Rita Robert’s Excellent Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 1198 E x 205 “Tanaposo the shepherd” Click to ENLARGE:

Knossos KN 1198 E x 205 Tanaposo

I really have very little to say about this very fine translation Rita Roberts has made of Knossos Tablet KN 1198 E x 205. Now at the final stage of the Advanced Level of learning Mycenaean Linear B (Level 5), Rita has come very far indeed since she first started learning Linear B from me some 19 months ago. She has a true knack for intuiting what any Linear B tablet is really saying, in spite of the fact that the Minoan scribes at Knossos were notorious for omitting everything but the most essential information, given that they inscribed their tablets solely for inventorial purposes for the palace administration, and that, in so doing, they all knew perfectly well what each of their colleagues was saying, since they all adhered to the same code, so to speak, for tallying inventories. Inventories, after all, have to be standardized, and composed consistently across the board; otherwise, they are useless.

Moreover, Rita has swiftly mastered the knack for intuiting the difference between Mycenaean vocabulary & Mycenaean names. She knew perfectly well that Tanaposo could not be a common Mycenaean word, but that it had to be a name. It matters little whether or not the word was later to enter standard Greek vocabulary. She even explains how that came about.

She also correctly divined Tanaposo’s rôle as a shepherd, and correctly assumed that, since he was a shepherd, he had to be tending to his flocks... hence her excellent translation. In a word, the difference between a fair or a good and an excellent translation of any Linear B tablet consists in just this ability, to be able to coax out of the tablet what the Linear B scribe must have actually meant it to say. And I think she has it pretty much bang on.

Richard