Sonnet The Vallances for Judy, Meagan, Holly, Mitchell all the Vallances Here's Richard Vallance, Judy Harris Vallance, Meagan Holly and Mitchell, nieces and nephew, Bill Vallance, Donna too and a fine chance plenty more abound, and you know it's true. Our family crest bespeaks of Normandie where we lived our lives in lavish wealth where we were crowned as ducal royalty and never had to hide from court in stealth. The King of France was our next of kin and Notre Dame our angelic home, where the chartreuse Seine quelled the city's din silenced by our cathedral's holy dome. And though you wonder why we're Scots by blood the fleur-de-lys is our indigo bud. Richard Vallance October 14 2019 This is my family on my mother's side, as my full name is Richard Vallance Janke. We are in fact descended from the ducal family, De Valence, in Normandy and were related to the King of France in the thirteenth century.
I am astonished by the magnificent costumes of Louis XIV, le Roi Soleil, even though this blog is about Linear A B & C: Part 3
I am astonished by the magnificent costumes of Louis XIV, le Roi Soleil, even though this blog is about Linear A B & C: Part 2
Introduction to the Complete Bibliography of 138 Citations for “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B”, Presentation by Richard Vallance Janke at the 2015 Conference in the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30-July 2, 2015. In the next 2 posts, I shall present my exhaustive bibliography of 138 items (79 citations in each of the two parts) for the talk I shall be giving on “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B” at the 2015 Conference, “Thinking in Symbols” in the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30-July 2, 2015. It is so exhaustive that I doubt I have missed any sources of any significance to the topic at hand. Of course, the paper of the talk itself cannot be released at this time, as it is still under wraps. Certain researchers past and present, above all Marie-Louise Nosch, have made significant contributions towards the realization of the General Theory of Supersyllabograms which I have just finalized this year, after a year of intensive research (spring 2014 – spring 2015). Previous researchers have sometimes come right up to the edge of a general theory correlating the single or multiple syllabograms they usually designate as “adjuncts” or “endograms” to the Linear B ideograms to which they are “surcharged” (i.e. attached), and which they invariably qualify. But all of these definitions are lacking in one sense or another, for the following reasons: 1. Although designated as (mere) “adjuncts” to the ideograms they invariably qualify, these associative single or multiple syllabograms (up to a maximum of 5!) are far more than that. Standing in as first-syllable abbreviations for words and even entire phrases in Mycenaean Greek, they play an absolutely critical rôle in significantly qualifying the ideograms to which they are attached, all the more so when the tablet on which they are found contains no text whatsoever, but only ideograms with these so-called “adjuncts”. But since these “adjuncts” invariably replace either Mycenaean words or (very often) entire phrases, they cannot be relegated to the status of simple adjuncts. In far too many instances, these single syllabograms encompass so much text that their inherent meaning as such turns out to be much more comprehensive and significant than that of the ideograms to which they are presumably attached. In other words, the single syllabogram(s) embodies/embody so much more than what would have otherwise been nothing but wasteful discursive text. So it appears that we should expediently and practically refer to as the ideogram as the adjunct, rather than the other way around. On tablets with no text whatsoever and with 3 or more syllabograms performing this function, it is more than apparent that all of the single syllabograms functioning as the first syllable of a Mycenaean Greek word or an entire phrase replace so much discursive text that they literally cut down the amount of space used on the tablet in question by as much as two-thirds! Since the Linear B scribes at Knossos and Pylos in particular were real sticklers for saving as much space as they possibly could on what were (and are) extremely small extant tablets (rarely more than 15 cm. or 6 inches wide), they resorted to this stratagem so often (on at least 23% of the Linear B tablets at Knossos) that the practice is, if anything, of far greater importance to an accurate decipherment of those tablets on which they appear than was previously thought. It is for this reason that I have come to designate syllabograms playing this rôle as supersyllabograms, and certainly not as mere “adjuncts” or “endograms”, since that is patently what they are – supersyllabograms. 2. The designation of supersyllabograms as “endograms” is extremely misleading and quite inaccurate, since as many of these supersyllabograms precede as follow the ideograms to which they are attached. So “endograms” account for only half of supersyllabograms at best. Besides, what are we to call the supersyllabograms which precede the ideograms to which they are attached? Has anyone thought of that or even mentioned it in previous research? Not that I have ever seen, and I have read every single document (monographs, journal articles and articles in every past conference) I could lay my hands on. The reason for this lacuna is clear enough. Past researchers have focused solely on “adjuncts” or “endograms” related solely to the field of research in Mycenaean Linear B which is of primary and frequently exclusive interest to themselves. Even Marie-Louise Nosch, who has done an astonishing amount of truly remarkable research in this area, has restricted herself to the textiles sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, as that is her primary field of interest. Fair enough. Given this scenario, it appears to me that researchers past and present have been focusing exclusively on the trees or even sometimes, as with Marie-Louise Nosch, on whole clearings in forest. But none have ever concentrated on the entire forest, at least until last year, when I myself decided to ransack every single syllabogram on some 3,000 tablets (not fragments) from Knossos, in order to hypothesize, if at all possible, a general pattern to the use of supersyllabograms with ideograms. I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. So far, I have discovered that at least 33 of the 61 syllabograms plus one of the homophones (“rai” for saffron) frequently function as supersyllabograms. Under the circumstances, and given that so many scribes so often resorted to this strategy, I soon enough concluded that it was not only a standard convention in the compilation of some 700 tablets at Knossos, but that the supersyllabograms found on these tablets were almost invariably formulaic codes. And in ancient Greek – witness Homer alone - any practice which was both conventional and formulaic was always deliberate. No-one ever resorts to such strategies in any language, unless they have abundant reason to do so. This is all the more true for the practices the Linear B scribes routinely ascribed to, given that they would do absolutely anything, if they possibly could, to save precious space on their tiny clay tablets. This too is another crucial factor past researchers have overlooked. Linear B scribes only recorded information which was absolutely essential to the precise compilation of what were (and are) after all statistical accounts and inventories. We can take the far-reaching consequences and implications of this conclusion even further. Have you ever seen a modern-day inventory which resorts to similar tactics to conserve precious space and to make the inventory as clear, precise and accurate as possible? Of course you have. As illustrated in the following two examples, the most efficient of modern inventories resort to the same tactics, the formulaic use of code abbreviations as substitutes for wasteful discursive text with predictable frequency – which is almost always: Click to ENLARGE each one with its relevant notes In other words, just as abbreviations serve as default codes in modern inventories, supersyllabograms function pretty much the same way on the Linear B tablets. Supersyllabograms are in fact inventory codes for the Mycenaean Linear B words or entire phrases they replace. This revelation surely substantiates the claim I am now going to make: the Linear B scribes were far ahead of their time in the compilation of inventories and statistics. No other ancient language, including classical Greek and even Latin, came remotely close to this extremely advanced practice the Linear scribes so brilliantly and consciously contrived for their astonishing ability to create practical templates they consistently applied to inventorial management. And no-one until the Italian bankers in Renaissance was to revive the practice with equal skill. As for the standard practices of the Linear B scribal inventories, they are so remarkably alike modern 20th. & 20st. Century practices that it is uncanny. 3. But there is more. Why previous researchers have not drawn attention to the fact that many supersyllabograms, especially in the field of textiles, neither precede nor follow the ideograms they qualify, but are almost invariably inside them, is beyond me. Once again, no one in any language resorts to any stratagem without solid practical and even logical reason(s). Such is the case with the textile “intragrams”, as opposed to “exograms” in Linear B, the latter of which invariably qualify pretty much all ideograms in the field of agriculture. Again, this raises the critical, hardly hypothetical, question, why. And again, there are substantive and strictly functional reasons why the Linear B scribes made this critical distinction – because they knew they had to. Supersyllabograms functioning as “exograms” are always associative, while those operating as “intragrams” are invariably attributive. The Linear B scribes made this fundamental distinction between the two sub-classes of supersyllabograms for the simple reason that they, as a guild, knew perfectly well what the operative distinction was which each of these types of supersyllabograms played on the tablets on which they were inscribed. The talk I am giving at the Conference in Pultusk between June 30 and July 2 2015 will make this perfectly clear. 4. I have no objection to the designation “surcharged” for “exograms” as supersyllabograms, because they are not only literally surcharged onto the ideograms with which they are always associated, they also figuratively surcharge the meaning(s) of these ideograms, in a sense somewhat akin to super-charged gasoline or petrol which beefs up engine performance in cars - or by symbolic association, something along those lines. But I am forced to object to the designation of “intragrams” as surcharged in the textiles sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economies, for the obvious reason that they are both literally and figuratively not surcharged at all. Again, the scribes never resorted to “intragrams”, unless they were absolutely critical to an actual attribute, whenever required in a particular case, such as the frequent designation of colour for textiles. Ask yourselves, why would any scribe in his right mind write out the full name of the default colour white for linen, when he did not have to? He simply would not. On the other hand, the Linear B scribes did make use of an attributive supersyllabogram when they knew perfectly well that it was critical to the economic class status of the cloth so designated. For instance, purple cloth, designated by the supersyllabogram PU for Mycenaean Linear B pupureyo – a royal colour par excellence – was much more refined and far more expensive than the heavier and coarser plain white linen cloth (rino) spun for the hoi polloi (the lower classes). So they had to mention that for the sake of the “wanaka” or King (of Knossos or Mycenae) to whom this distinction was all too important, given that neither he nor his Queen no any of the princes royal would ever be caught dead wearing cheap cloth. There is much more to this than meets the eye, as I shall clearly illustrate in the book, The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, which is to appear sometime in 2016, if all goes well. I would be truly remiss were I not to acknowledge the major contributions the French researcher, Marie-Louise Nosch, whom I have cited 15 times (!) in my bibliography, has made to fundamentally accurate definitions of supersyllabograms in the textile sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy. Although I happened upon all of her astonishingly insightful research articles only after I had deciphered 32 of the 34 supersyllabograms (the other two being beyond me, as well as her), the truly accurate and intrinsically logical conclusions she came to on her own back up my conclusions on the meanings of practically all the intragrams for textiles almost to the letter. This amazing co-incidence, if that is merely what it is, serves as solid circumstantial collateral evidence to substantiate my Theory of Supersyllabograms. Co-incidence? I rather doubt that. It is a given that researchers in any scientific field tend to strike their bearings in the same general direction in any age, including our own. Like Odysseus, we are all heading for the same shore. The most convincing conclusions which will eventually be drawn from the research we are all sharing in now are yet in the offing. But in my eyes one thing is certain. Everything we researchers in Mycenaean Linear B, as a community, are aiming for now is bound to make a ground-breaking, perhaps even profound, contribution in the near future to make the further decipherment of Linear B considerably much more accurate than any we have seen to date. The Bibliography to follow in two parts (1-69 & 70-138) in the next two posts. ADDENDUM: I shall be publishing this post & the next two in academia.edu very soon, prior to my presentation at the Conference in Pultusk, Poland, June 30 - July 2, 2015. Richard
Le Prince aux lys (sonnet)
(fresque de Cnossos 1500 av. j.c.)
yZn ,<V wanaka kirino #a&nac xri&nwn
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)
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
5 Newly "Deciphered” Ideograms in Linear B: B190, B221, B180, B213 & B218 in that order: Click to ENLARGE: Upon minute and scrupulous examination of 5 previously undeciphered Linear B Ideograms, I have been able to conclude (or as some folks might very well say, jump to the conclusions) that the 5 Ideograms I have illustrated with actual pictorial examples here may very well mean what I believe they do, or if not that, closely approximate my guesstimates. Now, here as elsewhere in our blog, whenever I have proposed new decipherments of Linear B ideograms previously considered opaque, I have taken risks. And again, I say, why not? — because if no one else is willing to take such risks, I might as well, especially when and where contextual evidence (either from text on extant tablets or pictorial evidence – as in this case – gives me some room to manoeuvre with. As for my estimates of the % accuracy of each of the 5 Ideograms, these are all of course, entirely subjective, and any of you reading this blog may very well disagree with some or even all of my estimates. No one is ever "right” when on the threshold of new discoveries or insights into ancient scripts which have been mostly, but not not entirely, "cracked”, as the saying goes. On a last note, I should like to say that while I do not feel quite as confident about my "decipherments” of B190 (Boars Tusk Helmet) & B221 (Oil Lamp), I feel much more confident of my dual "decipherment” of B180 (Throne) & B213 (Lustral Basin) because, at least to my impressionable mind, these 2 Ideograms look so uncannily like the throne and the lustral basin in the Queen's Megaron as almost to boggle the imagination. And as for B218, “the one handled-cup similar to Nestor's cup” I am pretty much 100% convinced that I have nailed it. However, if anyone disagrees with me, however little or however much, please let me know ASAP, because no one gains from a one-sided learning experience. Comments on this critical post are most welcome! What with these 5 new attempts at deciphering previously opaque ideograms, this brings the total number of ideograms I have tackled so far in my attempts to decipher them to at least 18. By the autumn of this year, I shall review them all plus any discoveries I chance upon this summer. Keep posted. Richard
Fantastic news! I can hardly wait to learn more about this site.
Interesting item from Hurriyet:
Rock tombs dating back to 3,500 years ago have been uncovered in Bodrum’s Ortakent district, which form part of the necropolis area.
Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum manager Emel Özkan and archeologists Banu Mete Özler and Ece Benli Bağcı are leading the excavations. The experts are still not sure if there was a settlement or not.
The tombs are believed to belong to the early “Mycenaean Greece III A” era, which was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. The tombs also revealed human and animal bones, bronze containers and many different kinds of pieces. The necropolis area has been taken under protection. The findings of the excavation may belong to the bronze age and also to the Akha Hellenistic era.
The tombs also reveal the culture and…
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