spring haiku d'été – a jellyfish glides = une méduse glisse In the coronavirus epidemic, even the canals of Venice are no longer polluted! Durant l'épidémie du coronavirus, même les canaux de Venise ne sont plus pollués ! a jellyfish glides in your pristine canal my hush Venice une méduse glisse dans ton canal transparent ma Venise silente Richard Vallance © by/ par Richard Vallance 2020 photo © by/ par Andrea Mangoni April/ avril 2020
summer haiku d’été – the old pond = le vieil étang the old pond in a drought – the sound of le vieil étang durant la sécheresse – le bruit de Richard Vallance
Restoration the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia: Here we see my restoration of the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia, which includes line 0. at the top and line 4. at the bottom. This is just a personal interpretation, which may stray from the actual text of the original tablet... but we cannot really know this. Note that the RECTO (front side) and the VERSO (reverse side) are reversed. If you horizontally flip the VERSO it fits correctly into the RECTO. So this means that we have to read the text on the RECTO from left to right (dextrograde) and on the VERSO from right to left (sinistrograde). The reconstruction certainly makes sense. It was hard work, but worth it and fun!
Canadian variant of Basho’s Old Pond haiku the beaver pond... a frog leaps - plop! splash! To head off criticisms that I should not have said plop! and then ... splash!, think about it. When a small amphibian such as a frog leaps into water, the first sound we hear is plop!... and then splash! l’étang des castors ... la grenouille y saute - plouf ! grand plouf ! Richard Vallance You can compare this with 32 translations of the Old Pond haiku, here: http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/basho-frog.htm
senryu – your birthday in Japanese kanji, for Willem Tensen = ton anniversaire en kanji japonais, pour Willem Tensen look! in the water there’s a signpost– STOP! no swimming nude gare à toi ! dans l’eau il y a un panneau – ne pas nager nu ! Richard Vallance The day kanji for the 19th. day = signpost and the 4th. Month = water Le kanji de l’onzième jour du mois, c’est le panneau, et celui pour le quatrième mois, c’est l’eau.
senryu – your birthday in Japanese kanji, for Louis Genest = ton anniversaire en kanji japonais, pour Louis Genest who’s a bit leery? are you the shark in water or am I? qui est plus prudent ? es-tu le requin dans l’eau ou est-ce moi ? Richard Vallance The day kanji for the 11th. day = shark and the 4th. Month = water Le kanji de l’onzième jour du mois, c’est le requin, et celui pour le quatrième mois, c’est l’eau.
early spring haiku du début de printemps - egret in the brush = aigrette dans la brousse egret in the brush the stream streaming though - she’s pecking the water aigrette dans la brousse où le ruisseau coule - il picote l’eau Richard Vallance
summer haiku d’été – in a light rain = il pleut légèrement in a light rain our cat laps up water from our birdbath il pleut légèrement et notre chat boit l’eau de la vasque chez nous Richard Vallance
poème par Louis-Dominique Genest dévoué à la chère mémoire de Daisy, 2003-2015 poem by Louis-Dominique Genest dedicated in loving memory of Daisy, 2003-2015 Adieu petite écaille de tortue. Tu es morte dans la baignoire comme pour retourner à l'eau, à la mer originelle et aller te souder à l'éternité. English translation: Adieu little tortoiseshell. You died in the bathtub as though returning to water, to the primeval sea where you have married yourself to eternity. Louis-Dominique Genest le 28 décembre December 28 2018
spring haiku de printemps = white wolf - un loup blanc a white wolf on a rock in quiet water in his own eyes sur un rocher dans l’eau tranquille un loup blanc dans ses propres yeux Richard Vallance
translation of Knossos tablet fragments KN 775 M g 03 & KN 776b M f 01 by Rita Roberts:
Translation of Linear B tablet Knossos KN 710 Ma 05 by Rita Roberts: This translation is self-explanatory. The translation of the supersyllabogram O on top of the water jug is entirely appropriate. Notice that Rita Roberts is beginning to master the (archaic) ancient Greek alphabet.
Linear A nodule on weighing emmer wheat with 3 supersyllabograms:
This rare Linear A nodule is of particular interest because it contains 3 supersyllabograms, JE SE & U. I am unable to decipher JE and SE, but U appears to be the first syllabogram, actually a vowel, i.e. the first syllable of the word it represents, which in this case would appear to be the Mycenaean-derived word, udoro = u3droj = a water flask. But this interpretation may not make sense in the context of weighing KUNI(SU) or emmer wheat, unless a certain standardized amount of water in a water flask were poised at the other end of the scale measuring the emmer wheat. This is surely open to speculation.
the supersyllabogram SU in Linear A, a small cup with handles & the largest pithos size:
The supersyllabogram SU in Linear A has two meanings, context dependent. The first is:
1. SU = supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) OM = a small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo. The word depa/depu PGS de/paj de/pu (acc.?) = cup occurs in Linear A. Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa
and the second is:
2. SU = supi/supu/supu2 OM = largest size pithos;
but not MOSE * NM1 supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub. MOSE * = decryption by Prof. Yuriy Mosenkis. This interpretation flies in the face of context on any Linear A tablet or fragment. It is all fine and well to conjecture a proto-Greek or Mycenaean-derived Greek word, but if you check your decipherment against extant tablets, then you may find it invalidated. This must always be done. Otherwise, you will end up with a meaning which is simply out of the question.
the supersyllabogram KA = with with a jar or vessel for water or wine:
kadi MOSE NM1 kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine This supersyllabogram appears on Haghia Triada tablets HT HT 28 wi HT 88 ma & HT 100 ma, in conjunction with the ideogram for wine on the first one and for man on the second and third. It would appear that the second and third tablets refer to a man or person using a jar or vessel for water or wine.
Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, dealing with crops and vessels (pottery):
Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, which are not hieroglyphs at all, but rather ideograms and logograms, is highly intriguing. Actually, this tablet is partially decipherable. The front side definitely deals with the produce of olive trees, i.e. olive oil and also with wheat crops. If anyone is in any doubt over the meaning of the logogram 5. TE, which looks exactly like the Linear A and Linear B syllabogram TE, this doubt can easily be swept away by mere comparison with the logogram/ideogram for “wheat” in several ancient scripts, some of which are hieroglyphic, such as Egyptian, others which are cuneiform and yet others which bear no relation to either hieroglyphs or cuneiform, or for that matter, with one another, as for instance, the Harrapan and Easter Island exograms.
In fact, the recurrence of an almost identical ideogram/logogram across so many ancient scripts is astonishing. It is for this reason that I am in no doubt over the interpretation of 5. TE as signifying what in the Cretan script.
Next up, we have 3a. & 3b., which I interpret, and probably correctly, as signifying “ewe” and “ram” respectively. In fact, the resemblance of 3b. to a ram’s head is uncanny. What is passingly strange is this: the ram’s head figures so prominently on the second side of the tablet, being much larger than any other ideogram/logogram on the tablet. Why is this so? There simply has to be a reason. But for the time being, I am stumped. Since 3a. & 3b. Relate to sheep, it stands to reason that 6. is another type of livestock. My money is on “pig”. 7. and 9. are both vessels, 7. probably being either a wine or water flask and 9. being a spice container, as it is strikingly similar to the Linear B ideogram for the same. 8. looks like some kind of grain crop, and so I take it to be so.
As for the rest of the ideograms/logograms, they are still indecipherable.
Early Minoan hieroglyphic roundels and seals may lend some insight into the later development of the Linear A syllabary:
As illustrated above, early Minoan hieroglyphic roundels and seals may lend some insight into the later development of the Linear A syllabary. Notice that the the hieroglyphic for an axe or labrys looks remarkably like the Linear A and Linear B syllabogram for A, while the Y shaped hieroglyphic, whatever it is supposed to represent (and no one knows what), is similar to the Linear A syllabogram for SA. So it is conceivable, however remotely, that this hieroglyphic seal may actually read asa or saa, whichever way you read it (not that we have any idea what that is supposed to mean).Then we have the hieroglyphic marked with an asterisk (*). This looks very much like a vase, amphora or flask to hold wine, water or possibly even olive oil. There is another one which looks like a fish. That should not be too surprising, given that the ideogram for fish does appear on at least one extant Linear A fragment from Phaistos, as we have witnessed in a recent previous post. Finally, on the bottom line, the seal marked (f) bears a hieroglyphic which looks like a bat, and this in turn may very well be the antecedent to the Linear A syllabogram MA. But this hieroglyphic is not that of a bat, but rather of a cat, which we can see from the beautiful seal on the top left of the illustration. This is substantiated by the some of the variations in the scribal hands for Linear A MA, which indeed look like the visage of a cat, as we see here:
So I guess it is a cat.
Linear A fragment PH 7 (Phaistos) which is definitely a religious incantation:
Linear A fragment PH 7 (Phaistos), entirely inscribed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan, is definitely a religious incantation. It is fascinating to note that the incantation is highly reminiscent of the Christian mass or communion, call it what you will. The priestess pours water, udiriki (instr. sing.), from a cup, dipaja (gen. sing.) and offers jatimane or the blessed bread of healing to her suppliants, while the whole ceremony, apparently conducted in a small shrine, is illumined by a firebrand. What a lovely, intimate picture of a scared religious ceremony this draws!
Badly damaged, but still largely legible Linear A tablet from Gournia in Mycenaean derived Greek: Although this tablet is badly damaged, the text remains legible. The word kadusi is instrumental plural for a bucket or pail, while daro is a piece of wood (burning/on fire). As for the single syllabogram RO on the first line of the RECTO, it looks very much like it is the last syllable for udoro, which is the word for water in Mycenaean Linear A. So while this tablet is inscribed in the Linear A syllabary, it must have been written just before the adoption of Linear B as the new syllabary. 2 roundels from Gournia were composed ca. 1600 BCE, but this damaged tablet must have been inscribed later, ca. 1500-1450 BCE.
Translation of Pylos tablet TN 996, the famous “bathtub” tablet: This was a rather difficult tablet to translate, for several reasons: 1. It is difficult to ascertain whether or not the first word on the first line is a personal name, but it certainly appears to be so. 2. Two of the words on this tablet appear to refer to some type of vessel or pottery, but they appear in no Linear B lexicon (not even Tselentis). The first is pinera in line 2 & the second pokatama in line 4. 3. Some of the words are definitely archaic Mycenaean Greek, but most of these are translatable. For instance, Linear B rewotereyo = (archaic) Greek “leuterios” in line 1 begins with an abbreviated form of the Greek word “leukos”, which means “white” or “bright” or “light”. So I take this word to mean “a lamp-lighter”, which makes eminent sense in the context. 4. The ideogram is for “bathtub” = asamito in line 1, while the one on line 2 appears to be a variant on the same, but it may mean a “large watering can” to pour warm or hot water into the bathtub. 5. See the comment on po? in the illustration above. The translation “octopi”, meaning “decorated with octopi”, appears solid enough, especially in line 3 where it is paired with the word for “jug”. The translation is less tenable in line 4, where it is paired with “an oil lamp”.