[Cryptography] Linear B

John Ioannidis jayeye at gmail.com
Mon Jun 4 11:18:59 EDT 2018

On Thu, May 31, 2018 at 7:57 PM, Dave Horsfall <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

> Not quite crypto, but...
> On this day back in 1952, Michael Ventris began decoding the Linear B
> tablet, thereby showing that the Cretan language was based upon ancient
> Greek.

Wrong on almost all counts. Linear B was the writing system of what we call
the Mycenean civilization, so Mycenae and all the various cities in the
Peloponnese. Chadwick and Ventris's insight was to assume that LB was
(mostly) a syllabary and that the language was actually Greek. Since what
we call "Ancient Greek" these days is the register of the language of the
5th and 4th century writings, it makes no sense to say that 12th Century BC
Greek was based on ancient Greek. It is simply an even more ancient form of

None of this has anything to do with Crete; the Cretan language remains
unknown, its writing (Linear A) still undeciphered. There is no reason to
believe that it was actually Greek.

Linear B seems to be derived from Linear A, and is not very well suited to
writing Greek either. Unfortunately, all we have is accounting records;
nobody thought of committing to clay tablets any poetry or literature.


> --
> Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU)  "Those who don't understand security will
> suffer."
> _______________________________________________
> The cryptography mailing list
> cryptography at metzdowd.com
> http://www.metzdowd.com/mailman/listinfo/cryptography
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/attachments/20180604/ae26688d/attachment.html>

More information about the cryptography mailing list