Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


29 December 2010

Alcune riflessioni sull’adeguatezza di una scrittura largamente disadeguata

Serguey Sharypkin Pasiphae. Rivista di filologia e antichità egee 3 (2009) [2010]: 215-224.


The article concerns the problem of the suitability of Linear B for rendering the Greek language. Firstly, the author provides a short historical survey of the issue, emphasizing the fact that the history of mycenology can sometimes be instructive for the investigation of certain mycenological problems. Subsequently, the question of how the Mycenaean scribes could read and understand Greek words written using polyvalent syllabic signs is addressed. We may determine some factors which facilitate the understanding of written texts; the most significant among them were: a) the limited character of vocabulary and grammar; b) the narrow circle of people who used the written records, always in touch with their colleagues. Finally, we may argue that there is no straightforward answer to the question whether the Linear B script is well- or ill-suited. It appears ill-suited nowadays for modern scholars, but was excellently suited for Mycenaean rulers, officials and scribes as an instrument of control, inventorying and domination (scribe et impera!). We must never forget that what the Mycenaean scribes wrote was not meant for us, but for themselves and their colleagues.


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