A rather strange review was published by BMCR this morning: Barry Powell on Martin West’s The Making of the Odyssey. This post will be best read with it in view, though there is little to recommend it. It is (spoiler alert) negative in its outlook, which is unsurprising given the idiosyncratic nature of West’s views and … Continue reading The Origins of the Greek Alphabet
The decipherment of Linear B shed new light not only on the Late Bronze Age world it so elliptically recorded, but also on the development of the Greek language. Reconstructed proto-forms featuring digamma and labiovelars were spectacularly confirmed, and a window was opened into a new historical dialect from centuries before the Homeric poems were … Continue reading An Aethiopian at Pylos?
There are few things in life more consistently delightful than waking on Easter morning to a house full of chocolate eggs. As such, I rose early today, and scampered down the stairs in excitement of what bounty might await me. As I turned the corner at the landing, I could tell that my hopes were … Continue reading An Easter Enigma
This is the first of what I imagine will be a recurring series which will probably just end up as an excuse for me to geek out about some minor detail I find on a tablet and then tell everyone about it. With luck, the fun part won't be entirely one-sided. How do normal people … Continue reading Fun With Tablets: TH Gf 134
Looking to avoid the hordes to be found in restaurants, this Valentine's Day found my girlfriend and me walking along the beach, take-away Greek souvlaki in hand, enjoying the slowly dying sun of a late summer's day. Treading along in the shallows, the companionship, weather, and setting combined to inspire in me a contentment and … Continue reading A Tablet from Pylos, Lost at Sea
This Christmas season, as it does so many, found me travelling, in my case back to Winnipeg and family. Shortly after arrival, with my shopping done and some time to kill, I found myself wandering the halls of the Manitoba Museum. On a bitterly cold day, the building was largely empty - a shame, of … Continue reading A Yuletide Discovery
The other day, I chanced on a plan of some of the more recent excavations at Knossos, which featured a notorious discovery: Minoan Crete was a peaceful wonderla- pic.twitter.com/fZGYpom0hy — e-pe-me-ri (@e_pe_me_ri) November 21, 2017 This is exactly what it sounds like - inside the room, the excavators found the bones of apparently healthy children, … Continue reading Double Axes and the Limits of Knowledge
This Monday morning, I received an unexpected phone call from the curator of the antiquities collection at the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, with remarkable news: the elderly Professor Ashley, who had retired to Wellington some years ago from his post at Miskatonic University, had died, and bequeathed his significant private collection to … Continue reading A New Linear B Tablet in Wellington
The study of the Aegean Bronze Age owes a great deal to Homer. Schliemann went looking for Troy because of him, excavated Mycenae because of him, and thought that his discoveries vindicated the Blind Bard of Chios, revealing the truth behind the hexameter. He found, indeed, exactly what he'd been looking for - or at … Continue reading Myth and History
Yesterday's word of the day was unusually colourful: Word of the day: ku-mo-no-so, a man's name plausibly interpreted as Γυμνόρσος, "bare-assed." pic.twitter.com/t6QXulJElN — e-pe-me-ri (@e_pe_me_ri) August 13, 2017 From this, one follower remarked that he must have been an unfortunate sort to deserve such a name, and asked what we know about him; when I … Continue reading Mycenaean Shepherds: Nasty, Brutish, and Short?