Haiku in Minoan Linear A: the Prince of Lilies, a rose:
Haiku in Minoan Linear A: the Prince of Lilies, a rose:
Displays of exquisite Minoan-Mycenaean jewellery # 1 as a prelude to the stunning gold pin from the Ayia Nikolaos Museum:
Mycenaean palace administrative hierarchy (POST 1,300): Although we will never know the exact details of the Mycenaean palace administrative hierarchy, the table above gives us a pretty good idea of the power-base hierarchy from the King or wanax on down to the higher administrative officials, the mid-level officers and lower-level administrators, followed by the subaltern freemen, craftsmen and farmers and finally by the slaves. The names of each of the positions top-down follow in Latinized Linear B: 1. wanaka = King. The official residence of the King, or the Palace was called the wanakatero. 2. rawaketa = Leader of the Host, i.e. Commander-in-Chief. Sometimes, as in the case of Agamemnon, the General who lead the host (i.e. the army) into the Trojan War, the King and Commander-in-Chief are the selfsame person. 3. qasireu = prince potentate (slightly below the wanax & the rawaketa in the power hierarchy. 4. eqeta = the followers, professional foot soldiers and the personal guard of the wanax and the rawaketa. Cf. the Praetorian Guards of the Roman emperors. 5. teretai = aristocrats, called aristoi = the best people in later ancient Greek. These are the wealthy, upper class people protected by the wanax and rawaketa. 6. konosia rawaketa = (literally) the palace of Knossos for the Commander-in-Chief, i.e. his official residence, but in Knossos only. In Mycenae, his official residence would have been called the rawaketero. 7. konosia qasireu = (literally) the palace of Knossos for the prince potentate, but in Knossos only. In Mycenae, his official residence would have been called the qasireuo. AT THE NEXT LEVEL, we find the mid-level administrators: 8. porokorete = the district governors, meaning the rulers of the districts in the Mycenaean Empire, such as the district of Mycenae itself, and the districts of Knossos, Phaistos, Pylos and the Hither Provinces (the closer provinces, such as Tiryns, Pylos, Argos, Lerna etc.) and of the Farther Provinces (Thebes, Orochomenos, Eutresis etc.) 9. korete = so-called mayors or chief administrators of cities or primary settlements, such as Knossos, and the centres of the Hither and Farther Provinces. These officials reported directly to the porokorete. AT THE NEXT LEVEL, we find 10 the freemen or woko of the cities or primary settlements, such as craftsmen, artisans, farmers and tenant farmers, fishermen and finally, AT THE LOWEST LEVEL 11. chattel (privately owned workers) doeroi = slaves, temple slaves = rawaiai or temenoio doeroi and nawoio doeroi = galley slaves. P.S. This one is specially for you, Rita!
Minoan Costume History synopsis: a wonderful site! You simply have to check this site out! I have never seen such an in-depth study on Minoan costume, female and male alike, on the Internet. Here is just a small excerpt: An era of great development, contemporaneous with the civilization of ancient Egypt and Phoenicia, and which may be dated about 2000-1500 B.C., had preceded the civilization that came from Asia Minor into Crete and Greece. Such fragments of Cretan culture as have come down to us reveal a beauty of technique and a delicate sense of form to which no contemporaneous civilization provides any parallel. (italics mine). It is certainly true that the Minoans were far more style-conscious than people of any other contemporaneous civilization, such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Hittites. No question about it. Owing to the lack of written records, the processes and methods of manufacture are still wrapped in obscurity, but although we are thus reduced to surmise regarding the materials used, the dress of that time is of the highest interest in view of its connexion with the costumes of other peoples. Our attention is especially attracted by the dress worn by the women. The slim, wiry figures of the men are clothed almost universally with a loincloth, richly patterned and splendidly decorated. Here and there we see wide cloaks that clothe the whole body, giving it a large appearance. Women also, it would seem, wore the short loincloth, but we find them wearing in addition skirts put together in an almost fantastic manner that betrays a highly developed knowledge of the technique of dressmaking. These skirts are constructed in tiers, separated by strips of rich ornamentation. Illustrations from this site (there are many more, just as striking as these!)
The beautiful “Prince of Lilies” Fresco, Knossos, showing his belt = ZONE: This stunning fresco from the Late Minoan IIIb Palace at Knossos (ca. 1450 BCE) shows us the famous so-called “Prince of Lilies” wearing his beautiful azure belt. Note that the supersyllabogram, the single syllabogram ZO, is the first syllable of the Linear B word zone, which is equivalent to its ancient Greek counterpart as illustrated on the tablet and on the fresco. This is the one and only tablet in the entire Linear B repertoire on which this SSYL appears, but I am quite convinced that it means what I take it to mean, i.e. a belt.
The Prince of Lilies (Sonnet)
(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
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