2 haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French, believe it or not! Believe it!
Linear B - KN Dd1171, article by Peter J. Keyse on academia.edu Click on this graphic to view Keyse’s article: Peter J. Keyse provides a thorough analysis of Linear B tablet KN Dd 1171 in this fascinating article, which is well worth reading for anyone who is familiar with the Linear B syllabary, and certainly for anyone who is studying Linear B in depth. His article is not without errors. For instance, he deciphers PoRo as the name of someone in what he calls the PoMe “worker class” = a shepherd, but his interpretation of of PORO is clearly incorrect, as this word has 3 distinct meanings, one of which is the Linear B word for “a foal”, as demonstrated by Chris Tselentis in his Linear B Lexicon, here: (The other 2 meanings of POME offered by Tselentis do not fit the context) while POME is quite obviously Mycenaean Greek for “shepherd”: Keyse also notes that Michael Ventris identified 3 major styles for incisions - those at Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae. In his own words: The vertical lines are quite faint scratches and not easily seen. The cuts in the clay are ‘under-cut’ i.e. pushed in at an angle . This preoccupation with Linear B scribal hands recurs in a great many articles on Linear B. Keyse also covers the what he ascertains to be the phonetic sounds of the numerics on this tablet. He also emphasizes the nature and particulars characteristics of the scribal hand on this tablet. But it his conclusion which is most fascinating. He says, In conclusion: What would Dd1171 sound like if read aloud? Po-Ro. 20 OVISm, 72 OVISf. Pa-I-To. Pa 8 OVISm. While it reasonable to say that Linear B was no more the spoken language of its day than ‘double-entry bookkeeping’ speak is for accounting clerks today it is also true to say that accountants do on occasions talk in journals and double-entry (and not only when at dinner parties and down the pub) and they certainly call over inventories to each other. It is clear that Linear B had a sound but perhaps it is unlikely that we can fairly reproduce it today. Considering the importance of numbers within the Linear B archive I find it surprising that no phonic system has been devised to represent them or if devised is not clearly documented in the literature. COMMENT by Richard Vallance Janke on the sound, i.e. the general pronunciation of Linear B. In actuality, we probably do have some idea of how Mycenaean Greek was pronounced. Its closest cousin was Arcado-Cypriot, represented both by its own syllabary, Linear C, and by its own archaic alphabet. The Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects were much closer phonetically than even Ionic and Attic Greek. Phonological details of the archaic Arcado-Cypriot dialect appear in C.D. Buck, The Greek Dialects, © 1955, 1998. ISBN 1-85399-566-8, on pg. 144. He provides even more information on Arcado-Cypriot on pp. 7-8, and classifies it as an East Greek dialect, pg. 9. This is highly significant, because if Arcado-Cypriot is East Greek, ergo Mycenaean Greek also is. This places both of the archaic East-Greek dialects, Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot, firmly in the camp of all East Greek dialects, including Arcadian, Aeolic, Lesbian, Cyprian, Pamphylian, Thessalian, Boeotian, and the much later Ionic and Attic dialects. So it is probably fair to say that we may have at least an idea, even if somewhat inaccurate, of how Mycenaean Greek was pronounced. And this has huge implications for the further study of Mycenaean Greek phonology.
Academia.edu THESIS The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire by Rita Roberts: Click on this logo to download her thesis: We are proud to announce that Rita Roberts has fulfilled the requirements of her second year of university, and has passed with a mark of 85 %. We have awarded her 90 % for thesis, The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire, which is a finely researched document I highly recommend to any and all. It deals in great detail with every conceivable aspect of Minoan and Mycenaean agricultural trade via their trade routes in the Mycenaean Empire, ca. 1600-1450 BCE. We congratulate Rita on her splendid achievement, and we look forward to her fuflling the exacting requirements of her third and final year of university which commences on July 1 2018, Canada Day. Once she has completed her third year, she will have earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Minoan and Mycenaean studies.
Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms:
The chart above lists almost all of the Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms. The Linear A Semitic words and ideograms for cereals are identical to those found on Linear A tablets HT 86 and HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Simply refer to the previous posts on these two highly significant Linear A tablets to confirm these interpretations. Also found in this chart are general Linear A ideograms, the majority of which are identical to their Linear B counterparts, which should come as no surprise to anyone, considering that the Linear B syllabary is merely a refinement of the Linear A syllabary.
Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos tablet KN 906 Da 02 corrected, livestock from the marketplace:
This is one of three tablets which Rita Roberts had to translate to qualify for her second year of university. This tablet is the easiest of the three, on an ascending scale of difficulty. Rita achieved the excellent mark of 91 % = A + for this tablet. Congratulations, Rita!
The other two tablets are extremely challenging, even for experts in Linear B.
Translation of Linear B tablet KN 903 Da 01 by Rita Roberts:
Here we have Rita Roberts’ translation of Linear B B tablet KN 903 Da 01. In her own decipherment, Rita translated Watoakoraya as a personal name of a shepherd or herdsman, but this is clearly wrong, because akoraya is genitive singular and means “from the market” and Wato is archaic dative singular for Watos, which is a place name. So the proper translation is “from the market at Watos”. Otherwise, her translation is sound.
Rita Roberts’ translation of Linear B tablet KN 911 D e 01 (Knossos):
This is one of the most complex Linear B tablets Rita Roberts has ever had to translate. She also provided a running free translation of this tablet, but I have had to omit it for lack of space in the graphics file. In other words, if I had included her free translation, the graphics file would have been much too long to display properly. As it stands, it is already very long. One of the prime characteristics of a small subset of Linear B tablets, mostly from Pylos, but in this case from Knossos, is that they are long lists of names, in this case, shepherds taking care of their sheep. Rita Roberts makes the following observations on this tablet.
This Linear B tablet 911 De 0l (LXX) is a lengthy inventory of hundreds of ewes, billy goats, she goats and rams, I would imagine it is of special interest for Knossos palace. It is difficult to say whether all these animals were brought together at the same time for any specific purpose. If so there are a few reasons to suggest why this could be. The first would be, having to check the stock for health reasons for the possible move to a new pasture. Secondly, it could be that the animals needed to be organized for shearing, also some for slaughter. My final suggestion is, maybe some animals were for possible export. However, these are a few possible reasons for such a large inventory, but on the whole it is a comprehensive inventory for the palace.
I may as well admit that I passed this tablet onto Rita as I am constitutionally lazy when it comes to deciphering long tablets. However, this is not the only reason. It is vital that Rita master (subjunctive) complex tablets that pose a huge challenge. This one certainly does.
Linear A tablet HT 38 (Haghia Triada) with 2 supersyllabograms, dealing with wine:
This intriguing tablet apparently deals with containers for wine, ranging from a type of vase (daropa) to a wine-skin (aka) to cloth, which appears to have been treated to be water-proof. Since the ideogram for “pig” appears immediately to the left of aka, we can surmise that the wine-skin is made of pig’s hide. The notion that cloth containers could have been water-proofed is somewhat in doubt, but the overall decipherment of HT 38 appears sound enough.
RESEARCH paper: Supersyllabograms in the agricultural sector of the Mycenaean economy, by Rita Roberts academia.edu:
This essay constitutes Rita Robert’s first foray into major research in ancient Mycenaean linguistics on academia.edu. Rita has composed this highly scholarly article as the major component of her mid-term examination in her second year of university, exactly half way to her degree. Keeping up this pace, she is bound to perform outstandingly in her final essay of her second year, and in her third year thesis paper, which will be considerably more demanding than this study, and about twice as long.
I strongly recommend you to download this study here:
It makes for engaging reading in ancient linguistics research.
You can reach Rita’s academia.edu account here to view her other papers:
Rita Robert’s translation of an extremely challenging Linear B tablet, KN 903 D a 01: Linear B Latinized: Line 1: Watoakoraya + ideogram for “rams” 60 + ideo for “ewes” 270 + ideo for aiza = billy goat 49 Line 2: ideogram for “she goat” 130 + ideo for siaro = “boar” 17 + ideo for sow 41 + ideo for tauro -or- toro = “bull/ox” + ideo for “cow” 4 Decipherment: Line 1: From the market in Wato (or: from the town market), 60 rams and 270 ewes plus 49 billy goats Line 2: along with 130 she goats plus 17 boar plus 41 sows 2 bulls and 4 cows
Common Linear A ideograms for livestock, crops, olives, barley and wheat: These are the most common Linear A ideograms for livestock, crops, olives, barley and wheat. Unlike Mycenaean Linear B, Linear draws a distinction between certain species of wheat, with the ideogram for “wheat” accompanied by the supersyllabogram DI meaning dideru = “roasted einkorn” and the same ideogram accompanied by QE , signifying qerie = “emmer wheat”, while at the same time using a slightly different ideogram for “barley”. In addition, the word sara2 (sarai) = “sharia wheat”. All of these words are firmly established and confirmed in either the Old Minoan or the pre-Greek substratum. Most of the Linear A ideograms are either very similar or identical to their Linear B counterparts. Here you see illustrations of emmer wheat and roasted einkorn: And here is sharia wheat:
We have a new student of Mycenaean Linear B, our third, Dante Aramideh of Holland:
We have a new student of Mycenaean Linear B, our third, Dante Aramideh of Holland. Here are Dante’s first 2 translations.
She is 17 years old, and the youngest of our 3 students, the first being Rita Roberts of Crete, who is the senior of the three, and who has been with us since 2014, and who is by far our most advanced student, being as she is in her second year of university studies. Our second student to come on board is Thalassa Farkas of Canada, whose age falls in between that of Dante Aramideh and Rita Roberts. Thalassa is making rapid progress in learning how to decipher Mycenaean Linear B, as attested by her translation of these two tablets:
Both Dante and Thalassa are familiar with alphabetical ancient Greek, while Rita Roberts is learning it.
Archaeology and Science annual: the Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, the last & most formidable frontier in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B:
For the past 65 years since Michael Ventris first deciphered Linear B, one phenomenon has eluded historical linguists and philologists. This is the supersyllabogram, which is always a single syllabogram, being the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a particular Mycenaean word in any one or more of the major economic sectors of the Mycenaean economy: agriculture, military, textiles and the vessels and pottery sector, along with a few religious supersyllabograms. Supersyllabograms are always independent; they always stand alone on extant Linear. My discovery, isolation and classification of supersyllabograms represents the final frontier in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B. Some 800 tablets from Knossos alone contain primarily supersyllabograms, with a subset of these incised with supersyllabograms and nothing else. It is difficult to decipher the former, and impossible to decipher the latter without fully accounting for the presence of supersyllabograms. The decipherment of supersyllabograms accounts for the last and most difficult remaining 10 % of Mycenaean Linear B to be deciphered.
You may also download “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B” here:
This article is 35 pages long (pp. 73-108) in a 29 cm. x 22 cm. format, which is far oversized compared with the standard north American format for research journals (ca. 20 cm. vertical), meaning that if it had been published in the standard north American format, it would have run to some 50 pp., which is the size of a small book.
The Editorial Board consists of 21 peer reviewers, all of them matriculated professors and researchers at the Ph.D. level or higher, from Ancona, Belgrade, Belgium, Bologna, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A., Moscow, Münich, Philadelphia, U.S.A., Rome, Warsaw & Trieste. Every author must pass muster with the majority of these peer reviewers if his or her article is to be published in Archaeology and Science. That is one tall hurdle to overcome.
Note also that I am ranked in the top 0.5 % of all researchers and publishers on academia.edu
Easy Prey Matthew 18:12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? Since Hell’s self resurrected on the mad, the sane dare not consort with the insane, unless they find themselves as ironclad in mind as soul to shear across the grain of equipoise and suffer the untold, to cast themselves on Sinai’s desert rocks, to wander off and stray beyond the fold where they’ll fall easy prey to Satan’s hawks. But pause... and ask yourself if you’d submit to humiliation, the same embraced by martyrs such as they, or counterfeit, and by the latter token be defaced. The wolf has left his lair, and shall attack the sane and the insane... and can’t turn back. Richard Vallance, January 9, 2017
2 haiku about sheep in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English & French
Decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 131 (Haghia Triada) qareto = Linear B onato = “lease field”: Following hard on the heels of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada), dealing with vessels and pottery, which I have been able to successfully decipher with high precision from top to bottom, comes this tablet HT 131, focused on rams on a lease field. How do I know this? As I have already pointed out several times on this blog, by utilizing the procedure of cross-correlative regressive extrapolation from similar or almost identical Mycenaean Linear B tablets, it is possible to reconstruct with high or moderately high accuracy the contents of many Minoan Linear A tablets. As we has already learned, Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) may reasonably be considered the “Rosetta stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada). And so it has proven to be the case. The same methodology, cross-correlative regressive extrapolation (or CCRE) from Mycenaean Linear B tablets closely corresponding to earlier Minoan Linear A t tablets can and does yield satisfying results. Take for instance Mycenaean Linear B tablet KN 1383 E j 924 from Knossos: On this tablet we find the supersyllabogram O, which symbolizes the Mycenaean Linear B word, onato, meaning “lease field”. Notice also that the number of rams on this lease field = 99 and the number of ewes = 19 on the first line, while on the second, the number of rams = 25, all of them on a lease field. Now taking in turn Minoan Linear A tablet HT 131: we find to our surprise and satisfaction that the number of sheep is 27, and that these sheep have something to do with the Minoan Linear A word, qareto. I put it to you that qareto very probably means precisely the same thing as onato does in Mycenaean Greek. Hence, these two tablets, the Minoan and the second line of the Mycenaean, are practically identical. Of course, anyone can object — and such a person would be right — that the closely matched number of sheep on these two tablets (25 on the Linear A and 27 on the Linear B) is mere happenstance. However, the fact that the only surviving Minoan Linear A tablet with the term qareto on it matches up so neatly with the Mycenaean Linear B tablet from Knossos above is pretty good circumstantial evidence that the two tablets are dealing with one and the same phenomenon. So I have assigned a scalar value of > 75 % to qareto on the Linear B tablet, signifying that the chances this term means “lease field” are very good. Not perfect, but a decent match with the Mycenaean Linear B tablet. This is one of the Minoan Linear A terms which I shall be highlighting in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016), “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science ISSN 1452-7448. This will be the third straight article in a row I shall have published in this annual by late 2017 or early 2018.
Symbaloo/Google search ranks Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae as fourth largest on the Internet: Since this is a Boolean AND search, if we omit sites dealing with only Minoan Linear A or only Mycenaean Linear B, which do not fulfill this requirement, our site ranks fourth. But since the site, Linear A and Linear B script: Britannica.com is a minor site, we actually rank third. Also, our PINTEREST board is ranked fifth (actually fourth). We have over 1.7 K Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B translations, photos, maps & images on our PINTEREST board, Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B, Progressive Grammar and Vocabulary. Click the banner to visit and join if you like!
The 70 Minoan Linear A terms MAXIMUM I shall be featuring in my article on the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science: Here is a list of the 70 out of 106 Minoan Linear A terms I shall be zeroing in on in my article in Vol. 12 (2016), “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science ISSN 1452-7448 (release date spring 2018), to be submitted by Nov. 15, 2016. In an article of this nature, which is to be the first of its kind in the world ever to deal with the partial (by no means definitive) decipherment of Minoan Linear A, I must of necessity focus on those Minoan Linear A words which offer the greatest insight into the vocabulary of the language. It is, of course, impossible to decipher the Minoan language, and anyone who dares claim he or she has done so is skating on very thin ice, actually, no ice whatsoever. All we can hope to do at the present juncture is to decipher some of the vocabulary, that and nothing else. This is possible because the syllabary has already been deciphered, though as far as I know, no researchers or decipherers to date have taken any note of this vital factor. It is precisely because the syllabary itself has been deciphered that we have any access at all to Minoan vocabulary. We must recall that for Michael Ventris, the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B was far more difficult at the outset, because no-one in the world, including himself, knew what the Linear B syllabic signs signified. It took him two years or so to figure them out and he never actually got them until he realized that Linear B was a very early form of Greek, which we now know as Mycenaean Greek. But the situation is far different with Minoan Linear A. We can read the syllabary. We can “read” the words, but we cannot understand what they mean... at least to date. I have taken upon myself to decipher, more or less accurately (probably more often less than more) as many Minoan Linear A words as I possibly can. Even after months of strenuous travail, I have only been able to extrapolate the potential meanings of 106 Minoan Linear A words from a lexicon of about 510 intact Linear A words in John G. Younger’s Lexicon. These terms I have managed to decipher more or less accurately thus amount to only 20 % of the complete lexicon. But 20 % is far more than anyone else has managed to decipher to date. Here then are the 70 terms (MAXIMUM) excerpted from my complete Glossary of Minoan Linear A: KEY: Minoan Linear A words deciphered with certainty (90% - 100%) are in BOLD. Minoan Linear A words deciphered with a reasonable degree of certainty (75% - 85%) are in italics. All terms in Minoan Linear A and in Mycenaean Linear B have been Latinized for ease of access to persons not familiar with these syllabaries. Terms to which I shall assign special treatment are followed by an asterisk (*). adureza = unit of dry measurement (grain, wheat, barley, flour) aka = wineskin (two syllabograms overlaid) akii = garlic darida = large vase * daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere * 5 datara = grove of fig trees * datu = olives See also qatidate = olive trees = Linear B erawa * daweda = medium size amphora with two handles dikise = a type of cloth = Linear B any number of types of cloth ditamana = dittany (medicinal herb) 10 dureza = unit of measurement (unknown amount)* kanaka = saffron = Linear B kanako kapa = follower or (foot) solder = Linear B eqeta * karopa3 (karopai) = kylix (with two handles & smaller than a pithos) * kaudeta = to be distributed (fut. part. pass.) approx. = Linear B, epididato = having been distributed (aorist part. pass.)15 keda = cedar kidema*323na = type of vessel (truncated on HT 31) * kidapa = (ash) wood, a type of wood. On Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01 * kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto 20 kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket * kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed kuro = total kuruku = crocus maru = wool (syllabograms superimposed) = Linear B mari/mare 25 mitu = a type of cloth nasi = a type of cloth nere = larger amphora size * nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza * orada = rose 30 pazeqe = small handle-less cups = Linear B dipa anowe, dipa anowoto * puko = tripod = Linear B tiripode * qapa3 = qapai = large handle-less vase or amphora * qatidate = olive trees See also datu = olives = Linear B erawo * qareto = Linear B onato = “lease field” * 35 quqani = medium size or smaller amphora * ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) rairi = lily reza = 1 standard unit of measurement * sajamana = with handles = Linear B owowe * 40 sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre sata = a type of cloth sedina = celery supa3 (supai) = small cup = Linear B dipa mewiyo * supu = very large amphora * 45 tarawita = terebinth tree tejare = a type of cloth teki = small unit of measurement for wine @ 27 1/2 per tereza * tereza = larger unit of liquid measurement (olive oil, wine) * tesi = small unit of measurement * 50 tisa = description of pot or pottery = Linear B amotewiya/yo udimi = a type of cloth uminase = harbour (cf. French “Le Havre”), famous Atlantic port in France * usu = a type of cloth Eponyms: Sirumarita2 = Sirumaritai 55 Tateikezare Tesudesekei Turunuseme Toponyms: Almost all the toponyms do not require decipherment as they are either identical or almost identical in Mycenaean Linear B: Akanu = Archanes (Crete) Dikate = Mount Dikte 60 Idaa = Mount Ida Idunesi Kudoni = Kydonia Meza (= Linear B Masa) Paito = Phaistos ( =Linear B) * 65 Radu = Lato (= Linear B Rato) Setoiya = Seteia (= Linear B) Sukirita/Sukiriteija = Sybrita Uminase = Linear B Amnisos * Winadu = Linear B Inato 70 COMMENTARY: This Glossary accounts for 20 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms. The principle of cross-correlative cohesion operates on the assumption that terms in Minoan Linear A vocabulary should reflect as closely and as faithfully as possible parallel terms in Mycenaean Greek vocabulary. In other words, the English translations of Minoan words in a Minoan Linear A Glossary such as this one should look as if they are English translations of Mycenaean Greek terms in a Linear B glossary. I have endeavoured to do my best to achieve this goal, but even the most rational and logical approach, such as I take, does not and cannot guarantee reciprocity between Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B terms. It is precisely for this reason that I have had to devise a scale of relative accuracy for terms in this Linear A Glossary, as outlined in KEY at the top of it. The best and most reliable Linear B Lexicon is that by Chris Tselentis, Athens, Greece. If you wish to receive a copy of his Lexicon, please leave a comment in Comments, with some way for me to get in touch with you. Are there any words in Mycenaean Greek of putative Minoan origin? It should surely not strike us as so surprising that there are. After all, kidapa = ash? (Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01) Several Minoan Linear A words very likely survived into Mycenaean Linear B. The problem is, if they did, we do not know which ones did.... except perhaps kidapa, which has a distinctly Minoan feel to it. Cf. kidata = to be accepted (for delivery to) = Linear B dekesato