The Origins of the Greek Alphabet

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


An Aethiopian at Pylos?

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?

An Easter Enigma

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

Myth and History

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

Mycenaean Shepherds: Nasty, Brutish, and Short?

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." — 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?