Linear B

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Linear B
NAMA Linear B tablet of Pylos.jpg
Script type with additional ideograms
Time period
c. 1400 BC - 1200 BC
StatusExtinct
Directionleft-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesMycenaean Greek
Related scripts
Parent systems
Linear A
  • Linear B
Sister systems
Cypro-Minoan syllabary
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Linb (401), ​Linear B
Unicode
Unicode alias
Linear B
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

Linear B was a syllabic script that was used for writing Mycenaean Greek, the earliest attested form of Greek. The script predates the Greek alphabet by several centuries. The oldest Mycenaean writing dates to about 1400 BC.[1] It is descended from the older Linear A, an undeciphered earlier script used for writing the Minoan language, as is the later Cypriot syllabary, which also recorded Greek. Linear B, found mainly in the palace archives at Knossos, Cydonia,[2] Pylos, Thebes and Mycenae,[3] disappeared with the fall of Mycenaean civilization during the Late Bronze Age collapse. The succeeding period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, provides no evidence of the use of writing. Linear B, deciphered by English architect and self-taught linguist Michael Ventris[4]—based on the research of American classicist Alice Kober[5]—is the only Bronze Age Aegean script to have thus far been deciphered.

Linear B consists of around 87 syllabic signs and over 100 ideographic signs. These ideograms or "signifying" signs symbolize objects or commodities. They have no phonetic value and are never used as word signs in writing a sentence.

The application of Linear B appears to have been confined to administrative contexts. In all the thousands of clay tablets, a relatively small number of different "hands" have been detected: 45 in Pylos (west coast of the Peloponnese, in southern Greece) and 66 in Knossos (Crete).[6] Once the palaces were destroyed, the script disappeared.[7]

Script

Linear B has roughly 200 signs, divided into syllabic signs with phonetic values and ideograms with semantic values. The representations and naming of these signs have been standardized by a series of international colloquia starting with the first in Paris in 1956. After the third meeting in 1961 at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin, a standard proposed primarily by Emmett L. Bennett, Jr., became known as the Wingspread Convention, which was adopted by a new organization, the Comité International Permanent des Études Mycéniennes (CIPEM), affiliated in 1970 by the fifth colloquium with UNESCO.[8] Colloquia continue: the 13th occurred in 2010 in Paris.

Many of the signs are identical or similar to those in Linear A; however, Linear A encodes an as-yet unknown language, and it is uncertain whether similar signs had the same phonetic values.[9]

Syllabic signs

The grid developed during decipherment by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick of phonetic values for syllabic signs is shown below.[10] (Note that "q" represents the labialized velar stops [ɡʷ, kʷ, kʷʰ], not a uvular stop of IPA.)

Initial consonants are in the leftmost column; vowels are in the top row beneath the title. The transcription of the syllable, which may not have been pronounced that way, is listed next to the sign along with Bennett's identifying number for the sign preceded by an asterisk (as was Ventris' and Chadwick's convention).[note 1] If the transcription of the sign remains uncertain, Bennett's number serves to identify the sign.[11] The signs on the tablets and sealings often show considerable variation from each other and from the representations below. Discovery of the reasons for the variation and possible semantic differences is a topic of ongoing debate in Mycenaean studies.

Recognised signs of shape V, CV[note 2]
-a -e -i -o -u
𐀀
Linear B Syllable B008 A.svg
a

*08

𐀁
Linear B Syllable B038 E.svg
e

*38

𐀂
Linear B Syllable B028 I.svg
i

*28

𐀃
Linear B Syllable B061 O.svg
o

*61

𐀄
Linear B Syllable B010 U.svg
u

*10

d- 𐀅
Linear B Syllable B001 DA.svg
da

*01

𐀆
Linear B Syllable B045 DE.svg
de

*45

𐀇
Linear B Syllable B007 DI.svg
di

*07

𐀈
Linear B Syllable B014 DO.svg
do

*14

𐀉
Linear B Syllable B051 DU.svg
du

*51

j- 𐀊
Linear B Syllable B057 JA.svg
ja

*57

𐀋
Linear B Syllable B046 JE.svg
je

*46

𐀍
Linear B Syllable B036 JO.svg
jo

*36

k- 𐀏
Linear B Syllable B077 KA.svg
ka

*77

𐀐
Linear B Syllable B044 KE.svg
ke

*44

𐀑
Linear B Syllable B067 KI.svg
ki

*67

𐀒
Linear B Syllable B070 KO.svg
ko

*70

𐀓
Linear B Syllable B081 KU.svg
ku

*81

m- 𐀔
Linear B Syllable B080 MA.svg
ma

*80

𐀕
Linear B Syllable B013 ME.svg
me

*13

𐀖
Linear B Syllable B073 MI.svg
mi

*73

𐀗
Linear B Syllable B015 MO.svg
mo

*15

𐀘
Linear B Syllable B023 MU.svg
mu

*23

n- 𐀙
Linear B Syllable B006 NA.svg
na

*06

𐀚
Linear B Syllable B024 NE.svg
ne

*24

𐀛
Linear B Syllable B030 NI.svg
ni

*30

𐀜
Linear B Syllable B052 NO.svg
no

*52

𐀝
Linear B Syllable B055 NU.svg
nu

*55

p- 𐀞
Linear B Syllable B003 PA.svg
pa

*03

𐀟
Linear B Syllable B072 PE.svg
pe

*72

𐀠
Linear B Syllable B039 PI.svg
pi

*39

𐀡
Linear B Syllable B011 PO.svg
po

*11

𐀢
Linear B Syllable B050 PU.svg
pu

*50

q- 𐀣
Linear B Syllable B016 QA.svg
qa

*16

𐀤
Linear B Syllable B078 QE.svg
qe

*78

𐀥
Linear B Syllable B021 QI.svg
qi

*21

𐀦
Linear B Syllable B032 QO.svg
qo

*32

r- 𐀨
Linear B Syllable B060 RA.svg
ra

*60

𐀩
Linear B Syllable B028 RE.svg
re

*27

𐀪
Linear B Syllable B053 RI.svg
ri

*53

𐀫
Linear B Syllable B002 RO.svg
ro

*02

𐀬
Linear B Syllable B026 RU.svg
ru

*26

s- 𐀭
Linear B Syllable B031 SA.svg
sa

*31

𐀮
Linear B Syllable B009 SE.svg
se

*09

𐀯
Linear B Syllable B041 SI.svg
si

*41

𐀰
Linear B Syllable B012 SO.svg
so

*12

𐀱
Linear B Syllable B058 SU.svg
su

*58

t- 𐀲
Linear B Syllable B059 TA.svg
ta

*59

𐀳
Linear B Syllable B004 TE.svg
te

*04

𐀴
Linear B Syllable B037 TI.svg
ti

*37

𐀵
Linear B Syllable B005 TO.svg
to

*05

𐀶
Linear B Syllable B069 TU.svg
tu

*69

w- 𐀷
Linear B Syllable B054 WA.svg
wa

*54

𐀸
Linear B Syllable B075 WE.svg
we

*75

𐀹
Linear B Syllable B040 WI.svg
wi

*40

𐀺
Linear B Syllable B042 WO.svg
wo

*42

z- 𐀼
Linear B Syllable B017 ZA.svg
za

*17

𐀽
Linear B Syllable B074 ZE.svg
ze

*74

𐀿
Linear B Syllable B020 ZO.svg
zo

*20

Special and unknown signs

In addition to the grid, the first edition of Documents in Mycenaean Greek contained a number of other signs termed "homophones" because they appeared at that time to resemble the sounds of other syllables and were transcribed accordingly: pa2 and pa3 were presumed homophonous to pa. Many of these were identified by the second edition and are shown in the "special values" below.[12] The second edition relates: "It may be taken as axiomatic that there are no true homophones." The unconfirmed identifications of *34 and *35 as ai2 and ai3 were removed. pa2 became qa.[13]

Special values
Character 𐁀
Linear B Syllable B025 A2.svg
𐁁
Linear B Syllable B043 A3.svg
𐁂
Linear B Syllable B085 AU.svg
𐁃
Linear B Syllable B071 DWE.svg
𐁄
Linear B Syllable B090 DWO.svg
𐁅
Linear B Syllable B048 NWA.svg
𐁇
Linear B Syllable B062 PTE.svg
𐁆
Linear B Syllable B029 PU2.svg
𐁈
Linear B Syllable B076 RA2.svg
𐁉
Linear B Syllable B033 RA3.svg
𐁊
Linear B Syllable B068 RO2.svg
𐁋
Linear B Syllable B066 TA2.svg
𐁌
Linear B Syllable B087 TWE.svg
𐁍
Linear B Syllable B091 TWO.svg
Transcription a2 (ha) a3 (ai) au dwe dwo nwa pte pu2 (phu) ra2 (rya) ra3 (rai) ro2 (ryo) ta2 (tya) twe two
Bennett's number *25 *43 *85 *71 *90 *48 *62 *29 *76 *33 *68 *66 *87 *91

Other values remain unknown, mainly because of scarcity of evidence concerning them.[12][note 3] Note that *34 and *35 are mirror images of each other, but whether this graphic relationship indicates a phonetic one remains unconfirmed.[14]

Untranscribed and doubtful values
Character 𐁐
Linear B Symbol B018.svg
𐁑
Linear B Symbol B019.svg
𐁒
Linear B Symbol B022.svg
𐁓
Linear B Symbol B034.svg
𐁔
Linear B Symbol B047.svg
𐁕
Linear B Symbol B049.svg
𐁖
Linear B Symbol B056.svg
𐁗
Linear B Symbol B063.svg
𐁘
Linear B Symbol B064.svg
𐀎
Linear B Syllable B065 JU.svg
𐁙
Linear B Symbol B079.svg
𐁚
Linear B Symbol B082.svg
𐁛
Linear B Symbol B083.svg
𐁜
Linear B Symbol B086.svg
𐁝
Linear B Symbol B089.svg
Transcription *18 *19 *22 *34 *35 *47 *49 pa3? *63 swi? ju? zu? swa? *83 *86 *89
Bennett's number *18 *19 *22 *34 *35 *47 *49 *56 *63 *64 *65 *79 *82 *83 *86 *89

In recent times, CIPEM inherited the former authority of Bennett and the Wingspread convention in deciding what signs are "confirmed" and how to officially represent the various sign categories. In editions of Mycenaean texts, the signs whose values have not been confirmed by CIPEM are always transcribed as numbers preceded by an asterisk (e.g., *64). CIPEM also allocates the numerical identifiers, and until such allocation, new signs (or obscured or mutilated signs) are transcribed as a bullet-point enclosed in square brackets: [•].

Spelling and pronunciation

The signs are approximations since each may be used to represent a variety of about 70 distinct combinations of sounds within rules and conventions. The grid presents a system of monosyllabic signs of the type V/CV. Clarification of the 14 or so special values tested the limits of the grid model, but Chadwick eventually concluded that even with the ramifications, the syllabic signs can unexceptionally be considered monosyllabic.[15]

Possible exceptions, Chadwick goes on to explain, include the two diphthongs, 𐁁 (ai) and 𐁂 (au), as in 𐁁𐀓𐀠𐀴𐀍, ai-ku-pi-ti-jo, for Aiguptios (Αἰγύπτιος, "Egyptian") and 𐁂𐀐𐀷, au-ke-wa, for Augewās (Αὐγείας "Augeas").[note 4] However, a diphthong is by definition two vowels united into a single sound and therefore might be typed as just V. Thus 𐁉 (rai), as in 𐀁𐁉𐀺e-rai-wo, for elaiwon (ἔλαιον),[note 5] is of the type CV. Diphthongs are otherwise treated as two monosyllables: 𐀀𐀫𐀄𐀨, a-ro-u-ra, for arourans (accusative plural of ἄρουραι, "tamarisk trees"), of the types CV and V.[16] Lengths of vowels and accents are not marked.

𐁌 (Twe), 𐁍 (two), 𐁃 (dwe), 𐁄 (dwo), 𐁅 (nwa) and the more doubtful 𐁘 (swi) and 𐁚 (swa) may be regarded as beginning with labialized consonants, rather than two consonants, even though they may alternate with a two-sign form: o-da-twe-ta and o-da-tu-we-ta for Odatwenta; a-si-wi-jo and a-swi-jo for Aswios (Ἄσιος). Similarly, 𐁈 (rya), 𐁊 (ryo) and 𐁋 (tya) begin with palatalized consonants rather than two consonants: -ti-ri-ja for -trja (-τρια).

The one sign Chadwick tags as the exception to the monosyllabic rule is 𐁇 (pte), but this he attributes to a development pte<*pje as in kleptei<*klep-jei.

Linear B does not consistently distinguish between voiced and unvoiced stop consonants (except in the dental series) and between aspirated and unaspirated stops even when these distinctions are phonemic in Mycenaean Greek. For example,[17] pa-te is patēr (πατήρ), pa-si is phāsi (φησί);[note 6] p on the other hand some times does not represent (like in the beginning of the following word) β: βασιλεύς ("basileus", meaning in this period "court official or local chieftain") is qa-si-re-u[note 7]); ko-ru is korus (κόρυς, "helmet"), ka-ra-we is grāwes (plural of γρηύς), ko-no is skhoinos ("rope"). Exceptionally, however, the dentals are represented by a t-series and a d-series for unvoiced and voiced: to-so for tosos (τόσος or τόσσος) but do-ra for dōra (plural of δῶρον, "gift"). Aspiration, however, is not marked: to-ra-ke for thōrākes (plural of θώραξ, "breastplate"). In other cases aspiration can be marked but is optional: pu-te for phutēr ("planter", from φυτεύω), but phu-te-re for phutēres ("planters"). Initial aspiration may be marked only in the case of initial a and rarely: ha-te-ro for hateron (masculine ἅτερος),[18] and yet a-ni-ja for hāniai (ἁνίαι).

The j-series represents the semivowel equivalent to English "y", and is used word-initially and as an intervocalic glide after a syllable ending in i: -a-jo for -αῖος (-aios); a-te-mi-ti-jo for Ἀρτεμίτιος (Artemitios). The w-series similarly are semivowels used word-initially and intervocalically after a syllable ending in u: ku-wa-no for kuanos (κύανος, "blue").[19]

The r-series includes both the /r/ and /l/ phonemes: ti-ri-po for tripos (τρίπος, i.e. τρίπους) and tu-ri-so for Tulisos (Τυλισός).

The q-series is used for monosyllables beginning with a class of consonants that disappeared from classical Greek by regular phonetic change: the labialized velar consonants (see under Mycenaean Greek). These had entered the language from various sources: inheritance from Proto-Indo-European, assimilation, borrowing of foreign words, especially names. In Mycenaean they are /kʷ/, /gʷ/, and rarely /kʷh/ in names and a few words:[20] a-pi-qo-ro for amphiquoloi (ἀμφίπολοι); qo-u-ko-ro for guoukoloi (βουκόλοι, "cowherders"); -qo-i-ta for -φόντης.

Some consonants in some contexts are not written (but are understood to be present), such as word-initial s- and -w before a consonant, as in pe-ma for sperma (σπέρμα, "seed"). The pe-, which was primarily used as its value pe of grid class CV, is here being used for sper-. This was not an innovative or exceptional use, but followed the stated rules. Syllable-final -l, -m, -n, -r and -s are also not written out, and only word-final velars are notated by plene writing: a-to-ro-qo for anthrōquos (ἄνθρωπος, "human being, person"). Here a, being primarily of grid class V, is being used as an- and could be used for al, am, ar, and so on.

In the case of clusters of two or three consonants that do not follow the initial s- and -w rule or the double consonants: ξ (ks or x), ψ (ps) and qus (which later did not exist in classical Greek), each consonant in the cluster is represented by a type CV sign that shares its consonant value: ko-no-so for Knōsos,[note 8] or ku-ru-so for khrusos (χρυσός, "gold"). The vowels of these signs have been called "empty", "null", "extra", "dead" and other terms by various writers as they represent no sound. There were rules though, that governed the selection of the "empty" vowel and therefore determined which sign was to be used. The vowel had to be the same as the one of the first syllable following the cluster or, if at the end of the word, preceding: ti-ri-po with ti- (instead of ta-, te- and so on) to match -ri-. A rare exception occurs in words formed from wa-na-ka, wanax (ϝάναξ, Homeric and Classical ἄναξ): wa-na-ka-te for wanaktei (dative), and wa-na-ka-te-ro for wanakteros, the adjectival form. This exception may not have applied to all contexts, as an example of wa-na-ka that follows standard rules has emerged in Ayios Vasileios in Laconia. The text reads wa-na-ko-to (genitive) and is written on a sealing nodule dating to the late 14th or early 13th century, slightly earlier than other Linear B texts found on mainland Greece.[21]

Ideograms

Linear B also uses a large number of ideograms. They express:

  • the type of object concerned (e.g. a cow, wool, a spear),
  • a unit of measure.

They have no phonetic value and are never used as word signs in writing a sentence, unlike Japanese kanji. Ideograms are typically at the end of a line before a number and appear to signify to which object the number applies. Many of the values remain unknown or disputed. Some commodities such as cloth and containers are divided into many different categories represented by distinct ideograms. Livestock may be marked with respect to sex.

The numerical references for the ideograms were originally devised by Ventris and Bennett and divided into functional groups corresponding to the breakdown of Bennett's index. The groups are numbered beginning 100, 110, 120 etc., with some provision of spare numbers for future additions; the official CIPEM numberings used today are based on Ventris and Bennett's numbering, with the provision that three or four letter codes (written in small capitals), based on Latin words that seemed relevant at the time, are used where the meanings are known and agreed. Unicode (as of version 5.0) encodes 123 Linear B ideograms.

The ideograms are symbols, not pictures of the objects in question; for example, one tablet records a tripod with missing legs, but the ideogram used is of a tripod with three legs. In modern transcriptions of Linear B tablets, it is typically convenient to represent an ideogram by its Latin or English name or by an abbreviation of the Latin name. Ventris and Chadwick generally used English; Bennett, Latin. Neither the English nor the Latin can be relied upon as an accurate name of the object; in fact, the identification of some of the more obscure objects is a matter of exegesis.[22]

Ideograms
Glyph Code point[note 9] Bennett[23] CIPEM[24] English[25]
People and animals
Linear B Ideogram B100 Man.svg
U+10080 100[26] A- VIR
vir
MAN
Linear B Ideogram B102 Woman.svg
U+10081 102 A- MUL
mulier
WOMAN
Linear B Ideogram B104 Deer.svg
U+10082 104 Cn CERV
cervus
DEER
Linear B Ideogram B105 Equid.svg
U+10083 105 Ca S- EQU
equus
HORSE
Linear B Ideogram B105F Mare.svg
U+10084 105 Ca EQUf mare[27]
Linear B Ideogram B105M Stallion.svg
U+10085 105 Ca EQUm stallion
𐀥 U+10025 106
QI
*21
OVIS
ovis
SHEEP
𐀥
WE
*75
we-ka-ta
Bous ergatēs
"Adjunct to ox" (1973)[28]
Linear B Ideogram B106F Ewe.svg
U+10086 106b C- D- OVISf EWE
Linear B Ideogram B106M Ram.svg
U+10087 106a C- D- OVISm RAM
𐁒 U+10052 107
RA
*22
CAP
capra
GOAT
𐂈 U+10088 107b C- Mc CAPf SHE-GOAT
𐂉 U+10089 107a C- CAPm HE-GOAT
𐁂 U+10042 108
AU
*85 C-
SUS
sūs
PIG
𐂊 U+1008A 108b C- SUSf SOW
𐂋 U+1008B 108a C- SUSm BOAR
𐀘 U+10018 109
MU
*23 C-
BOS
bōs
OX
𐂌 U+1008C 109b C- BOSf COW
𐂍 U+1008D 109a C- BOSm OX/BULL
Units of measurement
110 Z
kotylai
Volume
Cup[29]
111 V
khoinikes
Volume
112 T Dry
113 S Liquid
114 Weight
*21 Weight
*2 Weight
115 P Weight
116 N Weight
117 M
dimnaion[30]
Weight
118 L
talanton
TALENT
*72 G- Bunch?
*74 S- Pair
*15 S- Single
*61 Deficit
By dry measure
𐂎 U+1008E 120 E- F- GRA
grānum
WHEAT
𐂏 U+1008F 121 F- HORD
hordeum
BARLEY
𐂐 U+10090 122 F- U- OLIV
olīva
OLIVES
𐀛 U+1001B NI
*30 F
FICUS FIGS
𐀎 U+1000E *65 FARINA FLOUR
"some kind of grain"[31]
𐂑 U+10091 123 G- Un AROM
arōma
CONDIMENT
KO
*70 G-
Coriander
𐀭 U+1002D SA
*31 G-
Sesame
KU
*81 G-
Cumin
SE
*9 G-
Celery
MA
*80 G-
Fennel
124 G- PYC cyperus
𐂒 U+10092 125 F- CYP cyperus?
126 F- CYP+KU cyperus+ku
𐂓 U+10093 127 Un KAPO fruit?
𐂔 U+10094 128 G- KANAKO safflower
By liquid measure
𐂕 U+10095 130 OLE
ŏlĕum
oil
𐂖 U+10096 131 VIN
vinum
wine
𐂘 U+10098 133 unguent
𐂙 U+10099 135 honey
By weight
By weight or in units
Counted in units
Vessels[32]
𐃟 U+100DF 200
sartāgo
BOILING PAN
𐃠 U+100E0 201 TRI
tripūs
TRIPOD CAULDRON
𐃡 U+100E1 202
pōculum
GOBLET?
𐃢 U+100E2 203
urceus
WINE JAR?
𐃣 U+100E3 204 Ta
hirnea
EWER
𐃤 U+100E4 205 K Tn
hirnula
JUG
𐃥 U+100E5 206 HYD
hydria
HYDRIA
𐃦 U+100E6 207 TRIPOD AMPHORA
𐃧 U+100E7 208 PAT
patera
BOWL
𐃨 U+100E8 209 AMPH
amphora
AMPHORA
𐃩 U+100E9 210 STIRRUP JAR
𐃪 U+100EA 211 WATER BOWL?
𐃫 U+100EB 212 SIT
situla
WATER JAR?
𐃬 U+100EC 213 LANX
lanx
COOKING BOWL
Furniture
𐃄 U+100C4 220 Ta
scamnum
FOOTSTOOL
𐃅 U+100C5 225 ALV
alveus
Weapons
𐃆 U+100C6 230 R HAS
hasta
SPEAR
𐃇 U+100C7 231 R SAG
sagitta
ARROW
𐃈 U+100C8 232 Ta *232 AXE
𐃉 U+100C9 233 Ra DAGGER
𐃊 U+100CA 234 GLA
gladius
SWORD
Chariots
𐃌 U+100CC 240 Sc BIG
biga
WHEELED CHARIOT
𐃍 U+100CD 241 Sd Se CUR
currus
WHEEL-LESS CHARIOT
𐃎 U+100CE 242 Sf Sg CAPS
capsus
CHARIOT FRAME
𐃏 U+100CF 243 Sa So ROTA
rota
WHEEL

Archives

Corpus

Inscriptions in Linear B have been found on tablets, stirrup jars and other objects; they are catalogued and classified by, inter alia, the location of the excavation they were found in.

Prefix Location Number of items and/or notes
ARM Armeni 1 stirrup jar.[33]
DIM or IOL[34] Dimini 1 kylix shard and 1 stone (possibly a weight).[35]
EL Eleusis 1 stirrup jar.[36]
GL Gla 1 stirrup jar bearing either an inscription or a potter's mark.[37]
HV Agios Vasileios
(Xerocampion, Laconia)
211 inscribed pieces, comprising ca. 115 tablets, 9 sealing nodules and 3 labels as of 21 September 2021.[38]
IK Iklaina 1 tablet.[39]
KH Chania ca. 8 tablets, 42 stirrup jars, 2 cups and a bowl.[40][41][42]
KN Knossos ca. 5500 fragments, comprising ca. 4158 tablets, 31 sealing nodules and 35 labels.[43]
KR Kreusis
(Livadostra, Boeotia)
1 stirrup jar.[44]
MA Malia 4 stirrup jars.[45]
MAM Mameloukou Cave
(Perivolia, Kissamos)
1 stirrup jar.[46]
MED Medeon
(Steiri, Boeotia)
1 ivory seal.[47]
MI Midea 4 sealing nodules and 4 stirrup jars.[48]
MY Mycenae 73 tablets
OR Orchomenos 1 stirrup jar bearing either an inscription or pseudo-script.[49]
PY Pylos ca. 1,026 tablets, 24 sealing nodules, 22 labels and 7 stirrup jars.[50][51]
TH Thebes 99 tablets + 238 published in 2002 (L. Godart and A. Sacconi, 2002).
TI Tiryns 27 tablets and fragments, ca. 51 stirrup jars and a possibly inscribed skyphos.[52][53][54]
VOL Kastro-Palaia
(Volos)
Two tablets found in 1950s excavations resurfaced in the early 2010s; a sketch depicts a third tablet.[55]

Another 170 inscriptions in Linear B have been found on various vessels, for a total of some 6,058 known inscriptions.

For several decades scholars have worked to join tablet fragments together, thus making the tablets and their information more complete while reducing their numbers as a whole.[56]

The oldest Linear B tablets are probably those from the Room of Chariot Tablets at Knossos, and date to the latter half of the 15th century BC.[57] The Kafkania pebble, though from an earlier context, is not genuine.[58] The earliest inscription from the mainland is an inscribed clay tablet found at Iklaina dating to between 1400 and 1350 BC.[59]

An amber seal incised with Linear B signs was found in 2000 by amateur archaeologists at Bernstorf near Kranzberg, southern Germany, and is of much debated authenticity.[60]

Chronology

Timeline of Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean scripts

The Aegean is responsible for many of the early Greek language words that have to do with daily life such as words for tools and items that are seen every day.[61] The sequence and the geographical spread of Cretan hieroglyphs, Linear A, and Linear B, the three overlapping, but distinct, writing systems on Bronze Age Crete, the Aegean islands, and mainland Greece are summarized as follows:[62]

Writing system Geographical area Time span[note 10]
Cretan hieroglyphs Crete c. 1625−1500 BC
Linear A Crete, Aegean Islands (Kea, Kythira, Milos, Santorini), and Laconia c. 1800−1450 BC[63]
Linear B Crete (Knossos), and mainland (Pylos, Mycenae, Thebes, Tiryns) c. 1425−1200 BC

Timeline of Linear B

The main archives for Linear B are associated with these stages of Late Minoan and Helladic pottery:[64]

Relative date Period dates Location Locale or tablet
LM II 1425–1390 BC Knossos Room of the Chariot Tablets
LH IIIA1/early LH IIIA2 1400–1370 BC Iklaina 1 tablet found in refuse pit[65]
LM IIIA2
or
LM IIIB
1370–1340 BC
or
1340–1190 BC
Knossos main archive
LM IIIB 1340–1190 BC Chania tablets Sq 1, 6659, KH 3 (possibly Linear B)
LH/LM IIIB1 end[note 11] Chania
Mycenae
Thebes
tablets Ar 3, Gq 5, X 6
tablets from Oil Merchant group of houses
Ug tablets and Wu sealings
LH IIIB2, end Mycenae
Tiryns
Thebes
Pylos
tablets from the Citadel
all tablets
Of tablets and new Pelopidou Street deposit
all but five tablets

Sixteen tablets found at the Megaron at Pylos are also thought to be dated to LHIIIA.[66]

Controversy on the date of the Knossos tablets

The Knossos archive was dated by Arthur Evans to the destruction by conflagration of about 1400 BC, which would have baked and preserved the clay tablets. He dated this event to the LM II period. This view stood until Carl Blegen excavated the site of ancient Pylos in 1939 and uncovered tablets inscribed in Linear B. They were fired in the conflagration that destroyed Pylos about 1200 BC, at the end of LHIIIB. With the decipherment of Linear B by Michael Ventris in 1952,[67] serious questions about Evans's date began to be considered. Most notably, Blegen said that the inscribed stirrup jars, which are oil flasks with stirrup-shaped handles imported from Crete around 1200, were of the same type as those dated by Evans to the destruction of 1400. Blegen found a number of similarities between 1200 BC Pylos and 1400 BC Knossos and suggested the Knossian evidence be reexamined, as he was sure of the 1200 Pylian date.

The examination uncovered a number of difficulties. The Knossos tablets had been found at various locations in the palace. Evans had not kept exact records. Recourse was had to the day books of Evans's assistant, Duncan Mackenzie, who had conducted the day-to-day excavations. There were discrepancies between the notes in the day books and Evans's excavation reports. Moreover, the two men had disagreed over the location and strata of the tablets. The results of the reinvestigation were eventually published by Palmer and Boardman, On the Knossos Tablets.[68] It contains two works, Leonard Robert Palmer's The Find-Places of the Knossos Tablets and John Boardman's The Date of the Knossos Tablets, representing Blegen's and Evans's views respectively. Consequently, the dispute was known for a time as "the Palmer–Boardman dispute". There has been no generally accepted resolution to it yet.

Contents

The major cities and palaces used Linear B for records of disbursements of goods. Wool, sheep, and grain were some common items, often given to groups of religious people. A number of tablets also deal with military matters.[69]

As is often the case with cuneiform tablets, when the buildings they were housed in were destroyed by fire many of the tablets were baked which preserved them.[70]

Discovery and decipherment

Ancient Greece

The Greeks of the historical era were unable to decipher Linear B, but its ideograms are sometimes mentioned by ancient authors.[71] For example, Plutarch gives an account of the Spartan king Agesilaus II (r. 400–360 BC) sending a bronze tablet with "many letters marvellously old, for nothing could be made of them" to Egyptian priests in the hope they could understand them.[72]

Arthur J. Evans's classification of scripts

The British archaeologist Arthur Evans, keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, was presented by Greville Chester in 1886 with a sealstone from Crete engraved with a writing he took to be Mycenaean.[73] Heinrich Schliemann had encountered signs similar to these, but had never identified the signs clearly as writing, relating in his major work on Mycenae that "of combinations of signs resembling inscriptions I have hitherto only found three or four ...."[74] In 1893 Evans purchased more sealstones in Athens, verifying from the antiquarian dealers that the stones came from Crete. During the next year he noticed the script on other artefacts in the Ashmolean. In 1894 he embarked for Crete in search of the script. Soon after arrival, at Knossos he saw the sign of the double axe on an excavated wall, considering this the source of the script. Subsequently, he found more stones from the various ruins being worn by Cretan women as amulets called γαλόπετρες "milk-stones", thought to encourage the production of breast milk.[75]

Starting in 1894, Evans published his theories that the signs evidenced various phases in the development of a writing system in The Journal of Hellenic Studies, the first article being "Primitive Pictographs and a Prae-Phoenician Script from Crete".[76] In these articles Evans distinguished between "pictographic writing" and "a linear system of writing". He did not explicitly define these terms, causing some confusion among subsequent writers concerning what he meant, but in 1898 he wrote[77] "These linear forms indeed consist of simple geometrical figures which unlike the more complicated pictorial class were little susceptible to modification," and "That the linear or quasi-alphabetic signs ... were in the main ultimately derived from the rudely scratched line pictures belonging to the infancy of art can hardly be doubted."

Meanwhile, Evans began to negotiate for the land purchase of the Knossos site. He established the Cretan Exploration Fund, with only his own money at first, and by 1896 the fund had purchased one-fourth of Kephala Hill, on which the ruins were located, with first option to buy the rest. However, he could not obtain a firman excavation permit from the Ottoman government. He returned to Britain. In January 1897, the Christian population of Crete staged its final insurrection against the Ottoman Empire. The last Ottoman troops were ferried off the island by the British fleet on 5 December 1898.[78] In that year also, Evans and his friends returned to complete purchase of the site. By this time, the Fund had other contributors as well.[79] In 1899, the Constitution of a new Cretan Republic went into effect. Once Arthur had received permission to excavate from the local authorities, excavation on the hill began on 23 March 1900.

According to Evans's report to the British School at Athens for that year,[80] on 5 April, the excavators discovered the first large cache ever of Linear B tablets among the remains of a wooden box in a disused terracotta bathtub. Subsequently, caches turned up at multiple locations, including the Room of the Chariot Tablets, where over 350 pieces from four boxes were found. The tablets were 4.5 cm (1.8 in) to 19.5 cm (7.7 in) long by 1.2 cm (0.47 in) to 7.2 cm (2.8 in) wide and were scored with horizontal lines over which text was written in about 70 characters. Even in this earliest excavation report, Evans could tell that "a certain number of quasi-pictorial characters also occur which seem to have an ideographic or determinative meaning."[80]

The excavation was over for that year by 2 June. Evans reported: "only a comparatively small proportion of the tablets were preserved in their entirety,"[80] the causes of destruction being rainfall through the roof of the storage room, crumbling of small pieces, and being thrown away by workmen who failed to identify them. A report on 6 September to the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland[81] began to use some of the concepts characteristic of Evans's later thought: "palace of Knossos" and "palace of Minos". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1900,[82] notes that Evans took up Stillman's theme that the palace was the labyrinth of mythology in which the half-bovine son of King Minos lurked. In the report, the tablets are now called a "linear script" as opposed to the "hieroglyphic or conventionalized pictographic script". The linear script has characters that are "of a free, upright, European character" and "seem to have been for the most part syllabic". Evans reasserts the ideographic idea: "a certain number are unquestionably ideographic or determinative."

The years after 1900 were consumed by excavations at Knossos and the discovery and study by Evans of tablets, with a projected comprehensive work on Cretan scripts to be called Scripta Minoa. A year before the publication of volume I, he began to drop hints that he now believed the linear script was two scripts, to be presented in the forthcoming book.

In Scripta Minoa I,[83] which appeared in 1909, he explained that the discovery of the Phaistos Disc in July 1908 had caused him to pull the book from the presses so that he could include the disk by permission, as it had not yet been published. On the next page[84] he mentioned that he was also including by permission of Federico Halbherr of the Italian Mission in Crete unpublished tablets from Hagia Triada written in a linear script of "Class A". To what degree if any Halbherr was responsible for Evans's division of the "linear script" into "Class A" and "Class B" is not stated. The Knossos tablets were of Class B, so that Evans could have perceived Class A only in tablets from elsewhere, and so recently that he needed permission to include the examples.

Evans summarized the differences between the two scripts as "type" or "form of script;' that is, varieties in the formation and arrangement of the characters. For example, he says "the clay documents belonging to Class A show a certain approximation in their forms to those presenting the hieroglyphic inscriptions ... the system of numerals is also in some respects intermediate between that of the hieroglyphic documents and that of the linear Class B."[85] [check quotation syntax] The first volume covered "the Hieroglyphic and Primitive Linear Classes" in three parts: the "pre-Phoenician Scripts of Crete", the "Pictorial Script" and "the Phaistos Disk". One or two more volumes publishing the Linear A and Linear B tablets were planned, but Evans ran out of time; the project required more than one man could bring to it. For a good many of the years left to him, he was deeply enmeshed in war and politics in the Balkans. When he did return to Knossos, completion and publication of the palace excavations took priority. His greatest work, Palace of Minos, came out in 1935. It did include scattered descriptions of tablets. He died in 1941, soon after Nazi forces invaded Crete.

The Knossos tablets had remained in the museum at Irakleion, Crete, where many of them now were missing. The unpublished second volume consisted of notes by Evans and plates and fonts created by Clarendon Press. In 1939, Carl Blegen had uncovered the Pylos Tablets; pressure was mounting to finish Scripta Minoa II. After Evans's death, Alice Kober, assistant to John Myres and a major transcriber of the Knossos tablets, prompted Myres to come back from retirement and finish the work. Emmett L. Bennett, Jr. added more transcriptions. The second volume came out in 1952 with Evans cited as author and Myres as editor,[86] just before the discovery that Linear B writes an early form of Greek. An impatient Ventris and Chadwick declared: "Two generations of scholars had been cheated of the opportunity to work constructively on the problem."[87]

Early attempts

Despite the limited source materials, during this time there were efforts to decipher the newly discovered Cretan script. Australian classicist Florence Stawell published an interpretation of the Phaistos Disc in the April 1911 issue of The Burlington Magazine.[88] She followed this with the book A Clue to the Cretan Scripts, published in 1931. Stawell declared all three Cretan script forms to represent early Homeric Greek, and offered her attempts at translations. Also in 1931, F. G. Gordon's Through Basque to Minoan was published by the Oxford University Press. Gordon attempted to prove a close link between the Basque language and Linear B, without lasting success.[89]

In 1949, Bedřich Hrozný published Les Inscriptions Crétoises, Essai de déchiffrement, a proposed decipherment of the Cretan scripts.[90] Hrozny was internationally renowned as the translator of Hittite cuneiform decades previously. His Minoan translations into academic French, though, proved to be considerably subjective, and incorrect.

From the 1930s to 1950s there was correspondence between, and papers published by, various international academic figures. These included Johannes Sundwall, K. D. Ktistopoulos, Ernst Sittig and V. I. Georgiev.[91] None of them succeeded with decipherment, yet they added to knowledge and debate.

Alice Kober's triplets

About the same time, Alice Kober studied Linear B and managed to construct grids, linking similar symbols in groups of threes.[92] Kober noticed that a number of Linear B words had common roots and suffixes. This led her to believe that Linear B represented an inflected language, with nouns changing their endings depending on their case. However, some characters in the middle of the words seemed to correspond with neither a root nor a suffix. Because this effect was found in other known languages, Kober surmised that the odd characters were bridging syllables, with the beginning of the syllable belonging to the root and the end belonging to the suffix. This was a reasonable assumption, since Linear B had far too many characters to be considered alphabetic and too few to be logographic; therefore, each character should represent a syllable. Kober's systematic approach allowed her to demonstrate the existence of three grammatical cases and identify several pairs of signs that shared vowels or consonants with one another.[93]

Kober also showed that the two symbol word for 'total' at the end of livestock and personnel lists, had a different symbol for gender. This gender change with one letter, usually a vowel, is most frequent in Indo-European languages.[94] Kober had rejected any speculation on the language represented, preferring painstaking cataloguing and analysis of the actual symbols,[95] though she did believe it likely that Linear A and Linear B represented different languages.[93]

Emmett L. Bennett's transcription conventions

The convention for numbering the symbols still in use today was first devised by Emmett L. Bennett Jr. Working alongside fellow academic Alice Kober, by 1950 Bennett had deciphered the metrical system, based on his intensive study of Linear B tablets unearthed at Pylos. He concluded that those tablets contained exactly the same script as the Linear B found at Knossos, and he classified and assigned identification numbers to the Linear B signs as he prepared a publication on the Pylos tablets.[93] Like Kober, Bennett was also an early proponent of the idea that Linear A and B represented different languages.[93] His book The Pylos Tablets became a crucial resource for Michael Ventris, who later described it as "a wonderful piece of work".[96]

Michael Ventris' identification as Greek

In 1935, the British School at Athens was celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with an exhibition at Burlington House, London. Among the speakers was Arthur Evans, then eighty-four years old. A teenage Michael Ventris was present in the audience.[97] In 1940, the 18-year-old Ventris had an article Introducing the Minoan Language published in the American Journal of Archaeology.[98]

After wartime service as a navigator with RAF Bomber Command, and a post-war year in Occupied Germany, he returned to civilian life, and completed qualification as an architect. Despite having no university qualification, Ventris continued with his amateur interest in Linear B, corresponding with known scholars, who usually but not always replied.[99]

Michael Ventris and John Chadwick performed the bulk of the decipherment of Linear B between 1951 and 1953. At first Ventris chose his own numbering method, but later switched to Bennett's system. His initial decipherment was achieved using Kober's classification tables, to which he applied his own theories. Some Linear B tablets had been discovered on the Greek mainland. Noticing that certain symbol combinations appeared only on the tablets found in Crete, he conjectured that these might be names of places on the island. This proved to be correct. Working with the symbols he could decipher from this, Ventris soon unlocked much text and determined that the underlying language of Linear B was in fact Greek. This contradicted general scientific views of the time, and indeed Ventris himself had previously agreed with Evans's hypothesis that Linear B was not Greek.[93]

Ventris' discovery was of significance in demonstrating a Greek-speaking Minoan-Mycenaean culture on Crete, and thus presenting Greek in writing centuries earlier than had been previously accepted.[100]

Chadwick, a university lecturer in Ancient Greek philology, helped Ventris develop his decipherment of the text and discover the vocabulary and grammar of Mycenaean Greek. He noted:[101]

That any Linear B tablets are written in a language other than Greek still remains to be demonstrated; but that words and usages not exactly paralleled in later Greek occur is both certain and to be expected. But we must not resort to "non-Greek" whenever we come up against an insoluble problem.

The first edition of their book, Documents in Mycenaean Greek, was published in 1956, shortly after Ventris's death in an automobile accident.[93]

Hoaxes

As a jocular hoax, Thomas G. Palaima claimed to have found, and subsequently lost as "the slippery document popped, like a wet soap bar", a Linear B tablet (HE F1 1994) on a riverbank in Heidelberg in 1994.[102]

Unicode

Linear B was added to the Unicode Standard in April, 2003 with the release of version 4.0.

The Linear B Syllabary block is U+10000–U+1007F. The Linear B Ideograms block is U+10080–U+100FF. The Unicode block for the related Aegean Numbers is U+10100–U+1013F.

Linear B Syllabary[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1000x 𐀀 𐀁 𐀂 𐀃 𐀄 𐀅 𐀆 𐀇 𐀈 𐀉 𐀊 𐀋 𐀍 𐀎 𐀏
U+1001x 𐀐 𐀑 𐀒 𐀓 𐀔 𐀕 𐀖 𐀗 𐀘 𐀙 𐀚 𐀛 𐀜 𐀝 𐀞 𐀟
U+1002x 𐀠 𐀡 𐀢 𐀣 𐀤 𐀥 𐀦 𐀨 𐀩 𐀪 𐀫 𐀬 𐀭 𐀮 𐀯
U+1003x 𐀰 𐀱 𐀲 𐀳 𐀴 𐀵 𐀶 𐀷 𐀸 𐀹 𐀺 𐀼 𐀽 𐀿
U+1004x 𐁀 𐁁 𐁂 𐁃 𐁄 𐁅 𐁆 𐁇 𐁈 𐁉 𐁊 𐁋 𐁌 𐁍
U+1005x 𐁐 𐁑 𐁒 𐁓 𐁔 𐁕 𐁖 𐁗 𐁘 𐁙 𐁚 𐁛 𐁜 𐁝
U+1006x
U+1007x
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points
Linear B Ideograms[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1008x 𐂀 𐂁 𐂂 𐂃 𐂄 𐂅 𐂆 𐂇 𐂈 𐂉 𐂊 𐂋 𐂌 𐂍 𐂎 𐂏
U+1009x 𐂐 𐂑 𐂒 𐂓 𐂔 𐂕 𐂖 𐂗 𐂘 𐂙 𐂚 𐂛 𐂜 𐂝 𐂞 𐂟
U+100Ax 𐂠 𐂡 𐂢 𐂣 𐂤 𐂥 𐂦 𐂧 𐂨 𐂩 𐂪 𐂫 𐂬 𐂭 𐂮 𐂯
U+100Bx 𐂰 𐂱 𐂲 𐂳 𐂴 𐂵 𐂶 𐂷 𐂸 𐂹 𐂺 𐂻 𐂼 𐂽 𐂾 𐂿
U+100Cx 𐃀 𐃁 𐃂 𐃃 𐃄 𐃅 𐃆 𐃇 𐃈 𐃉 𐃊 𐃋 𐃌 𐃍 𐃎 𐃏
U+100Dx 𐃐 𐃑 𐃒 𐃓 𐃔 𐃕 𐃖 𐃗 𐃘 𐃙 𐃚 𐃛 𐃜 𐃝 𐃞 𐃟
U+100Ex 𐃠 𐃡 𐃢 𐃣 𐃤 𐃥 𐃦 𐃧 𐃨 𐃩 𐃪 𐃫 𐃬 𐃭 𐃮 𐃯
U+100Fx 𐃰 𐃱 𐃲 𐃳 𐃴 𐃵 𐃶 𐃷 𐃸 𐃹 𐃺
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points
Aegean Numbers[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1010x 𐄀 𐄁 𐄂 𐄇 𐄈 𐄉 𐄊 𐄋 𐄌 𐄍 𐄎 𐄏
U+1011x 𐄐 𐄑 𐄒 𐄓 𐄔 𐄕 𐄖 𐄗 𐄘 𐄙 𐄚 𐄛 𐄜 𐄝 𐄞 𐄟
U+1012x 𐄠 𐄡 𐄢 𐄣 𐄤 𐄥 𐄦 𐄧 𐄨 𐄩 𐄪 𐄫 𐄬 𐄭 𐄮 𐄯
U+1013x 𐄰 𐄱 𐄲 𐄳 𐄷 𐄸 𐄹 𐄺 𐄻 𐄼 𐄽 𐄾 𐄿
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also

Notes

  1. ^ In the Unicode character names, Bennett's number has been rendered into a three-digit code by padding with initial zeros and preceding with a B (for "Linear B").
  2. ^ In linguistics C and V in this type of context stand for consonant and vowel.
  3. ^ Sign *89 is not listed in Ventris & Chadwick's (1973) tables, but it does appear in the appendix of Bennett (1964) as part of the Wingspread convention.
  4. ^ Ventris and Chadwick use Roman characters for the reconstructed Mycenaean Greek and give the closest later literary word in Greek characters. Often the phonetics are the same, but equally as often the reconstructed words represent an earlier form. Here the classical Greek was formed by dropping the w and lengthening the e to ei.
  5. ^ The w is dropped to form the classical Greek.
  6. ^ Classical words typically have the η of the Attic-Ionic dialect where Linear B represents the original α.
  7. ^ Representing guasileus, the b coming from gu
  8. ^ Double letters, as in Knossos, were never represented; one was dropped.
  9. ^ Note that the codes do not represent all glyphs, only the major ones.
  10. ^ Beginning date refers to first attestations, the assumed origins of all scripts lie further back in the past.
  11. ^ LM III is equivalent to LH III from a chronological perspective.

References

Citations

  1. ^ Professor Shelmerdine's Exciting Mycenaean Find - UT Austin Jun 2, 2011
  2. ^ E. Hallager, M. Vlasakis, and B. P. Hallager, "The First Linear B Tablet(s) from Khania", Kadmos, 29(1990). pp. 24-34
  3. ^ Wren, Linnea Holmer; Wren, David J.; Carter, Janine M. (1987). Perspectives on Western Art: Source Documents and Readings from the Ancient Near East Through the Middle Ages. Harper & Row. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-06-438942-6.
  4. ^ "Cracking the code: the decipherment of Linear B 60 years on". Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. ^ Fox, Margalit (2013). the Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code. Ecco Press (Harper Collins). ISBN 978-0062228833.
  6. ^ Hooker, J.T. (1980). Linear B: An Introduction. Bristol Classical Press UK. ISBN 978-0-906515-69-3.
  7. ^ Ventris and Chadwick 1973, p. 60.
  8. ^ Emmett L. Bennett Jr., "Mycenaean studies : proceedings of the Third International Colloquium for Mycenaean Studies held at "Wingspread," 4–8 September 1961", University of Wisconsin Press (January 1, 1964)
  9. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973), page 37, quotes Bennett: "where the same sign is used in both Linear A and B there is no guarantee that the same value is assigned to it."
  10. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973), Fig. 4 on page 23 states the "Proposed values of the Mycenaean syllabary", which is mainly the same as the table included in this article. The "grid" from which it came, which was built up in "successive stages", is shown in Fig. 3 on page 20.
  11. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973), Fig. 9 on page 41 states Bennett's numbers from 1 through 87 opposite the signs being numbered. The table includes variants from Knossos, Pylos, Mycenae and Thebes opposite the same numbers.
  12. ^ a b Ventris and Chadwick (1973), page 385.
  13. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973), pages 391–392.
  14. ^ KYRIAKIDIS, EVANGELOS. "PHONETIC ATTRIBUTIONS OF UNDECIPHERED CHARACTERS: THE CASE OF SIGN *56 IN LINEAR B." The Cambridge Classical Journal, vol. 53, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 202–28
  15. ^ Ventris & Chadwick (1973), pages 385–391.
  16. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973), page 43.
  17. ^ The examples in this section except where otherwise noted come from the Mycenaean Glossary of Ventris & Chadwick (1973).
  18. ^ Ventris & Chadwick (1973), pages 388–391.
  19. ^ Ventris & Chadwick (1973), page 44.
  20. ^ Ventris & Chadwick (1973), page 45. The authors use q instead of k: qu, gu and quh, following the use of q- in transcription.
  21. ^ Petrakis, Vassilis P. (2016). "Addenda to "Writing the wanax: Spelling peculiarities of Linear B wa-na-ka and their possible implications"". Minos: Revista de Filología Egea. 39: 407–408. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  22. ^ Chadwick, John, The Decipherment of Linear B, 1958, p. 82.
  23. ^ This table follows the numbering scheme worked out by Ventris and Bennett and presented in Ventris and Chadwick (1973) in the table of Figure 10, pages 50–51. The superscript a refers to Bennett's "Editio a", "a hand from Pylos, of Class III". The superscript b refers to Bennett's "Editio b", "a hand of Knosses". The superscript c refers to Bennett's "Editio c", "a hand of Pylos, of Class I". The non-superscript letters represent the class of tablets, which precedes the individual tablet number; for example, Sa 787 is Tablet Number 787 of the class Sa, which concerns chariots and features the WHEEL ideogram.
  24. ^ Figure 10 in Ventris and Chadwick (1973) states only the English names of the ideograms where they exist, but the Latin is given where it exists in Emmett L. Bennett Jr, ed. (1964). Mycenaean Studies: Proceedings of the Third International Colloquium for Mycenaean Studies Held at "Wingspread," 4–8 September 1961. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. pp. 258–259., "Ideogrammatum Scripturae Mycenaeae Transcriptio". The "m" and "f" superscript are male and female.
  25. ^ Given in capital letters if it repeats Ventris and Chadwick (1973) Figure 10; otherwise, in lowercase. Note that not all the CIPEM glyphs appear in Figure 10.
  26. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973) page 391: "100 MAN is now used for all forms of the ideogram, so that 101 and 103 are now suppressed."
  27. ^ Ventris & Chadwick either edition do not follow the Wingspread Convention here but have 105a as a HE-ASS and 105c as a FOAL.
  28. ^ The 1956 edition has "Kind of sheep".
  29. ^ Chadwick (1976) page 105.
  30. ^ "Double mina", Chadwick (1976) page 102.
  31. ^ Ventris & Chadwick (1973) page 392.
  32. ^ Ventris and Chadwick (1973) page 324 has a separate table.
  33. ^ Tzedakis, Yannis; Kolivaki, Vicky (2018). "Background and History of Excavation". In Tzedakis, Yannis; Martlew, Holley; Arnott, Robert (eds.). The Late Minoan III Necropolis of Armenoi. Vol. 1: Introduction and Background. Philadelphia, PA: INSTAP Academic Press. p. 1. ISBN 9781623034191. ProQuest 2227961808. Retrieved 30 April 2022.
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Sources

Further reading

  • Bakker, Egbert J., ed. 2010. A companion to the Ancient Greek language. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405153263
  • Chadwick, John (1958). The decipherment of Linear B. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Christidis, Anastasios-Phoivos, ed. 2007. A history of Ancient Greek: From the beginnings to Late Antiquity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521833073
  • Colvin, Stephen C. 2007. A historical Greek reader: Mycenaean to the koiné. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199226597
  • Fox, Margalit. "The Riddle of the Labyrinth". HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York, NY.
  • Freo, M. D., Nosch, M.-L., & Rougemont, F. (2010). "The Terminology of Textiles in the Linear B Tablets, including Some Considerations on Linear A Logograms and Abbreviations". In: C. Michel & M.-L. Nosch (Eds.). Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennnia BC (Vol. 8). Oxbow Books. pp. 338–373. http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1cfr985.21
  • Godart, L., & Andreadaki-Vlazaki, M. (2022). A new Linear B tablet from Khania: KH X 8. A new Linear B tablet from Khania: KH X 8., pp. 37-42
  • Hooker, J. T. 1980. Linear B: An introduction. Bristol, UK: Bristol Classical Press.
  • Horrocks, Geoffrey. 2010. Greek: A history of the language and its speakers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1405134156
  • Judson, Anna P. 2020. "The Undeciphered Signs of Linear B: Interpretation and Scribal Practices". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1108494724
  • Morpurgo Davies, Anna, and Yves Duhoux, eds. 1985. Linear B: A 1984 survey. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters.
  • ––––. 2008. A companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Greek texts and their world. Vol. 1. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters.
  • OWENS, GARETH. "WAS SE-TO-I-JA AT ARCHANES?" , KADMOS, vol. 33, no. 1, 1994, pp. 22–28
  • Palaima, Thomas G. 1988. "The development of the Mycenaean writing system". In Texts, tablets and scribes. Edited by J. P. Olivier and T. G. Palaima, 269–342. Suplementos a "Minos" 10. Salamanca, Spain: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.
  • Palmer, Leonard R. 1980. The Greek language. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 978-0571113903.
  • Srivatsan, Nikita, et al. "Neural Representation Learning for Scribal Hands of Linear B." International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition. Springer, Cham, 2021
  • Ventris, Michael, and John Chadwick. 1973. Documents in Mycenaean Greek. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521085588

External links

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