Tag Archive: prayers



winter haiku d’hiver – our family’s fête = dîner de famille

our family’s fête,
our menorah, our blessing  –
Yahweh is silence

menorah

dîner de famille,
la menorah nous bénit  –
Yavé est silence

Richard Vallance



CRITICAL POST! The 4 major tenses of the derived (D) optative mood of thematic verbs in Mycenaean Linear B:

Here is the paradigm of the 4 major tenses of the optative mood in Mycenaean Linear B, based on the derived (D) template verb, naie (ancient Greek, naiein) = to dwell in, inhabit:

paradigm-of-the-optative-mood-in-linear-b

Note that we have provided two examples of derivative (D) sentences in this table of the paradigms for the 4 tenses of the optative mood in Mycenaean Linear B and ancient Greek in order to facilitate a better understanding of its functionality.

As can be seen from the table above, there are only 4 primary tenses for the optative mood of thematic (and indeed for athematic) verbs in Mycenaean Linear B, as well as in ancient Greek. These are:

the optative present
the optative future
the optative aorist (or simple past)
the optative perfect

There is no optative imperfect. It is a contradiction in terms. How is it possible that something was in fact happening, kept on happening or used to happen, when it is readily apparent that the optative mood always runs contrary to reality. The optative mood only and always refers to potentialities or possibilities, never to actual situations, which of course strictly call for the indicative mood. 

The optative mood has no equivalent whatsoever in any modern Centum or Occidental language, including modern Greek. It lapsed out of use before the advent of modern Greek. The optative mood sometimes plays a similar role to the subjunctive mood in ancient Greek, but by no means always. As a matter of course, we shall not be deriving a table of the tenses of the subjunctive mood in Mycenaean Linear B, for two conclusive reasons:
1. The subjunctive mood occurs nowhere on any Linear B tablets, i.e. it is not attested, or so it would seem so... because...
2. The subjunctive mood is virtually indistinguishable from the active in Mycenaean Linear B, whether or not we are dealing with thematic or athematic verbs, for the simple reason that Mycenaean Linear B cannot distinguish between short and long vowels. In other words, while ancient Greek allows for the subjunctive mood, which calls for the lengthening of the vowel in any person of the present tense, this is impossible in Mycenaean Linear B.

So there would simply be no point in attempting to reconstruct a mood which could not even be observed on Mycenaean Linear B tablets, even it were present. But it never is to be found on any extant tablet, i.e. it is nowhere attested (A), because Mycenaean Linear B tablets almost exclusively deal with inventories, which are by nature factual, thereby automatically calling for the indicative, and precluding the subjunctive.

It may seem counter-intuitive to find the optative on at least one Linear B tablet, but there is a tenable explanation for this phenomenon. Since the tablet in question deals with religious matters, it makes sense for the optative to be present. For instance, it is possible to say in Mycenaean Linear B,

May we all worship the Goddess of the Winds.
-or-
If only they believed in the gods!

These sentences make perfect sense in Mycenaean Greek.

But this still leaves us with the burning question, what on earth is the optative mood?

This is no easy question to answer. But I shall do my level best. To begin with, it is highly expedient to consult the Wikipedia article on the optative mood in ancient Greek:

wikipedia-optative-ancient-greek

since doing so will expedite your understanding of the functions of the optative. Essentially, these are as follows:

1. to express a wish on behalf of the welfare of someone, e.g.:

May you be happy.
May you live long and be prosperous.

2. to express the wish or hope,... if only (which is contrary to reality, as it never happened anyway, no matter how much or how dearly one might have wished it had happened), e.g.:

If only the Mycenaeans had not conquered Knossos.
If only Donald Trump had not won the U.S. Election! (Fat chance of that!)

3. The potential optative expresses something that would or could happen in a hypothetical situation in the future, e.g.

I wouldnt be surprised if the fortress of Mycenae were to fall in the next few years.
I wouldnt be surprised if Donald Trump were impeached. (Good luck for that one!)

4. Potential in the aorist or the past tense, e.g.     

The king of Knossos fled the city for fear that he might be caught and imprisoned.

5. For purpose clauses in past time, the optative can follow the conjunction so that:

The king has brought us all together so that we might discuss the situation regarding the possibility of an outbreak of war.

6. After verbs expressing fear: 

I was afraid that he had gone out of his mind.

7. for formal benedictions or prayers (primarily in the New Testament), e.g.:

May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
May the Lord grant you mercy.

There are even more uses of the optative, but I do not wish to belabour the point. Suffice it to say, this mood is extremely flexible in ancient Greek. It always references actions or situations contrary to reality. It is often quite difficult for us in this present day and age to really get a grip on the various functionalities of the optative tense in ancient Greek, but get a grip we must if we are ever to really, clearly grasp what ancient Greek sentences relying on the optative actually mean, once we have embarked on that most challenging of journeys, to learn ancient Greek, to easy matter, let me tell you from personal experience.

The famous Serenity Prayer!


The famous Serenity Prayer!

serenity-prayer

 

 


Orlando, Florida, 12062016, worst massacre in U.S. History!

Prayers for Orlando
orlando c

I woke up this morning to see on TV that, once again, another horrific massacre has occurred in the U.S. In a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, just this past night, 50 people were brutally massacred, and 53 more injured, some critically or seriously. This time it was a Muslim gunman with Isis sympathies. That is frightening in itself. France, Brussels, Spain, the U.K., the U.S.A., over and over and over again. Will this ever end? The answer is a flat out NO. Violent religious fundamentalists have always existed throughout history. In the USA, there was the disgusting Klu Klux Klan in the mid-twentieth century. Now it is Muslim extremists all over the world. But even worse is the fact that in the USA, regardless of a shooter’s motive, religious, hateful or otherwise, it is far too easy for anyone in the USA to obtain guns and deadly assault weapons, and that is the prime reason why such violence will NEVER end there. If anyone thinks that gun control laws, even the weakest, will ever come into effect in that country, he or she is delusional. It will NEVER happen, any more than the vicious terrorism will ever end in the Middle East. God save our souls from ourselves. 

orlando massacre a
orlando b

In Memoriam Aeternam Corporal Nathan Cirillo, shot to death 9:52 a.m., Oct. 22 2014 (in Linear B, ancient Greek, Latin, French & English): Click to ENLARGE:

in memoriam Corporal Nathan Cirillo
Yesterday, at 9:52 a.m. a crazed madman stylizing himself as a “jihadist”, a despicable word if ever there was, fired two rounds from a high powered rifle into the back of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Memorial in our lovely city, Ottawa, the Capital of Canada. The killer then drove in a stolen car straight over to the House of Commons, rushed through the front doors of Parliament, and fired at least 30 shots in the main corridor leading to the Library of Parliament, before being shot to death by the Sargent at Arms, Kevin Vickers. Fortunately, the Members of Parliament were all in caucus at that time. Had the shooter arrived only an hour later, when the corridors were full of M.P.s and other people, the death toll would have been horrendous, in this, the first terrorist attack ever directly on the seat of government in any nation.

The shock waves that ran through Canada and all around the world were instantaneous and horrifying. As a devout Canadian, I was so stunned, and then enraged yesterday that even today I cannot get over this brutal act of violence. Shame on radical Muslims, shame on Daesh! You are the very antithesis of civilized people; you are barbaric monsters. We will never forget what you have done to our peaceful nation, and you shall never live this down, so help us God.

Please note that I tweeted this eulogy to all of the TV networks above.

Richard 


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