Tag Archive: wine

summer haiku – the hummingbird = le colibri

summer haiku – the hummingbird = le colibri 

the hummingbird
buzzed on nectar
her rose's fine wine

le colibri 
aviné par le nectar
le vin de sa rose

Richard Vallance

photo public domain 

summer haiku d'été – how Mount Soracte = que le mont Soracte  

how Mount Soracte
shimmers with snow –
let's quaff our wine

la neige miroitée
sur le mont Soracte –
buvons le vin

come Monte Soracte
luccica con la neve -
beviamo il vino

mons Soracte
lucet nivi -
bibamus vinum

Richard Vallance

Original Latin:

Vides ut alta stet nive candidum
Soracte nec iam sustineant onus
silvae laborantes geluque
flumina constiterint acuto? 

Dissolve frigus ligna super foco
large reponens atque benignius
deprome quadrimum Sabina,
o Thaliarche, merum diota. 

Permitte divis cetera, qui simul
stravere ventos aequore fervido
deproeliantis, nec cupressi
nec veteres agitantur orni. 

Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere, et
quem fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro
adpone nec dulcis amores
sperne, puer, neque tu choreas,

donec uirenti canities abest
morosa. Nunc et Campus et areae
lenesque sub noctem susurri
composita repetantur hora, 

nunc et latentis proditor intumo
gratus puellae risus ab angulo
pignusque dereptum lacertis
aut digito male pertinaci. 

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65-8 BCE) 

Pronounce like Italian.

painting by/ par Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875)

summer haiku d'été - let's leave = que nous quittons = lasciamo

let's leave behind
the sultry city –
wine by the lake

que nous quittons
la ville humide –
du vin au lac

la città umida –
vino al lago

Richard Vallance

painting, Pallanza, Lake Maggiore (1879) by Edward Lear, 1812-1888

summer haiku d’été – seaside sand grass = les herbes marines 

seaside sand grass,
sailboat on the horizon –
let’s share the merlot!

sandy beach 620

les herbes marines,
voilier à l’horizon –
partageons le merlot !

Richard Vallance

for/ pour Colette Genest, photo by/ par Colette Genest

senryu – empty glasses = les verres vides

senryu – empty glasses = les verres vides

empty glasses
carillons chiming in
echoes in echoes

empty glasses 620

les verres vides
qui carillonnent, nous charment
échos en échos

Richard Vallance

summer haiku in Minoan Linear A, ancient Greek, English and French: 

haiku in Linear A wine mother earth

Originally written in 2017, and reposted here... 

haiku d’automne – quaffing wine = dégustons le vin

haiku d’automne – quaffing wine = dégustons le vin

quaffing wine
in our wine cellar  –
pouring outside

quaffing wine 620

dégustons le vin
dans la cave à vin –
averses dehors

Richard Vallance

another Linear B tablet from Knossos illustrating the syllabogram JU, KN 21 J i 14:


Knossos Linear B tablet 21 J i 14

This tablet from Knossos deals with barley stalks in conjunction with the syllabogram JU, which clearly is also a crop, but which kind we do not know. Wine is also mentioned on this tablet. So we may very well be dealing with barley wine, which of course is what the Mycenaeans and ancient Greeks called beer. So now we have a hint as to what JU might mean, i.e. hops or a draught, but my bet is on the former.

Academia.edu THESIS The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire by Rita Roberts:

Click on this logo to download her thesis:

minoan and mycenaean main

We are proud to announce that Rita Roberts has fulfilled the requirements of her second year of university, and has passed with a mark of 85 %. We have awarded her 90 % for thesis, The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire, which is a finely researched document I highly recommend to any and all. It deals in great detail with every conceivable aspect of Minoan and Mycenaean agricultural trade via their trade routes in the Mycenaean Empire, ca. 1600-1450 BCE. We congratulate Rita on her splendid achievement, and we look forward to her fuflling the exacting requirements of her third and final year of university which commences on July 1 2018, Canada Day. Once she has completed her third year, she will have earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Minoan and Mycenaean studies.

Minoan Linear A seal, ZOTE, possibly a belt or girdle (of gold?)

Minoan seal crete ZOTE girdle belt

This Linear A Minoan seal is incised with the syllabograms ZO + TE, which form the word ZOTE, apparently equivalent to ancient Greek zwsth/r = belt or girdle. If this is the meaning we can take from the seal, it is likely the belt was gold, as per the fresco of the cup bearers in the South Portico, Knossos.

Linear A tablet KH 5 (Khania) ca. 1450 BCE – adorned with ivy:

Linear A KH 5 inscription from Chania, circa 1450 BCE b

This tablet, which significantly dates from 1450 BCE, right at the time of the transition from the Linear A to the Linear B syllabary, appears to have 3 Mycenaean-derived words inscribed on it. Because it was probably one of the very last tablets inscribed in Linear A, it could just as well have been inscribed in Linear B. The first two syllables of ADAKISIKA, i.e. ADA, are Old Minoan (OM), falling within the substrate of the original Minoan language. Both ADA and ADU appear to deal with large(r) quantities in the Minoan language. And the first and second words, ADAKISIKA + WISASANE = adorned with plenty of ivy in equal measure, make for a perfectly acceptable phrase. WINASAO very much appears to be a variant of Linear A WINU, which means wine. It may be cast in an archaic Minoan ablative absolute, which would perhaps explain its orthography.

Since the rest of this tablet is in Old Minoan (OM), the language of the original Minoan language substrate, it is indecipherable.

Rita Roberts translation of Knossos tablet KN 160a J j 11, dealing with wine, corrected:

Linear B tablet KN 160a J j 11 wine

Rita Roberts translation of Knossos tablet KN 160a J j 11, dealing with wine, corrected, is trickier than the previous one she has translated to fulfill the requirements for her second year of university, KN 906 Da 02, dealing with livestock. Because this tablet is damaged, truncated left and right, it can be more difficult to establish meaning for certain terms. But not necessarily so. Rita struggled gainfully with this tablet. And this is understandable. What determines everything in the decipherment of any tablet, Linear A or B, is CONTEXT. If we cannot determine what any given word(s) mean in the actual context of the tablet, we sometimes fail to grasp the meanings of these words. But in the end, everything falls into place, and a relatively convincing translation can be gleaned from it, as we see in the illustration above.

The only character which occasions real difficulty is the supersyllabogram PE, which usually stands for seed(s). But if this the meaning to be extracted, it does not really make all that much sense, since grape seeds do not contribute much to wine, only the grapes do. The only explanation I can muster here is this: the grape seeds had to be extracted, i.e. removed, from the grapes to produce the wine. That makes sense. Finally, we find the ideogram for “olive oil” on this tablet, but how olive oil mixes with wine is a mystery to me, unless the olive oil is being served with bread along with the wine. But there is no mention of bread on this tablet. So some issues remain unresolved.


Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada) dealing with figs with Mycenaean superstrate vocabulary:

HT 88 kikina-01 datare figs


Linear A tablet HT 88 figs

The partial decipherment of this Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada) has until now eluded me. However, upon close examination of several words on the tablet, namely, ADU, KIKINA, KIRO, KATI, DATARE and KURO, I discovered that all of them are susceptible to interpretation as Mycenaean superstrate words. Their translations are given on the tablet as illustrated above. As for the words KUPA3NU, PAJARE and SAMARO, these all appear to be Old Minoan (OM), i.e. belonging to the Minoan substrate language, i.e. the original Minoan language. Unfortunately, since no one has yet successfully deciphered the Minoan language (= Old Minoan/OM) per se, I cannot decipher these words. But they obviously are crop-related words having something specific to do with sweet liquor, wine, figs and dates.

Now on academia.edu, Translation of Linear A tablet HT 13 into proto-Greek:

Linear A tablet HT 13 on academiaedu

You can now find my article on the Translation of Linear A tablet HT 13 into proto-Greek on my academia.edu account above (Click on the graphics to jump directly to it):

You are welcome to participate in the open session on this DRAFT article by clicking on View Comments beneath the title here:

HT 13 comments

I hope that those of you who are regular visitors to our site will participate in the open comments forum at least once.



Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada) successfully translated almost in in its entirety: wine stalks in (parallel) rows, crushing grapes:

Linear A tablet HT 13 Haghia Triada grapes & wine

This is the first ever almost complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT (Haghia Triada). The only word I was unable to translate is kuzuni, of which there are 17. It may mean something like barrels, although the Minoans probably did not store wine in barrels, but rather in sealed pithoi. Except for the word kuzuni, this tablet is inscribed entirely in proto-Greek. And it is even possible that kuzuni is proto-Greek, because as in Mycenaean Greek, in which some words, especially all of the words for types of cloth, fell out of use after the fall of Mycenae ca. 1200 BCE, it is possible or even probable that kuzuni is a proto-Greek word which disappeared from proto-Greek before Mycenaean Greek caught on.

The decipherment above is so air-tight that it is almost certainly correct in every detail. We must realize that proto-Greek words such as kaudeta cannot have looked too much like their much later Mycenaean, archaic and classical Greek counterparts, but there is always a resemblance which is quite convincing when you place everything in context. By just taking one look at all of the proto-Greek words I have deciphered on this tablet, you realize that the sense “fits” in all instances. The decipherment of this tablet makes so much sense it almost certainly is correct.

When Alexandre Solc I come around to publishing our article, Evidence for proto-Greek in Linear A, in the next issue of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) in January 2019, you can rest assured that this tablet will be a prime candidate for the Linear A Oscars!

The supersyllabogram ME meza NM1 me/za (fem. sing.) probably means greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj

Knossos, Iraklion, Crete

It appears on Tylissos tablet TY 3 oo, dealing with olive oil and on Zakros tablet ZA 15 wi, dealing with wine. It would seem to imply that the vessels in which these commodities are stored are larger than usual.

The supersyllabogram WI in Linear A winu, winadu, winumatari

Minoan wine presses

The supersyllabogram WI in Linear A means any of the following,winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado -or- winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj -or- winumatari NM1 #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth (agglutinative). The most likely interpretation is winu = wine, but the other two are not out of the question. This supersyllabogram appears on only one tablet, Khania KH 5 wi.

the supersyllabogram SU in Linear A, a small cup with handles & the largest pithos size:

Minoan Pithos and small cup with a handle

The supersyllabogram SU in Linear A has two meanings, context dependent. The first is:

1. SU = supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) OM = a small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo. The word depa/depu PGS de/paj de/pu (acc.?) = cup occurs in Linear A. Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa

and the second is:

2. SU = supi/supu/supu2 OM = largest size pithos;

but not MOSE * NM1 supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub. MOSE * = decryption by Prof. Yuriy Mosenkis. This interpretation flies in the face of context on any Linear A tablet or fragment. It is all fine and well to conjecture a proto-Greek or Mycenaean-derived Greek word, but if you check your decipherment against extant tablets, then you may find it invalidated. This must always be done. Otherwise, you will end up with a meaning which is simply out of the question.

the supersyllabogram KA = with with a jar or vessel for water or wine:

Minoanand Mycenaeanflasks

kadi MOSE NM1 kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine

This supersyllabogram appears on Haghia Triada tablets HT HT 28 wi HT 88 ma & HT 100 ma, in conjunction with the ideogram for wine on the first one and for man on the second and third. It would appear that the second and third tablets refer to a man or person using a jar or vessel for water or wine.

POST 1,702: The supersyllabogram DI in Linear A, dipa3a (dipaia) + dipaja = from a cup

Minoan cups

The supersyllabogram DI in Linear A, dipa3a (dipaia) almost certainly refers to a cup. It is debatable whether or not this form is Linear A nominative singular; however, the form dipaja = from a cup, is likely to be genitive singular.

DI = dipa3a (dipaia) PGS di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup 
DI = dipaja PGS di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup (alternate?)


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