Tag Archive: sea


summer haiku d’été – orcas = orques


summer haiku d’été – orcas = orques

orcas dying off
in yet another straight  –
we’ve done it again!

orcas 620

les orques meurent
dans un autre détroit –
nous, les meurtriers !

Richard Vallance

The orcas, of which only 74 are left in the wild, are facing extinction. We have only to blame ourselves for this horrific mess.  Once again, we humans, being as destructive as we so often are, are killing off one species after another, including elephants, rhinoceres, wolverines and polar bears, to name but a few.

Les orques, dont seulement 74 existent encore à l’état sauvage, sont menacés d’extinction. Cette situation grave est sans doute de notre faute. Encore une fois, nous autres, les humains destructifs, tuent tant d’espèces, y inclus les éléphants, les rhinocéros, les carcajous et les ours polaires, parmi autant d’autres.



Summer haiku - Knossos by the sea = Knossos au bord de la mer in Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French

haiku-konoso-para-tarasa-anemoiyereya-f

Konoso
para tarasa
anemoiereya 

Knwsso/j
para_ qa&ssash]
a21nemou i'e/ria

Knossos 
by the sea
Priestess of the winds

Knossos
au bord de la mer
prêtresse des vents

Richard Vallance



spring haiku de printemps – lemmings leaping = les lemmings qui bondissent

lemmings leaping
off a cliff into the sea -
sheer lunacy?

lemmings haiku 620

les lemmings qui bondissent
d’une falaise dans la mer -
folie flagrante ?

Richard Vallance

I am astounded that no-one seems to get the pun in this funny little haiku and that no-one likes it.


poème par Louis-Dominique Genest dévoué à la chère mémoire de Daisy, 2003-2015
poem by Louis-Dominique Genest dedicated in loving memory of Daisy, 2003-2015

Adieu petite écaille de tortue.
Tu es morte dans la baignoire
comme pour retourner à l'eau,
à la mer originelle
et aller te souder à l'éternité. 

poem for Daisy by Louis-Dominique Genest 620

English translation:

Adieu little tortoiseshell.
You died in the bathtub
as though returning to water,
to the primeval sea
where you have married yourself to eternity.

Louis-Dominique Genest
le 28 décembre December 28 2018



summer haiku d’été – cormorant diving for fish = cormoran qui plonge 

cormorant
diving for fish –
on target... or not

cormorant haiku

cormoran
qui plonge aux poissons –
il trouve sa cible

Richard Vallance Janke
 


Linear A haiku: the hollow ships on the vermilion sea:

Linear A haiku hollow ships on the vermilion sea

 

 

Linear A haiku: the sea emmer wheat raindrops


Linear A haiku: the sea emmer wheat raindrops:

Believe it or not, I was also able to compose a haiku in Linear A, which reads as follows,

Linear A haiku tarasa kunisu rani

Note that while the word for sea, tarasa, does not appear on any extant Linear A tablets or fragments, it does appear in the pre-Greek substratum, and may very well have existed in the Minoan vernacular. 


 


Mandala and Mycenaean haiku: the sea, the circle of heaven, the sun:

Mandala the circle of heaven Mycenaean haku the sea the circle of heaven the sun

I found this astonishingly beautiful mandala on the Twitter account of my friend, Marie Marshall, who is an accomplished poet. I decided to write my own haiku in Mycenaean Greek, archaic Greek, English and French to complement it. For those of you who cannot read Greek, this is how the Greek sounds, thalassa/kuklos ouranoyo/heilios. Beautiful eh? I am sure Marie will love it! … and so will you! I Know I do.

 


2 more haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek, English & French, this time about silence in the temple…

 eni-temeno

 


All new photos of the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, Santorini, by Thalassa Farkas, Canada, 2016: Part C – Theran/Minoan ship

Here are two photos of a lovely Theran/Minoan ship, the ultimate in luxury sailing, complete with a canopy and with a bowsprit sporting a sun and a gorgeous little butterfly. What exquisite taste these Therans and Minoans had!


theran-ship-a

theran-ship-b

Thalassa Farkas, Canada, our newest blog member and fan!


Thalassa Farkas, Canada, our newest blog member and fan!

Thalassa Farkas

cat Tiger



Double-Edged Sword - Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B: the sea, the wind & the navy... Who is the victor?

While this haiku is possible in Mycenaean Greek, it is impossible in any later ancient Greek dialect. This happens to be the case because in the Linear B syllabary all syllables must perforce end with a vowel, never a consonant. Hence, it is impossible to distinguish the subject from the object in the second declension in o in Mycenaean Greek composed in Linear B. But that is just what makes this haiku so intriguing. See the notes following the first translation into archaic Greek for my explanations. Click to ENLARGE:

Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B the sea the wind the victor
  

Haiku: “peri rimeni Aminisi anemo paidio pasi” = “all around the port of Amnisos the wind is everyone’s child”

Haiku of Amnisos in Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French =
Haïkou d’Amnisos en linéaire B, en grec antique, en anglais et en français

Click to ENLARGE

peri rimeni Aminiso anemo paidio pasi

This is the one haiku in Linear B which appeals to my sensibilities more than any other I have composed en Mycenaean Greek. The reason is simple: the Linear B of this haiku, which anyone can read in its Latinized version beneath the original in Linear B, has an entrancing rhythm, a melody about it that truly appeals to the ear, evoking a light sea breeze wafting around the sunny harbour of Amnisos. The language of the haiku is simple and direct. The alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia are almost Italianate and so very appealing. In a word, I love it.

I elected to use the miniature Minoan frieze of the harbour of Thera, rather than a frieze of Amnisos, for its exquisite beauty.

I sincerely hope you love it as much as I do, and that you will tag it with LIKE. I would also appreciate your comments.

Thank you

Grâce à sa musicalité innée qui se déroule si aisément à travers les lignes, ce haïkou est assurément celui qui plaît à mes sensibilités avant tous les autres que j’ai jamais composé en grec mycénien. La version du haïkou en lettrage latin de l’intégral en linéaire B a un charme tout particulier, une mélodie qui nous hante l’oreille, comme si une brise maritime légère s’élèvait sur le havre ensoleillé d’Amnisos. Son langage est simple et direct. Il y en a une allitération, une assonance et une onomatopée quasi italiennes qui s’y harmonisent si parfaitement. En un mot, je m’en raffole.

Au lieu de choisir une fresque d’Amnisos, j’ai pris la frise miniature minoenne du havre de Thère, grâce à sa beauté exquise.

J’espère donc qu’il vous plaise autant qu’à moi, et que vous l’évalueriez selon sa qualité poétique.  Je serais également reconnaissant de vos commentaires, si’il y en a.

Richard

 

Surprise, surprise! What rôle does Formulaic Language play in Linear B Tablets, and does it have anything to do with Homer’s archaic  Greek?  

Does that surprise you, if you are a Linear B translator? It surprised my translator colleague, Rita  Roberts, and myself, for quite some time – well over a year. But not any more. There are two inescapable reasons why we have been able to come to the conclusions we have reached. These are:
(a) that the Linear B scribes very frequently used what Rita and I call supersyllabograms, a term which describes a peculiar phenomenon common to only a subset of syllabograms which have defied decipherment for the past 63 years since 1952. We shall be deciphering almost all of the 31 supersyllabograms, a substantial subset of the full set of 61 syllabograms (over 50 %). Only a very few supersyllabograms still defy decipherment, at least for us, but someone in the near future may find the keys to even those ones. Enough of that for now. We will be publishing our complete peer-reviewed research paper later on this year. So folks will just have to wait.
(b) that the Linear B scribes very often left unsaid (i.e. omitted) from their tablets what was perfectly obvious to them (see my Comments on Knossos tablet M 10 E x 233 below for the full text), since they all assiduously followed the same strict guidelines for transcribing accounts and inventories, and all used the same formulaic language for their transcriptions. To visualize how all this directly influences Rita Roberts’ methodical and accurate translation of Knossos Tablet M 10 E x 233, click on this image of the tablet to ENLARGE it:

KN M 10 E x 233 fragmenrt  one Ram

From the red outline to the right, you can see that I have filled in the rest of the missing section of this Linear B tablet. I am confident that the tablet in its entirely did in fact look almost exactly as you see here, because there is only 1 ideogram (for ram) only partially missing, while the word, SURI on the second line is clearly the Mycenaean place name, SURIMO, or in Greek, Syrimos. Since this tablet is clearly all about an offering TO the god Dikataro (dative!) or Zeus, and no one in their right mind would sacrifice more than one ram or animal to any of the gods, livestock being indispensable to their livelihood, it follows that one ram and one ram only was sacrificed to the god. Ergo, there cannot possibly be much more on the truncated right side of this fragment than the outline in red I have tacked on to its end.      

Does Formulaic Language in Mycenaean Linear B Tablets Have Anything to do with Formulaic Archaic Greek in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey?

Surprise, surprise. It does. And so does Arcado-Cypriot in its alphabet or in Linear C.

My Hypothesis runs as follows.

If this premise does not hold water for some translators of Linear B, recall that Homer also heavily relied on formulaic phrases. He appears to have picked up that habit, not only from the Mycenaean Greek scribes who preceded him by 400-600 years, but also from the Arcado-Cypriot scribes, who wrote in the Linear C syllabary and in the Arcado-Cypriot Greek alphabet at the very same time as he was composing the Iliad – a fact that all too many historians and linguists completely overlook. 

Recall that Linear C had already evolved from the almost exclusively accounting and inventorial syllabary (Linear B ) to a literary one, with many of their tablets simultaneously composed in both Linear C and in alphabetic Arcado-Cypriot Greek. The lengthy legal document, the famous Idalion tablet, ca. 400 BCE, was one such tablet, written in both Linear C and alphabetic Greek. But Linear C had been in constant use from ca. 1100 BCE (long before Homer!) non-stop all the way through to ca. 400 BCE, when the Arcado-Cypriots finally abandoned it in favour of the Greek alphabet alone. 

My point is simply this: I for one cannot believe that Homer was not even remotely familiar with documents in the Arcado-Cypriot alphabet or possibly even in Linear C, because there were plenty of them around at the time he wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey (if he did). So even if he was not at all familiar with Mycenaean Linear B, he certainly must have known about, and may very well have read documents in Arcado-Cypriot. But that is not all. In spite of the fact that he almost certainly did not know Linear B, being familiar as he most likely was with the vocabulary and grammar of Arcado-Cypriot meant that he automatically had some inkling of Mycenaean Greek. Why so? - simply because of all the ancient Greek dialects (archaic or not), no two were more closely related than Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot, not even Ionic and Attic Greek – not by a long shot. This alone implies that even if Homer consciously knew nothing about Mycenaean Greek, its vocabulary and grammar, unconsciously he did, because every time he borrowed formulaic language from Arcado-Cypriot, he was in effect borrowing almost exactly the same vocabulary and phrases from Mycenaean Greek.

But there is more – much more – to this than superficially meets the eye. Homer was in fact very familiar with Mycenaean society, and with Mycenaean warfare, because he mentions both so often in the Iliad, especially in The Catalogue of Ships in Book II, and even occasionally in the Odyssey, that is obvious to all but the most recalcitrant translators of ancient Greek that he frequently resorts to Mycenaean vocabulary, phrases and even grammar (especially for the genitive and dative cases), even if he is not conscious of it. It stares us in the face. To illustrate my point, allow me to draw your attention to the numerous instance Mycenaean & Arcado-Cypriot vocabulary and grammar in just one of the serial passages of Book II of the Iliad I have already meticulously translated into twenty-first century English. Click to ENLARGE:

Iliad II Catalogue of Ships 565-610 Linear B Linear C

Now if you compare my scholia on the word, thalassa, on line 614 with the Linear B tablet below from Knossos, you can instantly see they are one and the same word! Since Linear B had no L+vowel series of syllabograms, the scribes had to substitute the R+vowel syllabograms for Mycenaean words which would have otherwise begun with L. Also, Linear B never repeats consonants, as that is impossible in a syllabary. Similarly, Linear B was unable to distinguish between variants of consonants, such as we find T & TH in the Greek alphabet. So the Mycenaean tarasa is in fact equivalent to the Homeric thalassa, given that on Linear B fragment KN 201 X a 26:

Knossos fragment KN 201 X TARASA the SEA

t = th, r = l & s = ss, hence tarasa = thalassa, down to the last letter.  

Anyway, for the time being, I rest my case. But with respect to the relationship between formulaic language in Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot, whether in Linear C or alphabetic on the one hand, and Homer’s use of formulaic language on the other, there is more to come on our blog this year – much more. It is highly advisable for all of you who are experienced translators of either or both Mycenaean Linear B and Homeric Greek to read all of my translations in series of the entire Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad, wherein he uses the most archaic Greek in all of the Iliad. Otherwise, you may experience some difficulty following my thesis on formulaic language and the hypotheses upon which it is based.

As for the rest of you folks, who are not translators, but who frequently read the posts on our blog, just enjoy and assimilate the essentials, and forget the rest, because all of the technical stuff I delve so deeply into doesn’t matter anyway unless you are a translator. Still, you may be asking, why delve into so much detail in the first place? Great question. It is all for the benefit of our fellow translators and decipherers, to whom we absolutely must address so many of the posts on our pointedly technical blog. Nevertheless, our blog is open to all to enjoy and read, as far as each of you wishes to take yourself. As I said just now, keep what you like and leave the rest. You will always learn at least something truly valuable to yourself. Otherwise, why would you be a regular visitor to our blog in the first place?           

Keep posted.

Richard


Knossos Fragment, KN 201 X a 26, TARASA “The Sea”, a Surprise Find! & a Fresco! CLICK TO ENLARGE:

Knossos fragment KN 201 X TARASA the SEA

Although you would think that there should be references to the sea (of all places!) on Linear B tablets and fragments, until now at least such references simply have not appeared. It is a good thing I have slogged through at least 2,000 of the Scripta Minoa fragments and tablets, because at last I found one mentioning the sea, and even if this fragment is truncated on the right, as it surely appears to be, I am still convinced that this is an entire word, and if so, then it can mean only one thing, the sea. The chances of ever finding another Linear B fragment or tablet with this word, the sea, seem very slim indeed, although you never know. One thing you can be sure of, I shall keep on looking.

Minoan Fresco depicting Minoan ships at the island of Thera: Click to ENLARGE:
Fresco Minoan Ships in Thera

Richard

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