Tag Archive: literature



Minoan Linear A poetic vocabulary (11 pages):

goddesses on signet Minoan prince saffron goddess

Thematic:

Agriculture/crops:

adara/adaro/adaru = having to do with the measurement of grain crops 
ade/adu = large unit of measurement for grains, something like bales?
adureza = dry unit of measurement, usually for grains
akara/akaru a1kra (arch. acc.) - or - = end, border + akaru a0gro/j = field

akiro a1kairoj = not in season, unseasonable -or- a1grioj = living in the fields; uncultivated, unreclaimed

amaja a3maca= wagon
arura a0rou/ra = unit of land -or- plough Cf. Linear B arura 
arudara a1lutra <- a1lutron = threshing instrument (arch. acc.) 
asesina = sowing or harvesting
asadaka a1staxa (arch. acc.) <- a1staxu (Minoan nom. sing.)= ear of corn
Asara2 TOP = Linear B Asaro A0sa/roj -or- may refer to Assur, hence Assyria -or- asara2 (asarai) = without flax
atare a0ta=lei/ <- a0ta=lo/j = tender; delicate (of crops?) -or- a0qa/lei <- a0qa/loj = without a branch, twig; without an olive branch -or- a9dro/j = full-grown – or – a0qa/rh = groats, meal, green fodder, forage, provender Cf. kupari = galingale
atiru a0te/lu <- a0te/loj = without boundaries 
dame/dami/daminu OM dame = a type of grain -or-  da/mei = in the village
data2 (datai) = olive
datu = olive tree 
dideru = einkorn wheat Cf. Linear B didero
durare = a type of grain, durum wheat?
dureza/durezase = unit of dry measurement? (variation of: adureza?)
ero e0llo/j = young deer, fawn 
etori e1tori <- e1toj = for a year 
itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil? (exact value unknown)
kami ka/mi (dat./instr. sing.) <- ka/ma = (on a) unit of land Cf. Linear B ka/ma 
kasaru = surviving? (drought)
kasitero kasite/loj = boundary of...?
kikadi = cicada (cricket) 
kireta2 (kiretai) kri/qai = barley
kiretana kriqani/aj = like barley, barley (attributive)
kiro/kirisi/kiru = owed Cf. Linear B oporo = they owed
kunisu = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu) 
madi = a ram? (probably, because it appears to be masculine and is used in conjunction with the ideogram for sheep 
maru/maruku/maruri mallo/j = flock of wool Cf. Linear B mali mali/ = wool 
meza me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj
minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) = type of grain – or – Mi/nute\ <- Mi/noste\ = and Minos
mireja mhle/a = apple tree -or- mh/leia (gen. sing.) = belonging to a sheep
miru mh=lon = a sheep or goat -or- mh1lon = apple, tree fruit 
mirutarare = sheep pen? -or- apple orchard?  
naka na/ka (arch. acc) <- na/koj = sheep’s fleece    
nea ne/a = new Cf. Linear B ne/#a = new                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi =  millet -or- spelt 
pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai  (+ ideogram for wheat”) = a kind of grain similar to wheat
paja/pajai/pajare = contracted, indentured, hired?
para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc.
pasarija = pa=sa + rija = all-encompassing, international? 
pura2 = a type of grain 
qanuma = a type of grain
qareto = lease field? Cf. Linear B onato
qaqisenuti xalkei/a=senuti = with bronze craftsmanship 
qera2u/qera2wa = a type of grain, probably millet or spelt
qeria = probably millet or spelt
reza = standard unit of linear measurement
rima lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts  (dative/instrumental plural) 
ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase lu=matase <- lu=ma = offscourings from grain, i.e chaff
sara2 (sarai)/sarara/saru = flax
saro/saru/sarutu sa/ron = broom, threshing floor
sato sa/ton = Hebrew unit of measurement.
sedina = celery Cf. Linear B serino se/linon
seikama = seika/ma = a unit of land dedicated to a/the goddess
setamaru  = something to do with wool/spun wool?
sika  shka/ (arch. acc.) <- shko/j = fold, enclosure; (sheep) pen; sacred precinct, shrine = <- zhka/zw = to pen in Cf. Linear B periqoro peri/boloj = sheep pen 
Sikine TOP loc. sing. of Sikinos -or- OM = a type of grain
simita = mouse (arch. acc.) simito/simitu PGS  = zmi/nqoj mouse 
sitetu See situ below
situ si/tu si/tun = wheat Cf. Linear B sito si/ton 
suniku (common) su/noiku <- su/noikoj  living together, joint inhabitant,  dweller
suzu su/zuc = yoked together; paired Cf. Linear B zeukesi zeu/gesi = yoked (instr. pl.)
taikama taika/ma = a unit of land, something like an acre?
ta2re/ta2reki sta=rei<-  stai=j wheaten flour mixed into dough + tasise sta/sisei
tai2si (taisi) stai=sei <- stai=j = with wheaten flour mixed into a dough (instr. pl.)
teke/teki = small unit of measurement for wine @ 27 1/2 units per tereza
tereza = liquid unit of measurement
terikama te/leika/ma = extent of land, i.e. something like acreage, lit. land to its extent or boundary 
tero/teroa te/loj = end, boundary 
Tumitizase TOP -or- = linen Cf. Linear B rino li/non
udiriki u3driki <- u3droj = with water 
ukare = sowing or harvesting
Uminase TOP  Cf. Linear B Aminiso = harbour 
waja #ai/a = earth, land

Flowers/fruit/spices etc:

adakisika a0dakissi/ka = adorned with ivory
adoro a1doroj = receiving no gifts; unpaid; giving no gifts
akumina a0ku/mina = without cumin? (arch. acc.)
amawasi a3mai#asi = with violets
asidatoi a0si/datoi = without pomegranate (dat. sing.)
atade a1ttade = from father 
ditamana = dittany
dudama = a kind of fruit = dates? (found in context with figs)
ia i0a/  (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets/ija See i0a/ (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets (variation) 
kanaka kna/ka (arch. acc. of respect) = saffron Cf Linear B kanako kna/koj
kapa/kapaqe/kapate/kapi  karpa/ (arch. acc.) + karpa/te\ = fruit, and fruit, with fruit -or- kara 
kera/kero ke/raj = horn (ivory) -or- khr/oj = bees-wax Cf. Linear B kera
kikina = some kind of fruit, quite likely grapes (from context)
kireza = measurement of figs = 1 basket of figs carried on a shoulder
kitai/kitei = kestai/ kestei/ = embroidered (lit.), but in context = basketry, basket(s)
kupari ku/pairi (instr. sing.) <- ku/pairoj = marsh-plant used to feed horses, galingale or ginger
kuruku kro/koj = crocus, saffron
mera mela/j = black  - or – me/la (arch. accus.) = honey 
merasasaa/merasasaja (very common) = something to do with honey/ honeycomb or honey drink? 
meto mesto/j = full, filled
mireja mhle/a = apple tree -or- mh/leia (gen. sing.) = belonging to a sheep
miru mh=lon = a sheep or goat -or- mh1lon = apple, tree fruit 
mirutarare = sheep pen? -or- apple orchard? 
mita  mi/nqa = mint Cf. Linear B mita 
muru mu/ron = sweet oil extracted from plants; sweet oil; unguent; perfume Cf. Linear B musaja
nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nisai) OM = figs + ideogram = NI (in both Linear A & B)
oteja o1steia <- o1streia = oyster pigment; oyster purple Cf. Linear B otawero o1streioj 
para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc.
patane OM = lentils? (fem. pl.)
pimata PGS = pimento
pita/pitaja pista/kion = pistachio-nut 
pitakase/pitakesi pista/kesi = with pistachio-nuts (instr. pl.) 
punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson 
ra2ri (rairi) = lily 
rima = lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts  (dative/instrumental plural)
rimisi See above (instr. pl.) 
rosa = rose 
rosirasiro = rosebush? 
sasame sasa/me = sesame Cf. Linear B sasa/ma
sedina = celery Cf. Linear B serino se/linon
tuma/tumei/tumi qumi/a = incense
turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B tono qo/rnoj 
unana = penny royal?
uro ou0=loj = entire, total. Cf. kuro ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total
waja #ai/a = earth, land

Military:
ia i0a/  (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets/ija See i0a/ (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets (variation) 
ima i9ma/c = leather strap, thong; lash of a whip 
ira2 i1la=i = troops, companies, squadrons
kara kara/ = head Cf. Linear B kara(pi) kara/afi
kipisi ci/fisi <- ci/foj = with swords (instr. pl.) 
kito xitw/n = chiton Cf. Linear B kito
koiru koi/ru <- koi/roj = hollow (ships) 
koru ko/ruj = helmet Cf. Linear B koru
kuro/kurotu ku=roj = supreme power, authority & ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total Cf. Linear B tosa to/sa
kuto/kutu ku/toj = shield, cuirass
qaro ba=lo/j = threshold 
qero be/loj = arrow, dart
radu r9a/bdu <- r9a/bdoj = rod, switch; spear-staff or shaft
ra2ti (raiti) r9aisth/r = a hammer, crusher
sama/samaro sama/ro = burial ground Cf. Linear B Sama/ra sama/ra = place name -or- monument -or- grave mound OR sa/meron = today
sere -or- rese seirei/ <- seira/ = with a cord or rope (instrumental sing.)
tarasa = sea Cf. Linear B tarasa qa/lassa
toraka qw/rac  = breastplate, cuirass = Linear B toraka
toro tau/roj = bull -or- qolo/j = dome or circular vault; vaulted building
zuma zw=ma girdle, belt; girded tunic

Pottery/vessels:

aresana a1leisana <- a1leison = an embossed cup (arch. acc.) = de/paj (Homeric) Cf. Linear B dipa/arisu  a1leisu <- a1leison = embossed cup 
daqera = a type of vase? 
darida = large vase, slightly smaller than a pithos
daropa = stirrup jar 
depa/depu de/paj de/pu (acc.?)= cup Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa
dipa3a (dipaia) di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup 
dipaja di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup (alternate?)
ipinama/ipinamina i0pneume/na (fem. sing.) = baked (bread)

itisapuko i1tija = round + pu/coj = box-wood -or- NMOM i1tija = round + puko = tripod = round tripod Cf. puko below

kadi kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine
kadusi ka/dusi <= ka/doj = with buckets or pails (instr. pl.) 
kairo kairo/j = due measure 
kaki/kaku xalku/ <- xalko/j = copper, bronze
kakunete = bronze alloy - or – crafted in bronze 
karopa2 (karopai) = kylix with 2 handles-or-   ka/rdoph = wooden vessel/vase
kataro ka/nqa=roj = scarab (Egyptian) + drinking cup
kera/kero ke/raj = horn (ivory) -or- khr/oj = bees-wax Cf. Linear B kera
meto mesto/j = full, filled
meza me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj
nere = larger amphora size (fem. plural) 
posa po/sa= (arch. acc.) <- poi/si=j = drink(ing), beverage -or- po/sa <- po/soj = how great, how much, of what value?  
posi -or- sipo posi/ = on, upon Cf. Linear B posi -or- sipo = si/fwn = reed, straw, siphon
puko= tripod Cf. Linear B pukoso pu/coj = box-wood. Apparently unrelated 
qapa3 (qapai)  = (large) handle-less vase or amphora
qapaja/qapajanai qapaja (genitive sing. of qapa3 (qapai))
qaqisenuti xalkei/a=senuti = with bronze craftsmanship
qedi = a flagon (for wine) 
qeti (instr. sing.)/qetiradu = a very large pot, pithos Cf. Linear B PGS qeto pi/qoj
supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) =small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo
supi/supu/supu2 = largest size pithos -or-   supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub = suropa = some kind of vase?
tisa = pottery worker/working on pottery/pottery wheel (tourney)

Religious:

ara a0ra/ = a prayer 
araju a0ra=u <- a0ra=oj = prayed for 
arati a0ra=ti/ <- a0ra/toj = with something unblessed Cf. makarite  below
atanate a0qa/na=te = with an immortal (instr. sing.) 
damate Da/mate = Damater Cf. Linear B Damate -or- da/matei = in the village 
dare da=lei/ <- da=lo/j = (with) a firebrand or torch/daro LIG  da=lo/j = firebrand
dewa -or- wide de/#a = goddess? 
dija/dije Di/ #a Cf. Linear B Diwija Di#i/a = priestess of Zeus
dumitatira2 (dumitatirai) = left or right side of a spindle? (or verso) 
dura2 dou/lai = slaves (fem.) Cf. Linear B doera doe/la 
esija e3sti/a = hearth of a house 
Idamate/Idamete  0Idama/te = Mother goddess of Mount Ida
Idarea  0Idar9ea = Rhea, goddess of Mount Ida 
ijate i0a/ter = doctor, physician Cf. Linear iyate  i0a/ter
iruja i0e/ruia = priestess Cf. Linear B iyereya i0e/reia
jamauti i1amauti = as a means of healing <- i1ama i1amatoj = healing, remedy
jarisapa  = some kind of dress? Cf. Linear B sapa
jasaja  0Ia=sai/a <-  0Ia=sw/ of/from the goddess of healing and health  
jasidara i0a=sida=la/ = healing torch/firebrand (arch. acc.) 
jate/jateo i0a=th/r = physician 
jatimane i0a=th/j mannei= = with the bread of healing  
mana/manapi (common) Hebrew manna= = (of spiritual food) bread from heaven, the supernatural food eaten by the Israelites in the desert  
maza/mazu  ma=za  = kneaded or unbaked bread, barley bread/cake
miturea mi/toj 9Re/a= thread of a warp for Rhea 
narepirea narepir9e/a = Rhea, goddess of the snake/ snake goddess?   
pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) = right of left side of a spindle? -or- verso  
qajo ba/i"on = a palm branch (Kafkania pebble)
ranatusu (agglutinative?) -or-  r9anatusu < - r9anti/zw = to cleanse, purify 
rani r9a=ni/j = anything sprinkled (as in a libation); rain drop See also ratise
ratise (ritise?) = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
rea r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
sea/sei se/a se/ei (dat. sing.) = snake goddess (from K. Bouzanis)
seikama= seika/ma = a unit of land dedicated to a/the goddess
taro tau=roj = bull
tejai qei/ai = goddesses
tuma/tumei/tumi qumi/a = incense
turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B tono qo/rnoj
wanaka = king 
wireu #i0eru/ <- #i0ero/j = priest Cf. Linear B iyero i0ero/j

Textiles:

arako a0ra/c = weaver Cf. Linear B arakateya a0laka/teiai = weavers

arakokuzu = weavers establishment?

Trees:

datu = olive tree
keda = cedar
kidapa = ash wood? (a type of wood) Appears only on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01
kidaro kidaro ke/dron = juniper berry-or- kedri/a = oil of cedar Cf. Linear B kidaro
kitanasija/kitanasijase kitanisija (gen. sing.) ki/rtanasia <- ki/rtanoj = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano ki/rtanoj 
tarawita = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano ki/rtanoj & timito ti/rminqoj 
tarina qalli/na (arch. acc.) <- qallo/j = a young shoot, twig; festive olive-branch 

Wine:

aka -or- kaa a0ska/ (arch. acc.) <- a0sko/j = leather bag, wine skin
apero a1mpeloj = a vine  Cf. Linear B apero 
kupazu kou/fazu <- kou/fazoj = light (of wine) 
kuqani = a type of (fine) wine
kuwa -or- waku ku/#a = girl Cf. Linear B kowa ko/#a – or – #a0sku/ <- #a0sko/j = leather bag or wineskin 
punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson 
qesizue (plural) = wine goblets? 
ratise (ritise?) = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
unaa oi0nai/a = wine vessel, wine jug, wine jar
winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado
winu #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono  #oi/noj
winumatari #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth


ONOTOP:

Adunitana 
Akanu/Akanuzati  OP A0rxa/nej = Archanes (Crete) 
Arenesidi 
Asasumaino
Asasumaise 
Asuja Cf Linear B Asiwiya A0si/#ia
Demirirema 
Dawa = place name Cf. LB dawo Da/#oj / Da/#on 
Dikate = Mount Dikte Cf. Linear B Dikatade Diktai/oj 
Dupu3re Cf. Linear B Dupu2razo Dupurai/zoj 
Ida/Idaa/Idada/Idapa3  = Mount Ida
Idunesi
Ikurina  
Inajapaqa
Itinisa = female resident of Itanos?
Izurinita
Kana/kanatiti/kanau Kanna
Kanijami Kaniamis (female name)?
Ketesunata
Kina Kinna
Kiso Kissos
Kosaiti Cf. Linear B Kutaito Ku/taistoj (not necessarily the same place) 
Masuja
Mekidi Megi/di <- Me/gaj = the Great
Mesenurutu
Midemidiu
Pamanuita
Raja/Raju  9Rai/a = Raia Cf. Linear B Raja 
rea PGS r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
Rujamime
Rukito
Seimasusaa 
Setoija 
Sewaude  
Sezanitao
Sikira/Sikirita 
Sima
Suria 
Tainaro 
Ta2rimarusi
Tejare TOP Cf. Linear B Tejaro qei/aroj = place of the gods?
Tita = Ti=ta/n
Uminase
Waduna 
Wadunimi 

Wasatomaro

Zadeu


LBK&M has just joined several major literary LinkedIn Groups!

LBK&M has just joined several major literary LinkedIn Groups! These are:

My LinkedIn Groups

And this is my welcoming message:

Hello from Richard Vallance Linear B, Knossos &amp; Mycenae

We expect to see many more visitors to Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae now that we have hooked up with so many great LinkedIn literary groups.


The Famous “Dolphin Fresco” at Knossos on Papyrus! Minoan Literature? Did any Exist?

Click to ENLARGE

Replica of the Dolphin Fresco Knossos on papyrus

Here you see a magnificent reproduction of the famous “Dolphin Fresco” at Knossos reprinted on Papyrus, which I purchased for the astonishing price of 10 euros while I was visiting the site on May 2, 2012. The colours on this papyrus version are so vibrant no photograph can fully do justice to them. Nevertheless, the photo turned out wonderfully, and if you would like to use it yourself, please feel free to do so. I even framed it to enhance it.

Papyrus in Minoan/Mycenaean Crete?

The very idea of reprinting one of the amazing Knossos frescoes onto papyrus may seem blasphemous to some, but certainly not to me. It raises the very astute question: did the Minoans, writing in Linear A or in Linear B, ever produce any literature as such? Consent is almost unanimous on the Internet and in print – No! They did not write any literature. But not so fast! It strikes me as peculiar - indeed very peculiar – that a civilization as advanced and sophisticated as that of Knossos, in both the Minoan Linear A eras (Middle Minoan – early Late Minoan) and in the Mycenaean Linear B era (Late Minoan), may very well have had a literature of its own, for these reasons, if none other:

(a) Creation Myths:

Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, the Hittites and other proto-literate civilizations, at least had a religious literature, whether or not it was composed on papyrus (as with Egypt), here at Wikipedia:

The sun rises over the circular mound of creation as goddesses pour out the primeval waters around it

Egyptian Creation Myth Sunrise_at_Creation 

or on baked clay tablets, as with the Babylonians, here:

The Enûma_Eliš Epic (Creation Myth) ca. 1,000 lines long on 7 tablets: 

Enûma_Eliš Creation Myth

Proemium:

When on high the heaven had not been named,
Firm ground below had not been called by name,
When primordial Apsu, their begetter,
And Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,
Their waters mingled as a single body,
No reed hut had sprung forth, no marshland had appeared,
None of the gods had been brought into being,
And none bore a name, and no destinies determined--
Then it was that the gods were formed in the midst of heaven.
Lahmu and Lahamu were brought forth, by name they were called.


the famous Sumerian Myth of Gilgamesh on 7 Tablets here:

Epic of Gilgamesh

and the Sumerian & Akkadian Myths, including that of Gilgamesh, here:

Akkadian Gilgamesh:

Akkadian cuneiform-gilgamesh

(b) The implications of the astounding achievements of the highly advanced Minoan Civilization for a putative literature of their own:

Just because the Minoans, writing in Linear A or in Linear B, left behind no literature as such on their administrative inventory tablets, does not necessarily mean that they never wrote any literature at all. That strikes me as bordering on nonsensical, since Knossos always had the closest economic and cultural ties with Egypt and with all of the other great civilizations contemporaneous with her. Egypt, above all, set great store on the inestimable value of Knossian, Minoan and Mycenaean artifacts such as gold, in which the Mycenaean artisans were especially gifted, lapis lazuli, of which the finest quality in the entire known world issued from Knossos; Minoan & Mycenaean pottery and wares, which again were of the most splendid designs; Minoan textiles and dyes, again the finest to be found, and on and on. In fact, the Minoans were rightly renowned as the among the very best dyers in the entire known world.

But why stop there? Why should such an obviously advanced civilization as the Minoan, with its understanding of the basic principles of hydraulics, quite beyond the ken of any other contemporary civilization, and with its utterly unique airy architecture, based on the the most elegant geometric principles, again quite unlike anything else to found in the then-known world, not have a literature of its own? To me, the idea seems almost preposterous.

(c) If the Minoans & Mycenaeans did write any literature, what medium would they most likely have used for it?

The question remains, if they did have a literature of their own, it too was most likely religious in nature. But on what medium would they have written it down? - certainly not on their minuscule tablets, as these were so tiny as to virtually exclude the composition of any religious literature such as that of the origin of mankind (very much in currency at that era in the other civilizations mentioned above). Again, the Minoan scribes writing in Linear B used their tiny tablets solely for ephemeral annual accounting and inventories. Still, I can hear some of you objecting, “But the Babylonians and other civilizations wrote down their creation myths on tablets!” Fair enough. Yet those tablets were larger, and they were deliberately baked to last as long as possible (and they have!), quite unlike the Minoan & Mycenaean ephemeral administrative tablets, which were never baked.  And, as if it isn’t obvious, one civilization is not necessary like another, not even in the same historical era. This is especially so when it comes to the Minoan civilization – and to a very large extent to its cousin, the Mycenaean, versus all others at the time, since clearly the socio-cultural, architectural and artistic defining characteristics of the former (Minoan/Mycenaean) were largely very much at odds with those of the latter, (Egypt, Babylon, Assyria etc.), much more ostentatious than the Minoans... except for one thing...

We are still left with the question of medium. If the Minoans, writing in Linear A and later in Linear B, did have a literature, and let us assume for the sake of argument that they did, which medium would they have used? Before I get right down to that, allow me to point out the Knossos was, as it were, the New York City of the Bronze Age, the metropolis at the very hub of all international trade and commerce on the Mediterranean Sea. All you need to do is look at any map of the Mediterranean, and you can see at a glance that Knossos was located smack dab in the centre of all trade routes to all other great civilizations of her day and age, as we quite clearly see on this composite map: Click to ENLARGE

Minoan Trade Routes 1600-1400 BCE

Is it any wonder that no-one was particularly bent on attacking her, or any other city on the island of Crete, such as Phaistos, since after all everyone everywhere strictly depended on Knossos as the very nexus of international trade? No wonder the city was never fortified. This pretty much how Knossos looked at her height: Click to ENLARGE

role-of-knossos-in-the-trojan-war-according-to-homer

No walls or fortifications of any kind in evidence! That alone is a very powerful indicator of the critical commercial value of Knossos as the very hub of international commerce in her era. But more than anywhere else, the archaeological evidence powerfully evinces a very close trade relationship between Knossos and Egypt, since Minoan jewelry, textiles, pottery and wares have shown up in considerable amounts – sometimes even hordes - in Egyptian archaeological sites. The Egyptians clearly placed extreme value on Minoan goods, as exquisitely crafted as they were. So what? - I hear you exclaim.

So what indeed. These major trading partners each must have had something to trade with the other that the other was in desperate need of. And in the case of Knossos and the Minoans, the Egyptian commodity they would probably have needed most of all would be, you have it, papyrus. The Cretan climate was not dry enough for them to produce it themselves. So they would have had to rely exclusively on Egypt for what was, after all, one of the most precious commodities of the entire Bronze Age.

If we accept this hypothesis – and I see no reason why we should not at least seriously entertain it – then the Minoans may very well have used papyrus and ink to record their religious literature. There is some evidence, however second-hand and circumstantial, that they may have composed religious texts, and possibly even a religious epic, on papyrus.

This evidence, although only secondary, if we are inclined to accept it as such – is the high incidence of the names of Minoan and Mycenaean deities and priestesses, and even of religious rites, on the Linear B accounting and inventory tablets from Pylos, over all other Minoan/Mycenaean sites. Why on earth even bother mentioning the names of so many gods so frequently on minuscule tablets otherwise dealing almost exclusively with anything as boring – yet naturally economically vital - as statistics and inventories of livestock, crops, military equipment, vases and pottery, and the like? There was nothing economically useful about religious rites or babbling on about deities. So why bother, unless it was a matter of real significance to the Minoans and Mycenaeans? But ostensibly, it was. Chuck economics, at least where religion is concerned, they apparently believed. This cannot come as any surprise in the ancient world, and of course, in the Bronze Age itself, where religions and superstitious beliefs were rampant, playing an enormous and absolutely essential rôle in virtually every civilization, every society, great or small. This composite of Minoan/Mycenaean deities, which were were found in droves on every single Minoan/Mycenaean site, makes this blatantly obvious: Click to ENLARGE 

Minoan goddesses TOP Mycenaean goddesses B

(d) The implications of a putative Minoan & Mycenaean military literature in The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad: 
  
Given this scenario, I am seriously inclined to believe that not only did the Minoan and Mycenaean scribes writing in Linear B (leaving Minoan Linear A aside for the time being) keep track of religious rites, and possibly even compose a creation myth of their own on papyrus, but that they may very well have also written down a stripped down written version of their oral military epic, their own story of the Trojan War, and if so, the most accurate version of the events of that war. Their original history of the Trojan war would have almost certainly been much more factual than the version of The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of The Iliad, which must have been derived from it, had it existed. This would go a long way to explaining why the Greek of The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of The Iliad is written in the most archaic, and the most-Mycenaean like Greek in the entire Iliad – not to say that Mycenaean Greek does not appear elsewhere in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, because, surprise, surprise, it most certainly does.  

There is one passage in The Catalogue of Ships which really brings this sort of scenario to the fore. I refer specifically to lines 645-652, which read as follows in the original Greek and in my translation: Click to ENLARGE

Iliad II Catalogue of Ships Role of Knossos and Crete in the Trojan Wariliad-2-615-652 (1)

It is passingly strange that Homer bluntly states, in no uncertain terms, that Knossos and Crete were major contributors to the Achaean fleet in the Trojan War, since everyone these days, archaeologists and literati alike, assume without question that Knossos fell long before the Trojan War (ca. 1450-1425 BCE). So who is right?  Homer? - us? -anyone? How on earth can we resolve the blatant discrepancy? We cannot, nor shall we ever. But the fact remains that this extremely important passage in The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of The Iliad leaves me quite unsettled. Since Homer is obviously convinced that Knossos and some 100(!) Cretan cities did figure prominently in the Trojan War, where on earth did he get his information from? I for one believe it is quite conceivable that rewrites on papyrus of some Minoan documents from Knossos and possibly even Phaistos may still have been in existence when Homer wrote the Iliad, or that at least stories of their prior existence were still in circulation. If you think correlatively as I always do, this hypothesis cannot simply be dismissed out of hand.

For my in-depth discussion of this very important question, please refer to this post:

RipleyBelieveitorNot Knossos in the Trojan War

(e) If the Minoans and Mycenaeans wrote some sort of religious and/military literature of their own on papyrus, there is absolutely no evidence that they did! 

This leaves us with only one final consideration. If the Minoans and Mycenaeans actually did compose documents on papyrus, where are they all? The answer to that stares us in the face. While the scribes would have taken great pains to assiduously preserve documents on papyrus in dry storage while the city of Knossos was still flourishing, these same documents would all have rotted away entirely and in no time flat, once Knossos and the Minoan civilization had collapsed. Crete was not Egypt. Egypt’s climate was bone dry; the climate of Crete was, and still is, Mediterranean. Ergo, the whole argument against the Minoans and Mycenaeans ever having had a literature of their own, composed on papyrus scrolls is de natura sua tautological, as is the argument they did. 50/50. Take your choice. But since I am never one to leave no stone unturned, I much prefer the latter scenario.

NOTE: This post took me over 8 (!) hours to compile. So I would appreciate if at least some of you would tag it LIKE, comment on it, or better still, reblog it!
For all the intense work Rita and I put into this great blog of ours, it often shocks me that so few people seem to take much interest in some of our most compelling posts. I am merely letting you know how I feel. Thanks so much. 


Richard

  

jackdempseywriter

Just another WordPress.com site

Learning to write

Just your average PhD student using the internet to enhance their CV

Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae

Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae

Reowr

Poetry that purrs. It's reowr because the cat said so.

Egyptian Moon ~My love of Ancient Egypt~

Hieroglyphic,Ancientegypt,archaeology

Eris' Smile

I'm a reconstructionist-ish Hellenic Polytheist/Pagan. My pronouns are they/them, and I am gay as hell. I mostly intend to write about paganism, politics and maybe Shinto sometimes.

CrapPile

A blog about writing, society, and life itself

Super Sleep Heavy

For times when sleep don't come easy

bal837

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Santorini Tours

Private Tours in Santorini

Duplicate My Success

How to be successful in internet marketing.

A Geordie Lost in London

How to live the London life, on a Northern budget

Penelope Burns

Write | Blog | Create | Earn

Gleaning The Scriptures

The Savior Lives To Teach.

Macedonian Ancestry

"I thank the gods for being Greek" - Alexander the Great

THE GEOPOLITICAL CHESS GAME

Geopolitics - The Road To Global Ruin * Γεωπολιτική - Ο Δρόμος Προς Παγκόσμια Καταστροφή

Care, Bliss and the Universe

Life, the Universe and Yourself

alexankarrbooks

licensed to cunt

William Rubel

The Magic of Fire : Traditional Foodways

Albania -ilire- Pellazgët

GJUHA SHQIPE_ETIMOLOGJI

anne frandi-coory

A Life in Two Halves

Traditional Polytheist

A site devoted to the study and discussion of ethnic and traditional polytheism throughout the world, in regard to its nature, history, and present standing in general.

Rilkes Panther

fictional stories and social commentary

LAZYBUTHEALTHY

Easy healthy recipes for lazy busy people

The Whirling Bee

Reality has no walls, no edges - a journey in altered states of consciousness

SV3DPRINTER

The future of humanity with science and technology research based on 3D, 4D, and 5D Printing. With sv3dprinter.com, small businesses can thrive:)

Diary of a Pagan Art Student

History, folklore, art, paganism

CreyenteAarav

Celebrating Poetry.

O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

Minha maneira de ver, falar, ouvir e pensar o mundo... se quiser, venha comigo...

blog bangla mail

Welcome My Site

GIRLS16@LUND

4th Lund Conference on Games, Interaction, Reasoning, Learning and Semantics

Site Title

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” — Maya Angelou

When Women Inspire

Female empowerment | Inspiring women to success

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Yahuah Is Everything

My blogs on The Bible and the true name of God Yahuah and His Son,Yahusha,

Musings on History

Teacher looking at Ancient History and Gothic Literature in an historical context mainly.

The Deadliest Blogger: Military History Page

The historical writing of Barry C. Jacobsen

THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES

Artistic Reconstruction and Original Translation From Homer's "Iliad" by Kathleen Vail

Akhelas Writing

The Myriad Musings of Austin Conrad

%d bloggers like this: