Quotation for January 2017: The Stone is Cast, my own sonnet


The Stone is Cast

the-stone-is-cast-greek

The Stone is Cast

John 8:7

So since they kept on and on nagging him, he answered them, and said,Let the one among you who is sinless be the first to cast a stone at her.”

As stones are cast against the inner walls,
the lessee of the castle wracks his brains,
while wicked winter rails against its halls
and shakes the filings off his dungeon’s chains
where he’s incarcerated serfs at whim,
because they’d dared defy his iron will:
his fingers drew the rusty bolt on him
as well as them, and held him, freezing, still, 
until he fled that vile, ensanguined room, 
their blasted thane — unconscious of his sin,
though conscious of what cold impending doom
was, as winter is, to do him in.
     Oh when it does, its frozen blast shall blind
     him to the shattered mortar of his mind.

Richard Vallance,

January 3, 2017       
  
crumbled-castle-walls

Comprehensive Architectural Lexicon, Knossos & Mycenae (Part B)


Comprehensive Architectural Lexicon, Knossos & Mycenae (Part B):

Architectural Lexicon Knossos and Mycenae Part B

Part B of our architectural lexicon in Linear B presents only a few little problems. First of all, pokironuka = decorated with different studs, would appear to refer to studs which are jutting ornamentations on buildings, but I cannot be sure of this. Ponikiyo is almost always translated as palm tree, but I suspect it also means Phoenician, i.e. an architectural style. For the three * asterisked notes, see the lexicon above. Just one more point on samara. Samara is an actual ancient city. One Linear B lexicon defines it as points, but I have not the faintest idea what that is supposed to mean. The alternative meaning is monuments, which is completely acceptable. But I have added the additional signification, burial mounds, because these appear in some numbers at Mycenae alone.

Comprehensive Architectural Lexicon, Knossos & Mycenae (Part A)


Comprehensive Architectural Lexicon, Knossos & Mycenae (Part A):

Architectural Lexicon Knossos and Mycenae

Since I have been posting scores of photos of the magnificent Third Palace of Knossos, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE), I have decided to compile an Architectural Lexicon in 2 parts. This is the first. The vocabulary is relatively straightforward, with a few minor exceptions:
1 Decorated with spirals. The Minoans at Knossos and the Mycenaeans went crazy decorating many of their lovely frescoes and their walls with spirals.
2 Bathtub. You might be wondering, why on earth would I add this word?... because bathtubs were an integral part of room architecture, i.e. of the bathroom. The people of Knossos in particular were very clean. They even had an advanced hydraulics driven piping and drainage system, the likes of which was never again repeated until ancient Rome. And the Romans, unlike the Minoans at Knossos, made the terrible mistake of constructing their pipes of lead, leading to widespread lead poisoning. The Minoans used ceramics... nice and clean. Clever. No surprise there.
3 Mantles! Isn’t that what people wear? Well, yes, but they could also be used to decorate the top of windows, I imagine. Or maybe it is just my imagination. Correct me if I am wrong.
4 The word erepato, which  is the equivalent of the Homeric Greek elefantos never means ivory either in Mycenaean or in Homeric Greek!
5 Crocus? - of course! ... used all over the place in the lovely frescoes!
6 Circles were likewise universal on the building friezes. And with good reason. They are geometrically perfect, a typically Greek characteristic.

Photo series of the Second Palace of Knossos (ca. 1700-1600 BCE) # 2


Photo series of the Second Palace of Knossos (ca. 1700-1600 BCE) # 2

Here again you see a set of three photos of the rear stairwells of the Second Palace, which are very well preserved... indeed, so well preserved that even the ruins of Pompeii cannot boast of such restoration. The third photo shows that the interior wall structure of the Second Palace was pretty much identical with the Third, with door jambs in the same style and of the same colour. Unquestionably, the columns of the Second Palace must have looked pretty much identical to those of the Third. You can clearly see from the third and fourth photos that much of the structure of the retaining walls of the Second Palace was left intact by the Minoan engineers when they constructed the Third.    The retaining walls of the Second Palace are distinct, insofar as they are rounded at the corners. 

Knossos second palace f 

Knossos second palace h

Knossos second palace g