Tag Archive: god



Under the syllabogram RE in Minoan Linear A, there appears to be only one word of possible proto-Greek origin and it is...

minoan-word-rea-of-possible-proto-greek-origin

This table is self-explanatory.


If quantum... a sonnet on quantum mechanics & computing and the mind

boson-god-particle

If quantumGod does not play dice with the universe.” 
- Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters, 1916-55 
... or does He?


If quantum is the boson of the mind,
if D-Wave is the wave the future rides,
if we are ready not to be purblind,
if we can take in bounds prodigious strides,
if God is in our molecules (or not),
if we are God Himself... or He is we,
with what is heaven’s promise fraught?
... or what’s unseen beyond we’ve yet to see?
If we’ve overshot the rim of space and time,
where were we likely sooner to arrive?
... and is the universe still as sublime
as ever? ... or are we now in overdrive?
     If you are reading this and feel confused,
     Well, join the club. I also am bemused.


Richard Vallance,


January 18, 2017



Bahai’ = the latest Dispensation from God = Progressive Revelation

Imagine my astonishment when I happened across the teachings of the Bahai’ Faith, which came into being in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Its teachings are revolutionary. It allows one to keep the faith of one’s birth, in my case, Christian, but it opens up so many avenues to a faith greater than all religions, including itself. The Bahais firmly believe that theirs is not the last revelation, that more are to come. This sets them apart from all past religions.  Unlike all previous religions of the past, the Bahai’ faith firmly counsels universal education, the education of women and the equal rights of women and men, the promotion and teaching of technology and science, and the list goes on and on. This sort of religion truly appeals to an intellectual such as myself. I shall be posting the tenets of the Bahai’ faith on a regular basis here on Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae.

Here are the first three observations from the faith:

one-country

science-a

education-of-women

They are real eye-openers!


Who the hell?

behind-me-satan

Matthew 16:23
Get behind me, Satan! 


As madness burrows through the psyche’s realm,
it means to chew her up and spit her out.
I ask you, who the hell was at the helm?
And who was God to prove, “What’s that all about?” 

It rankles me too few will dare to ask
why some of us are sane and others not,
why some are not, while some are called to task,
while others see their faith is come to naught.

If faith in God were not enough, then what  
in hell would satisfy our lust for love,
and what in Heaven’s name has madness wrought
to place us altogether on the spot?

Since your concern was just an empty show, 
Don’t ask me why. You know I’ll never know.

Richard Vallance,


January 10, 2017



POST 1,400: another sonnet of mine, based on the previous  2 haiku in Mycenaean Greek:


Never fear

never-fear-greek

Matthew 14:27
But Jesus immediately spoke to them, saying, Take courage; it is I:
do not be afraid.


the-temple-of-bahai-tel-aviv-israel

The Temple of Bahai’, Tel Aviv, Israel


While you are so afraid of your own life,
never fear for me, for I fear as well
as well as you for every scrap of strife
we shall have all endured by spiting hell:
and it’s just as well, heaven willing earth
shall allow Bahai’ the inspiration
to distance wisdom of our precious worth,
our spirit His, His imagination
ours the “forever Was”,  forever shared
with every single soul, however ill:  
We’ll know the love of God has always spared
us all and embraces us in his Will...
... and it’s just as well I can hear Him spell
     his Word on us to see us faring well.


Richard Vallance,


January 10, 2017



3 alternatives in Minoan Linear A for pasiteoi = “to all the gods” in Mycenaean Greek:

pasiteoi pasi

I rummaged through every last of the scores of Minoan Linear A tablets I have on file, searching for any rendition possible commensurate with the phrase pasiteoi = “to all the gods” in Mycenaean Greek. I have made the assumption, however misplaced, that since this a 5 syllabogram or syllable phrase in Mycenaean Linear B, the cross-correlated phrase in Minoan Linear A should run to approximately the same number of syllabograms or syllables, give or take. I found 3 alternatives. I had little choice, as there is simply no way or knowing whether or not any one of these 3,  iqa*118, dadumata or *47nuraja  corresponds to the Mycenaean phrase, if indeed any of them do. However, the chances are pretty good that one of them does.

So take your pick. I lean towards dadumata, as it looks like it might be plural, though certainly not necessarily neuter plural, corresponding to the ultimate “a”, which imposes itself on any word in the neuter or feminine plural in Mycenaean Greek. One simply cannot transpose the last vowel “a” for the neuter plural in Linear B to Linear A. The same problem obtains with *47nuraja.  On the other hand, transposition of “a” for Greek “ai” in Mycenaean Greek is a (somewhat remote) possibility in Minoan Linear A. But here again we cannot and must not leap to any premature conclusions. 

Each of these terms qualifies as the sixty-ninth (69) term I have deciphered, more or less accuracy, in Minoan Linear A.


Knossos tablet with all sorts of references to olive oil and barley:

Knossos tablet 1 j olive oil barley etc

This tablet is a real hodgepodge of references to olive oil, olive oil trees and barley, ranging from references the port of Amnisos, to units of dry measurement (which also frequently occur on Minoan Linear A tablets), to all the gods and to the goddess Erinu in particular. Not only that, it also tabulates bales of barley, even down to single units of dry measurement of barley. So this tablet serves as a real cornucopia for olive oil, olive oil trees and barley. Thus, it adds one more reference to every single facet of these commodities. I shall tally the totals for all references to each commodity when I have finished translating as many Linear B tablets as I can referencing olive oil.


Linear A labrys with inscribed Idamate = king? or god (Zeus)? no. 29:

IDAMATE labyrs

Does the inscription on the Linear A labrys with inscribed with Idamate simply mean that this labrys (double axe) is dedicated to a Minoan potentate at Knossos whose name is Idamate? Perhaps. But there are two other more cogent decipherments, and these are either (a) idamate = Linear B wanaka = “king” or just as convincingly (b) idamate = Linear B diwo = “god” or “Zeus.” I am far more inclined to the either of the latter two.

Pylos tablet Py Ta 711 (Chris Tselentis) may lend some credence to the decipherment “king”. Certainly the King  (Idamate or Wanaka) of Knossos would be highly deserving of such an honour. But so for that matter would Zeus, whose immortal power would certainly be strikingly symbolized by this inscription on a Minoan labrys!

PY TA ta  711 Chris Tselentis


Recall the great importance the Minoans and Mycenaeans alike at Knossos imputed to the double axe or labrys. The Hall of the Double Axes is decorated with a whole series of them, one after another, on a magnificently painted frieze, so typical of the masterful artistry of the Minoans at Knossos.

Hall of the Double Axes Knossos ca 12450 BCE


A partial Linear B tablet from  Knossos illustrating 542 amphorae or pithoi! 

KN 712 M p 01

This is a partial Linear B tablet from  Knossos illustrating 542 amphorae or pithoi, a staggering number. Since the pithoi at Knossos are all huge, it is impossible that these 542 amphorae an all be pithoi. Far from it. Probably 500 at least were smaller amphorae, and the rest (42 or so) possibly pithoi, but we cannot be sure. I have deduced that teyo to the left side of this partial tablet is the genitive singular of the Linear B word teo = “Zeus” or “a god”, hence in this context it means, “of Zeus” or “of the god”, implying that all of these amphorae and pithoi are the property of said god. 

Here we see a fabulously wrought Minoan bee pendant with what appears to be the image of a Minoan priest or god in the centre.

Minoan bee pendant god ca 1850 - 1550 BCE Aigina

A Lovely Ode to the Archangel Michael in Mycenaean Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

Ode to the Archangel Michael Akero Mikero in Mycenaean Linear B

NOTE that the English & French translations of my Ode to the Archangel Michael appear in the next post. Have you ever wondered what Mycenaean Linear B poetry would have sounded like? I know I have, many times over. I invite you to simply read aloud the Latinized version of the Ode in Mycenaean Linear B, even if you do not understand it. The point is to enjoy the music of the poetry, not to worry about your pronunciation or your accent. Nobody really knows how any ancient Greek dialect sounded anyway.

Here a few hints on how to bring out the music in the Mycenaean Greek.

1. Whenever you see the ending, oyo (genitive singular), pronounce it like “oiyo”, but in a single breath. It will sing that way.
2. If you put a little stress on the second-last syllable (penultimate) of words such as “peDIra ”“euZOno” “doSOmo” & “paraDEso”, this will also assist the melody of the poem.
3. Be sure to pronounce all “u”s & “eu”s (euzono) as you would “u” in French, if you can.
4. The disposition of the phrase “para paradeso para meso”  is very peculiar for Greek poetry... “meso ” should be on the same line as the previous words. But I did this deliberately, again for melodic reason. If you read this phrase like this, “PAra paraDEso PAra MEso”, it should sound very nice.
5. The word “mana” (“manna” in English) is obviously not Mycenaean, and not even Greek. It is Hebrew. But I could take liberties introducing this word into a Christian poem. So I did.
6. Recite “pamako atanatoyo” (medicine of the immortal...) like this “PAmako aTAnaTOyo”...

So long as you are consistent and satisfied with how it sounds to you, that is all you need. Yes, and do read it aloud. Otherwise, you will not benefit from hearing the music and the harmony of the Mycenaean Greek, which is after all the earliest of the ancient East Greek dialects, the great-great-grandfather of dialects such as the Ionic & Attic. Besides, you can always allow yourself the pleasure of admiring the pretty Linear B script, however weird it may look to you at first. Just give it a chance.

Being a poet of sorts myself, I decided to write this lyric ode, somewhat along the lines of Sappho (although I cannot even remotely claim a foothold on her astonishing lyrical powers!) It is by no means inconceivable that poetry may very well have been composed in the Mycenaean era, ca. 1450 – 1200 BCE. Simply because we do not have any evidence at all of such activity does not mean that the Minoan/Mycenaean scribes never wrote any poetry at all. The problem lies not with the non-survival of any Mycenaean poetry, but with the impossibility of conserving anything written on papyrus in a humid environment, such as that of Minoan Crete and of Mycenae.

It is indeed fortunate, fortuitous and a great asset to us today that so many Egyptian papyri have been preserved intact since a distant period equal to that of the Mycenaean civilization at its apogee. Call it what you like, the extremely arid sand of Egypt was far far more favourable to the survival of ancient papyrus than the moist climate of Mycenaean Crete and the Mycenaean mainland. That is the real reason why we have no extant literature from their great civilization. But given the astonishing levels their civilization reached in so many areas, in art, architecture, fresco painting, the textile industry, crafts of all kinds, international commerce and even science, it strikes me as passingly strange that no literature of any kind survives, apart from the thousands of Linear B inventory, accounting and ritual tablets, which can hardly be called literature in any sense of the word.

There are those who contend that in fact the Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad was derived from an earlier Mycenaean epic poem, no doubt in a much simpler and more earthy guise, stripped of much of the telling Homeric metaphorical language which is his hallmark even in the Catalogue of Ships. You can count me among these. For this reason, it strikes me as a distinct possibility that, if the Mycenaeans were able to tackle even a mini-epic poem, even if it were a much shorter, stripped down version of its descendant (if ever there was) of the Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad, they surely would have been up to the task of composing considerably shorter poems along the lines of this one you see posted here. Of course, they would never have written about angels and archangels. But that is beside the point. Simply by successfully composing this lyric poem, I believe I have demonstrated that such poetry was, at least conceivably, within the grasp of soi-disant Mycenaean bards. We shall never know, but it is well worth the speculation.

A comment on the phrase epi pedira euzona. As a preposition, epi should take the dative. But here I have used the accusative plural. My reason is this: in archaic Greek, prepositions were less common than adverbs, and in many cases, what we would recognize as a preposition in classical, say, Attic Greek, could very well have been an adverb in Mycenaean Greek. This is how it should be read in this context... pedira euzona is thus to be seen as accusative of aspect or aspectual accusative, reading literally something like this:

with his feet on them...    

I welcome comments on any aspect, as suggested above or otherwise, of my stab at composing a lyric poem in Mycenaean Linear B, Christian though it be.

English and French versions to follow in the next post.


Richard


Translation of the Silver Spoon Inscription in Linear C, “Clotho, the Spinner” at the British Museum: Click to ENLARGE

spoon amusekatateteketaitioitakolokiai

This is a truly difficult inscription to translate. In the first place, we cannot be sure that the subject is a person actually called “Ammus”, a name, apparently Egyptian, which sounds suspiciously like that of the Egyptian deity Amun Ra, King of the gods, god of the wind and patron deity of Thebes, who rose to prominence in the 11th. dynasty in the twenty-first century BCE (ca.  4,200 years ago): Click on the image of Amun-Ra for the Wikipedia article on him:

Amun Ra

It is also abundantly clear that the Linear C syllabary, which was frequently used alongside the Arcado-Cypriot dialectical Greek alphabet, had made huge strides over Mycenaean Linear B, especially by the 6th. century BCE, when the inscription you see on this spoon was composed. As for the silver spoon itself, the inscription appears only in Linear C; so it is impossible to cross-correlate with an equivalent in the Arcado-Cypriot Greek alphabet. Had there been a version of this inscription in alphabetic Greek, we would have been certain of an unequivocal, indisputable translation of the text on this silver spoon. As it stands, with the inscription appearing only in Linear C, we are left to our best devices. The translation you see here is my own interpretation, and is at least in part subject to dispute. As you can see, I have interpreted the verb as the Arcado-Cypriot aorist middle corresponding to the same tense of the Attic Greek verb, kathisteimi. I had serious problems interpreting the last word in the sentence, but I finally settled on what I suspect is probably the Arcado-Cypriot dative singular for the Attic name of the Muse, Clotho, the youngest of the three Fates or Moirai, the same who spun the thread of life: click to ENLARGE her image

Clotho by William Russell Smith 1880-1969 Scottish

Structural and Grammatical Considerations:

It is immediately obvious to anyone familiar with ancient Greek dialects contemporaneous with the 6th. century BCE Ionic and Attic, that Linear C had made huge strides over the much older Mycenaean Linear B syllabary. First off, the Linear C syllabary was from the outset in the 11th. century BCE, structurally much simpler than Linear B, having abandoned once and for all time all logograms and ideograms characteristic of both Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B. Linear C is simply a syllabary and nothing more. Grammatical Considerations: While we can be pretty much certain that the earliest Arcado-Cypriot documents in Linear C could not possibly have made use of the definite article, the typical later ancient Greek construction of a verb + ta (these things) in the neuter plural, the advanced dative singular with the definite article or the use of the definite article preceding names of gods and abstract words, all of these characteristics are firmly in place on this tablet, which was after all composed in the sixth century BCE, some 500 years after the first appearance of Linear C on the scene.

These developments are extremely significant. In the first place, even if we did not know the precise dating for this inscription, we would still know that it had to have been written no earlier than the sixth century BCE, since all of the grammatical elements we have flagged in the notes on the tablet above only appeared in ancient Greek (regardless of dialect) from that century onwards. The telltale signs for this dating are:

(a) Whereas in Mycenaean Linear B it is not possible to clearly identify the gender of the nominative singular for nouns which are either masculine or neuter, such is not the case in Linear C. All nouns of any gender end in “se” in the nominative singular.

(b) the use of the definite article twice in the same inscription. The definite article never appeared in early Greek writings, not even in the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer.

(c) Radically unlike texts on in Mycenaean Linear B, inscriptions in latter-day Linear C not only sported the definite article, but made frequent use of the typical Ionic-Attic verbal construction of a verb (in any tense) + the definite article in the neuter plural (ta) to denote abstract constructions, i.e. abstract thought. Abstractions are almost totally absent from Mycenaean Linear B tablets.

(d) Finally, the dative singular, again used with the definite article for the names of gods & goddesses, city names and the like, was a huge leap forward from equivalent constructions in the dative singular on tablets in Mycenaean Linear C, where it is often difficult at best even to identify the dative singular, let alone distinguish it from the nominative singular. The same holds true for the nominative and dative plural, and indeed for all the cases. It is easy to isolate cases in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, not only because the syllabary clearly demarcates them, but also because the definite article frequently appears in all cases. The same can scarcely be said of tablets or inscriptions in Mycenaean Linear B, in which the cases are all too often ambiguous, making it difficult to determine which is subject, which is direct and which is indirect object. Note that in the last instance of the dative singular on the silver spoon, I have translate the Greek for – the = + the feminine dative sing. of the number one as: for the one and only, because – miai – uncharacteristically follows the noun, i.e. the name of the muse, Clotho, adding extra emphasis to it.  Although she is only one of the three Fates or Moiroi, she is in her own right the one and only of her kind. An earlier translation of this tablet which I found on the Internet tells us that the dedication is to the Golgian goddess, whoever that is supposed to be. Yet my own translation makes much more sense, given the century in which this inscription was composed, the 6th. cent. BCE, when the Three Fates or Moiroi were familiar fare to Greeks everywhere.      

The only case which is clearly demarcated in Linear B is the genitive, which appears as “oyo” in the masculine singular, “oya” in the feminine singular & “isi” in the plural. Otherwise, we are left to our own devices. The same cannot be said of inscriptions in Linear C, unless they are very early. There is only one such inscription that I know of, which I have already translated, dating from the eleventh century BCE. The Profound Implications of Cross-Correlation of Equivalent Vocabulary in Mycenaean Greek Arcado-Cypriot: All other extant inscriptions in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C date from the sixth to the fourth centuries BCE. Of these, the extremely long Idalion Tablet, an official decree, leaves little or no room for doubt with respect to the grammatical clarity or the vocabulary of documents written in the Arcado-Cypriot dialect. The vocabulary of such inscriptions cannot be in doubt in those instances where the inscription exists both in Linear C and in the Arcado-Cypriot alphabet, as is the case with the Idalion tablet. The vocabulary on that tablet cannot be interpreted as meaning anything other than what it says in the alphabetic version, leaving no room for alternative interpretations in the Linear C version.

This fact alone has immense implications for tablets and inscriptions in Mycenaean Linear B, on which there appears any word which has an exact or nearly equivalent Linear C version. In such cases, the meaning of the Mycenaean word equivalent to its Arcado-Cypriot counterpart is relatively fixed, once and for all. Once put into practical application, this development will have a profound impact on the interpretation of many Mycenaean words which have (near) exact equivalents in Arcado-Cypriot, leaving little or no room for interpretations of their meanings, and effectively invalidating such interpretations where they clearly clash with their Arcado-Cypriot equivalents, either in Linear C or in the Arcado-Cypriot Greek alphabet. Recall that these two dialects are far more closely related than any other ancient Greek dialects, even the Ionic and Attic. Once you know and accept this fact, it becomes next to impossible to deny the evidence of Arcado-Cypriot words for which there are (exact) equivalents in Mycenaean Linear B. We intend to carry this hypothesis to its logical terminus, settling once and for all at least some of the disputes that have occurred over the “meanings” of a number of Mycenaean Greek words since the decipherment of the syllabary by the genius, Michael Ventris, in 1952-1953. Any word which says what it clearly says in Linear C or in the Arcado-Cypriot alphabet must almost certainly mean (almost) precisely the same thing in Mycenaean Greek. A rose is a rose is a rose.

Richard 

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