise.

J’espère donc qu’il vous plaise autant qu’à moi, et que vous l’évalueriez selon sa qualité poétique.  Je serais également reconnaissant de vos commentaires, si’il y en a.

Richard

 

Rita Roberts’ Translation of Knossos Tablet K 1092, Rams at Eksonos & Sygrita


Rita Roberts’ Translation of Knossos Tablet K 1092, Rams at Eksonos & Sygrita: Click to ENLARGE

Rams at Ekoso
Rita Roberts, my Linear B student who is now at the advanced stage of learning Mycenaean Greek, and I had quite a field day discussing the implications of various interpretations which might be lent to this tablet in translation. What especially intrigued me was the possibility that one could interpret the toponym Eksonos as meaning “outside the belt”, where “belt” refers to a belt of arable agricultural land. Rita, who lives near Heraklion and Knossos in Crete, put me onto this scent, as she explained to me that even to this day sheep are raised on non-arable land in Crete and Greece, which makes perfect sense when you come to think of it... except that, being Canadian and living in the “Great White North”, the idea never crossed my mind. It takes a native to know the lay of the land. As soon as she said that, I instantly recognized the possibility of parsing Eksonos into the Greek preposition “eks” + the genitive adjectival “zonos” (of a belt), which may or may not have been current in Mycenaean Greek. The point is that Prof. John Chadwick and other Mycenaean Greek researchers since have often enough noted that Mycenaean toponyms and eponyms can sometimes be parsed into Greek words which, taken together, make semiological sense. Interpretations such as this are of course susceptible to plenty of criticism, because there is no real evidence that the Mycenaeans and Minoan scribes who worked for them were necessarily conscious of such connotations. But the idea is intriguing nevertheless.

Once you accept the notion that Eksonos has this notion built-in, then you can extrapolate this meaning to other Minoan/Mycenaean sites for sheep husbandry on pasture land, which is why we did this for Sygrita on this tablet. Anyway, whether or not the toponym Eksonos carries this connotation with it, sheep were raised in antiquity and are still raised today in Greece (let alone pretty much anywhere else in the world) on non-arable land, which is to say, outside the fertile agricultural belt for crops.

On the other hand, we should probably not read too much into (or more like it, out of) the tablets, since that sort of practice can and often does lead to mis-interpretations. Still, since Linear B is by and large a shorthand script for Mycenaean Greek, the tiny size of the tablets necessitating such drastic shortcuts, it is by no means inconceivable that the scribes, who knew perfectly well what the tablets meant to themselves, and who could care less what they might mean to future generations, given that the tablets were devised for annual accounts only, and nothing more than that, did not see any need to bother with explaining away the contents of their ephemeral annual accounts, destroyed at the end of every “wetos” or fiscal year. Prof. John Chadwick himself, in his ground-breaking book, The Decipherment of Linear B (Cambridge University Press, © 1958), makes this perfectly clear, when he notes:

By contrast there are several mentions in the tablets of ‘this year’ (toto wetos), ‘next year’ (hateron wetos) and  ‘last year’s’ (perusinwos). These phrases would be meaningless, unless the tablets were current only for a year. This seems to imply that at the beginning of every year the clay tablets were scrapped and a new series started. (pg. 128, italics Chadwick’s)

and again, that Linear B “is rather like shorthand; the man who wrote it would have little difficulty reading it back...” to other scribes, “But a total stranger might well be puzzled, unless he knew what the contents were likely to be.”  (pg. 131, italics mine). 

I can easily carry Prof. Chadwick’s conclusions one step further. I can now assert with confidence that a great deal of Linear B is precisely that, shorthand, and in fact far more of it is shorthand than has been assumed until now. Logograms and ideograms play a significant rôle in the frequent application of shorthand to Linear B. But supersyllabograms, which are an entirely new phenomenon which I myself discovered only last year, come into play and in a much bigger way than logograms and ideograms, as we shall soon enough see this year. There are in fact so many supersyllabograms (31) that it astonishes me that no-one actually isolated them in the past 64 years since the successful decipherment of some 90 % of the Linear B syllabary by our dear friend, the genius, Michael Ventris, in June 1952. 

PS I invite anyone who is adept at translating Linear B tablets to contest our rather unusual translation of this one, since after all, we may have strayed too far from the proverbial aurea mediocritas, “the golden mean”, just as the splendid Roman poet, Horace (65-27 BCE) characterized it so long ago:

Auream quisquis mediocritatem diligit, tutus caret obsoleti sordibus tecti, caret invidenda sobrius aula. “Whoever cherishes the golden mean is sober, safe and secure from the filthiness of a mansion fallen into disrepair, and free of palace intrigues.” (Translation mine)

Richard 

Sonnet, “Nathan Cirillo”, in Honour of Canada’s Fallen Son


Sonnet, “Nathan Cirillo”, in Honour of Canada’s Fallen Son: Click to ENLARGE

A Sonnet Nathan Cirillo

Nathan Cirillo’s State Funeral was profoundly moving in every sense, above all emotionally & spiritually. Although (only) a Reservist Corporal in the Princess Highlanders of Hamilton, he was today, Oct. 28 2014, accorded a full regalia honourary military funeral, which has never been granted to anyone of such a low rank in the history of Canada or for that matter, in the entire world. This was surely because of the obscenity of the terrorist shooting him as he stood guard on the right side of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, at 9:52 a.m. on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Worse still, he slumped right on top of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, bleeding to death on it! He was a wonderful, loving father of his 5 year- old son, Marcus, and everyone who knew him personally, loved him. For Marcus, Click to ENLARGE:

NathanCirillo24withhiswonderfulsonMarcus5

All of his friends, and he had many, were completely shattered by his death. He was a lover of dogs, and he rescued so many strays. His dogs adored him, and when he did not return home, they whimpered for days at the front gate of his home. He was so close to his best friend, Brendan Stevenson, that he even slept with him, cuddling him, as you can see in one of the attached photos, even though he was perfectly straight, and had an adorable girl-friend.

Nathan cuddling up to Brandon Stevenson asleep
You can see from his photos that he was still a child at heart. What a terrible loss to Canada and to the entire world!


Richard

In Linear B + The Daesh Have Death in Their Hands & Blood in Their Mouths


In Linear B + The Daesh Have Death in Their Hands & Blood in Their Mouths: Click to ENLARGE:

Daesh ISIS in LinearB

Well before the dastardly terrorist attack on the Canadian Parliament today here in Ottawa, where I live, in which a Canadian soldier on guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was shot to death in the back 4 times, I was sick to death of these monsters, the Daesh, or so-called ISIS, which is a disgusting insult to the Egyptian goddess, Isis & her consort, Osiris; hence the title of my sonnet about these murderous thugs, who are even worse than Nazis, because they slaughter absolutely everyone who does not fall in line with their “brand of Islam”, a dreadful affront to Islam itself, and to all the Faiths of our harried world. I need say no more. My condemnation of these bloodthirsty barbarians cannot be harsh enough.

The world must be rid of them, and the sooner the better... for the alternative is too hellish to dare imagine. But I will say it out loud. Europe and the nations of the world buried their heads & ignored Hitler before World War II. We do so again at our greatest peril. If World War III strikes – and to my mind, it looks almost imminent – it will be a long, drawn out, bloody, vicious war of attrition. I may last as long as a decade, for we are faced, not with open enemies as our ancestors were in the Second World War, enemies they could at least see, recognize and fight, but with sickening cowards who hide behind masks, rape women and children, and slaughter countless souls by crucifixion and the most bloodthirsty methods of beheading imaginable. I just saw some of the actual beheadings on the Internet, and they made me sick to my stomach. The Daesh actually saw off their victims’ heads with knives!  Nothing could be more barbaric! Even the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution (1792-1794) never descended to such a hellish pit. They used the guillotine, which was swift and clean, for all its horror. But these beasts see otherwise, and act in ways which heap such shame on them that their forfeit their own humanity for the devils they have become. May God have mercy on their souls, because I shall not, even if I am Christian.

The sonnet is my own. I have been a poet all my life, although these days I write little poetry. This sonnet, however, came to me in a flash of lightning, and I mean every word of it.

NOTE that the Greek text is in archaic Greek.

Richard

Haiku, The Sea! The Sea! in Linear B, ancient Greek, English & French …which I am sure you will love


Haiku, The Sea! The Sea in Linear B, ancient Greek, English & French ...which I am sure you will love (Click to ENLARGE):

Haiku The Sea The Sea!



Richard

A blazing hot summer haiku in Linear B: The golden lion, Potnia Mistress of the Wild and…


A blazing hot summer haiku in Linear B: The golden lion, Potnia Mistress of the Wild and... (Click to ENLARGE):

haikpotniatherolioninthesundeath

I think this ferocity of this haiku speaks for itself.  But who dies, the hunter or the lion? And does Potnia Therion, The Mistress of the Wild Beasts, really care that much who does, any more than any of the other great gods of Olympus were to care in later centuries about humans and their paltry world? She holds two snakes. Death can go either way.

Richard

Haiku: eni wanakatero… kowo suni kowaisi… prenuptial celebrations!


Haiku: eni wanakatero... kowo suni kowaisi... prenuptial celebrations! (Click to ENLARGE):

haikueniwanakaterjpg2

Imagine yourself joyous in the presence of the King and Queen of Knossos, 6 lush floral arrangements, some with the sacred lilies, circling the throne room, while boys and girls swirl about, dancing with one another, celebrating the marriage of the Princess, the daughter of the King and Queen, to the Prince of Lilies, such as we see in this lovely triptych of 2 frescoes and 4 of the 6 flower pots: Click to ENLARGE:

PrincessandPrinceofLilies
Finally, we see that in the second line of this celebratory haiku, I have used two of the new ideologograms for “flower pot”, for a total of 6 flower pots, which I take to be a floral arrangement, as for instance for a wedding, which may be what this haiku is about, at least to my mind. Others will find other interpretations for this haiku, as that is what haiku are all about. We leave it to our own imagination to see what we see in the haiku.
Richard



	

Haiku – The Fall of Mycenae: Mycenae a sea of blood


Haiku – The Fall of Mycenae: Mycenae a sea of blood - Click to ENLARGE:

Haiku Mycenae sea of blood

We do not know the actual circumstances of the fall of Mycenae, but we can well imagine the massive destruction of the great citadel, and the sea of blood that must have poured though it as 1,000s of citizens were mercilessly slaughtered – hence the massive spill of blood into the Aegean Sea. Reminds one of the fall of Troy.

Note that I am using the archaic Homeric genitive ending in OIO.


Richard

Haiku in Linear B, Homeric Greek, English & French


Haiku in Linear B, Homeric Greek, English & French
Haïku en Linéaire B, Grec homérique, en anglais et en français

Click to ENLARGE:

seaside wheat

* In the second version below the haiku in Linear B, the Linear B syllabograms and vowels are given in their Latin equivalents, so that you can get some idea of the pronunciation of the Mycenaean Greek (ca. 1300-1200 BCE). 

** The Greek version of this haiku is composed in very ancient Greek (ca. 800 BCE), matching the Greek of “The Catalogue of Ships” in Book II of the Iliad as closely as possible.

Richard

Sappho, fragment 16


Amazing Sappho! Perhaps the greatest poetesses throughout history. I love reading her in Greek. I shall eventually be  translating a few of her lovely fragments into Linear B script.
Richard

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

Some say a force of horsemen, some say infantry

and others say a fleet of ships is the loveliest

thing on the dark earth, but I say it is

the one you love

 

It is altogether simple to make this understood

since she whose beauty outmatched all,

Helen, left her husband

a most noble man

 

And went sailing to Troy

Without a thought for her child and dear parents

[Love] made her completely insane

And led her astray

 

This reminds me of absent Anactoria

 

I would rather watch her lovely walk

and see the shining light of her face

than Lydian chariots followed by

infantrymen in arms

Οἰ μὲν ἰππήων στρότον, οἰ δὲ πέσδων, οἰ δὲ νάων φαῖσ’ ἐπὶ γᾶν μέλαιναν ἔμμεναι κάλλιστον, ἐγὼ δὲ κῆν’ ὄτ- τω τις ἔραται πά]γχυ δ’ εὔμαρες σύνετον πόησαι πά]ντι τ[οῦ]τ’· ἀ γὰρ πολὺ περσκέθοισα κά]λλος ἀνθρώπων Ἐλένα [τὸ]ν ἄνδρα…

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