Methodology in Mycenaean prosopography: The use of names as evidence
Philippa M. Steele Kadmos 48 (2010): 93-106.
From the Ιntroduction
Prosopography has long played an important role in Mycenology. Because personal names account for a large proportion of the words found in the Linear B tablets, the activities of the individuals bearing those names can he studied in order to ascertain information about the members of Mycenaean society who populate the bureaucratic records. There are, of course, some caveats when assessing the anthroponyms as a group of data. Fundamentally, the identification of words as personal names is not always certain: the more secure identifications are marked by formulaic position in a text or a designation such as the ideogram VIR followed by the numeral 1, but some less secure identifications are, for example, words that do not appear to ‘fit’ their context (i.e. based on the principle that a name will not be semantically related to its context). The exact form of a name can rarely be established with certainty (especially if it is non-Greek), since the syllabic script tends to allow multiple possibilities.