Just released & a Must Read! A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language by Egbert J. Bakker (ed.) © 2014

A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language Paperback – January 28, 2014, by Egbert J. Bakker (Editor) ISBN-13: 978-1118782910 (hard cover) ISBN-10: 1118782917 (paperback) Edition: 1st $50! Click to ENLARGE:

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with an extensive review in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review. Click the banner to read the review:

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Here is an extract from that review to whet your appetite:But whatever one might think of companion volumes, this is a useful book. It boasts a wide range of generally high-quality essays by a parade of eminent scholars. Perhaps its most praiseworthy feature is the clarity and accessibility of many of its contributions, which makes them ideal starting points for the non-specialist. We will no doubt be assigning several of these chapters in our classes.”

The Significance of A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language in Contemporary Research into Ancient Greek Linguistics: 

This new book, representative of the latest linguistic research into the ancient Greek language, may very well become a definitive classic in its own right. It is all the more relevant as it contains an entire chapter on Mycenaean Greek and Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot and Linear C, confirming beyond a shadow of a doubt my own firm contention that Arcado-Cypriot as a Greek dialect is intimately allied with its slightly older cousin, Mycenaean Greek. What Egbert J. Bakker to say about the close bond between the Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects deserves to be quoted verbatim:Mycenaean is clearly, therefore, an East Greek dialect, along with Attic-Ionic and Arcado-Cypriot...” (pg. 198) and again, “Mycenaean is therefore a dialect related to Arcado-Cypriot - not unexpected, given the geography - but not necessarily to be identified as the direct ancestor of either Arcadian and Cypriot. The precise relationship between the three is difficult to determine. Presumably the Arcadians were the descendents of speakers of a Mycenaean-like (page 199) dialect who took to the hills when the Dorians invade the Peloponnese, while the Cypriots were émigré cousins.”

Recall what C.D. Buck had to say about the Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot dialects way back in 1955, in his equally impressive, then cutting-edge, linguistic study of ancient Greek, The Greek Dialects:The most fundamental division of the Greek dialects is that into the West Greek and the East Greek dialects, the terms referring to their location prior to the great migrations. The East Greek are the “the old Hellenic” dialects, that is, those employed by the peoples who held the stage almost exclusively in the period represented by the Homeric poems, when the West Greek peoples remained in obscurity in the northwest. To the East Greek belong the Attic and Aeolic groups... passim... And to the East Greek (dialects) also belong the Arcado-Cyprian.”

And, of course, just to be certain we have the whole picture clearly in focus, we must also include Mycenaean Greek and early Arcadian as proto-Ionic, both of which dialects held sway “prior to the great migrations” (of the Dorians)...

and you can easily see that not much has changed in the past 50 or so years since its publication and the release of A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language by Egbert J. Bakker, in our overall perspectives on the intimate relationship between the East Greek dialects, Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects, as I was at great pains to stress in a post on this very same issue just a few days ago, when I myself echoed the opinions of both these esteemed scholars, as follows:Astonishingly (and for my purposes, very conveniently) these two proto-Ionic dialects are as closely allied as their natural descendents, Ionic and Attic Greek, which rose to prominence some 5 centuries after Linear C first popped up out of the clear blue.”

Need I say more?  - except to assert unequivocally that my own research into the intimate bond between the Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriots will go far beyond merely this consideration, as I shall soon delve deeply into the close relationship between (at least some) Mycenaean vocabulary in Linear B and Arado-Cypriot in Linear C, the implications of which should prove profound for a greater understanding of Mycenaean Greek per se.  Keep posted.

Richard