Tag Archive: Michael



The Archangel Michael Defeating Satan by Guido Reni (1635) L’archange Michel et la défaite de Satan

in Mycenaean Linear B – en  en linéaire B mycénienne: Click to ENLARGE = cliquer pour ÉLARGIR :

the-archangel-michael-defeating-satan-1635

Ode to the Archangel Michael = Ode à l’Archange Michel: Click to ENLARGE = Cliquer pour ÉLARGIR :

Ode to the Archangel Michael a l-archange Michel

As far as I am concerned, the French version of the original Ode in Mycenaean Greek is more successful and more convincing than the English.

Franchement et à mon avis, la traduction du texte intégral de l’Ode en grec mycénien est plus réussi, donc plus convaincant que celle en anglais.     

Richard


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


The Archangel Michael in Mycenaean Linear B, Ancient Greek, English & French: Click to ENLARGE

The Archangel Michael

I found this stunning painting of The Archangel Michael on the Internet, and I could not resist posting it here on our blog, with his name emblazoned in in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient New Testament or Koine Greek, English & French. The problem with the Mycenaean Linear B text is that you cannot say Archangel, and so I wrote his name as Mikaro akero ouranoyo, which literally means, “Michael, the messenger of the sky” or “Michael, the messenger of heaven”, where akero = messenger (nominative sing.) & ouranoyo = of heaven (archaic Greek genitive sing., also often found in Homer, the Iliad, especially in Iliad II, The Catalogue of Ships). After all, the Mycenaean Linear B meaning of akero was “messenger”. And when you come right down to it, that is what it literally means in the New Testament as well. The word “Michael” is not Greek at all, but Hebrew, here translated into Greek. “Michael” in Hebrew means, “who is like God”, and who is referred to only three times in the Old Testament, always in the Book of Daniel, where he is called “Prince of the First Rank” as follows:

10:21
... but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. 

12:1

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.

How beautiful are the feet of those who walk with God.

Perhaps you can guess who my angel, or more to the point, my patron saint is. Yes, you are right. He is none other than Michael Ventris. How strange & wonderful that his name is the same as that of the Archangel! 

my patron saint Michael Ventris
How astonishing! I just realized that I am posting this beautiful image of the Archangel Michael on the 23rd. anniversary of my recovery from alcoholism, March 25, 1992. Although I have not attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for 18 years now, I credit AA for bringing me around to my first real experiences with God, though it has been a slow and slogging path towards his grace, at least until this year, when He suddenly burst in on my soul, and has illuminated me with His Light since then.

Matthew 5:14-16
14: You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.
15: No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a light is put on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.
16: In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
(NLT: New Living Translation)


Richard

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