Tag Archive: lilies



Haiku in Minoan Linear A: the Prince of Lilies, a rose:

haiku linear a prince of lilies

 


Exquisite golden pin Zf 1 (Ayios Nikolaos Museum) fully deciphered in New Minoan: 

golden floral pin Linear A Zf 1 inscription Ayios Nikolaos Museum Crete in derived Mycenaean

Minoan Lilies Akrotiri and pancratium maritmum

This inscription, which appears to be entirely in Mycenaean derived New Minoan, is one of the loveliest I have ever come across, whether in Minoan or Mycenaean. There are similar inscriptions on Linear B tablets from Phaistos. The text waxes almost poetic and is quintessentially suited to the magnificent craftsmanship of this exquisite golden pin. The text in its entirety is utterly coherent, and is probably spot on. The syntax of the Greek had to be adjusted to meet the grammatical exigencies of the Minoan language. This explains the anomaly of qakisenuti, which is probably Minoan instrumental, hence “with (fine) craftsmanship”. And the craftsmanship is certainly that!

This decipherment lends greater credence than I had previously imagined to the distinct probability that at least a few Minoan inscriptions were in fact written entirely in Mycenaean derived proto-Greek with the syntax adjusted to the requirements of the Minoan language. I have already fully addressed this phenomenon in a previous post, which I urge you to reread, in order to place this decipherment in its proper perspective. You can read that post here:

Partial decipherment of Partial decipherment of Linear A tablet ZA 15 (Zakros) and the phenomenon of orthographic adjustment of superstratum words in the substratum language:

https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/2017/05/06/partial-decipherment-of-linear-a-tablet-za-15-zakros-and-the-phenomenon-of-orthographic-adjustment-of-superstratum-words-in-the-substratum-language/

I am therefore finally convinced that decipherment of Mycenaean derived New Minoan is an eminently attainable goal.


Displays of exquisite Minoan-Mycenaean jewellery # 3 as a prelude to the stunning gold pin from the Ayia Nikolaos Museum:

All of these displays illustrate just how exquisite Minoan-Mycenaean craftsmanship was.

Flower rosette Mycenaean gold necklace

Gold and rock crystal necklace beads from Agia Triada, Late Minoan I period

MINOAN GOLD AND GLAS NECKLACE LM century BCE length

 


Displays of exquisite Minoan-Mycenaean jewellery # 2 as a prelude to the stunning gold pin from the Ayia Nikolaos Museum:

All of these displays illustrate just how exquisite Minoan-Mycenaean craftsmanship was.

jewelry of gold, amethyst, faience, silv

Mycenaean gold necklace 1300 BC

golden-jewellery-from-mochlos-2600-1900-bce


Displays of exquisite Minoan-Mycenaean jewellery # 1 as a prelude to the stunning gold pin from the Ayia Nikolaos Museum:

British Museum The Aegina Treasure

Antique Sterling Minoan Prince of Lilies Silver Seal Ring

florali early Minoan gold flowers ~ c2300 B.C.

 


10 Mycenaean Linear B & Minoan Linear A words for plants & spices (grand total = 27):

Linear B and Linear A plants and spices

This chart lists 10 Mycenaean Linear B & Minoan Linear A words for plants & spices, with the Linear B in the left column, its Minoan Linear A in the middle column, and the English translation in the right column. It should be noted that I had to come up with a few Mycenaean Linear B words for plants on my own, because they are nowhere attested on Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance. Nevertheless, the spellings I have attributed to these words are probably correct. See the chart above. While most Mycenaean Linear B words and their Minoan Linear A words are equivalent, some are quite unalike. For instance, we have serino for celery in Mycenaean Greek and sedina in Minoan, and kitano in Mycenaean Greek versus tarawita in Minoan. There is a critical distinction to be made between Minoan Linear A kuruku, which means crocus, from which saffron is derived, and kanako, its diminutive, referring to its derivative, saffron,  which is identical in form and meaning to its Mycenaean Linear B counterpart. The ultimate termination U in Minoan Linear A always refers to larger objects. Hence, kuruku must mean “crocus” while its diminutive, kanako, means “saffron”, just as in Mycenaean Greek. This latter discovery is my own.

I wish to emphasize as strongly as I can that I did not decipher these words in Minoan Linear A. Previous researchers were able to do so by the process of regressive extrapolation in most of the cases. Regressive extrapolation is the process whereby later words in a known language, in this case Mycenaean Greek, are regressively extrapolated to what philologists consider to have been their earlier equivalents in a more ancient language, in this case, the Minoan language, which is the best candidate which can be readily twinned with Mycenaean  Greek. The primary reason why all of these words can be matched up (relatively) closely in the Minoan language and in Mycenaean Greek is that they are all pre-Indo-European. In other words, Mycenaean Greek inherited most of the words you see in this chart from the Minoan language. It is understood that these words are not Greek words at all, not even in Mycenaean Greek. Almost all  of them survived into classical Greek, and are still in use in modern languages. For instance, in English, we have: cedar, celery, cypress, dittany, lily & olive oil, all of which can be traced back as far as the Minoan language (ca. 3,800 – 3,500 BCE), or some 5,800 years ago.

It is to be noted, however, that I am the first philologist to have ever written out these words in both the Linear A and Linear B syllabaries.

This brings the total number of Minoan Linear A words we have deciphered to at least 27.


The beautiful “Prince of Lilies” Fresco, Knossos, showing his belt = ZONE:

KN 433 R w 11 ZO

The Prince of Lilies Knossos with his belt

This stunning fresco from the Late Minoan IIIb Palace at Knossos (ca. 1450 BCE) shows us the famous so-called “Prince of Lilies” wearing his beautiful azure belt.  Note that the supersyllabogram, the single syllabogram ZO, is the first syllable of the Linear B word zone, which is equivalent to its ancient Greek counterpart as illustrated on the tablet and on the fresco. This is the one and only tablet in the entire Linear B repertoire on which this SSYL appears, but I am quite convinced that it means what I take it to mean, i.e. a belt.


The Prince of Lilies (Sonnet)

Prince of Lilies fresco Knossos

(Knossos Fresco 1500 BCE)

yZn ,<V wanaka kirino #a&nac xri&nwn

Lilies at his feet, lilies in his hands,

the Prince of Lilies casts his sortilège.

proceeds with friends, with loved ones and his bands

of cuirassiers, and their white manège.

His loin cloth purled in alabaster folds,

a lily chaplet crowns his onyx hair,

a peacock feather glistening with golds

and azures in the fragrant air.

In sea green silk soigné for Royalty,

this way he casts and that his princely glance

the bridegroom incarnates for all to see,

before they commence the epipthalamic dance.

To come and wed his modest virgin bride,

her fine illumined grace he’ll take in stride.

Richard Vallance © 2015

Sonnet revised, previously published in

Sonnetto Poesia, ISSN 1705-4524, pg. 15. Vol. 6 No. 2, spring 2007

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