Pagnion of an April's night. in ea tempestate accedit ad imperium princeps haud credibilis, gente natus divite se ipsum peperisse prosperitatem abritratus: magnae opes isti inopum vindici. adeo sapiens ut, quod pro venatione veneficarum habuit ipsas veneficas semper invenisset. sed alitus non solum per populos plebesque, sed cultores eius senatores, obstrincti tanto amori iudicium. suffragatores eius … Continue reading The Tacitean Trump
The Phaistos disk is something of an embarrassment to students and scholars of the Aegean Bronze Age. Its celebrity has given it an inordinately central position on the discipline, the extent of its fame something like inversely proportionate with its evidential value to scholars, to say nothing of certain knowledge. Only Atlantis can vie with … Continue reading A Phaistos Disk Primer
When I arrived in Ann Arbor this fall, word eventually made it to me that the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology had in its holdings an old photograph, terribly faded, of what appeared to be some sort of inscription. My own interest in Linear B being well known, I was able to get a look at … Continue reading A Lost Mycenaean Record
I set off home from the Kelsey Museum of Classical Archaeology last night under a drooping dusk, the streetlights just flickering into life as the leaves tumbled in their autumnal dance. The air was cold, and a firm wind seemed to find my face no matter which way I turned. Tucking in my chin, I … Continue reading A Cucurbitaceous Linear B Inscription
Another tablet in translation for your reading pleasure (you can find a full index here). This one is fairly well served in modern handbooks (it's in Documents and the more recent Companion to Linear B), but there remain some differences in interpretation -- and it's a personal favourite. It was found in the West House at Mycenae, outside of … Continue reading Linear B Translated: MY V 659
This post (and others which will hopefully follow) is part of the initiative started by Dimitri Nakassis to make translations of Linear B tablets more widely available online. While he so far has focussed on longer tablets, I wanted to take a look at some shorter ones, and offer in addition to translations the methods … Continue reading Linear B Translated: KN Fp(1) 6, 7, 16, and 48.
I’m a bit late to the game here, but the Late Bronze Age eruption of Santorini (ancient Thera) has been in the news again lately, in relation (as so often) to the controversy surrounding when, exactly, that eruption happened. This post is intended a necessarily simplified primer to that debate, in an attempt to identify … Continue reading The Theran Eruption: Chronology and Controversy
A rather strange review was published by BMCR this morning: Barry Powell on Martin West’s The Making of the Odyssey. This post will be best read with it in view, though there is little to recommend it. It is (spoiler alert) negative in its outlook, which is unsurprising given the idiosyncratic nature of West’s views and … Continue reading The Origins of the Greek Alphabet
The decipherment of Linear B shed new light not only on the Late Bronze Age world it so elliptically recorded, but also on the development of the Greek language. Reconstructed proto-forms featuring digamma and labiovelars were spectacularly confirmed, and a window was opened into a new historical dialect from centuries before the Homeric poems were … Continue reading An Aethiopian at Pylos?
There are few things in life more consistently delightful than waking on Easter morning to a house full of chocolate eggs. As such, I rose early today, and scampered down the stairs in excitement of what bounty might await me. As I turned the corner at the landing, I could tell that my hopes were … Continue reading An Easter Enigma