Dedicated to the decipherment of

The Linear, Syllabic Scripts of Crete, Mainland Greece, and Cyprus

January 6, 2023


May 7, 2018

Published on Fifteen, Linear-Script Signs with Correspondences in Japanese Kanji and Katakana.

April 10, 2018

Published on The Evolution of Greek Ρ ρ (hRO).

November 21, 2017

Published on Evidence for Tyrian-Purple Production in Linear B Inscriptions.

April 9, 2017

Some pages that appeared on the deleted may be in revision and may not yet appear on;  please be patient while I revise and add these pages.

November 22, 2014: Any decipherment is challenged by the need to preserve phonetic integrity.  Methodology may be defined by the manner in which this integrity is preserved.  Nevertheless, since the syllabic Greek of the Linear B language is very different from the alphabetic Greek of the classic and the modern languages, “something  must give” to allow the gaps to be bridged.  The larger scholastic community has endeavored to preserve the integrity of the vowels while allowing great latitude with the consonants; this approach has resulted in words such as σπέρμα (sperma) “seed” for pe-ma.  With the exception of some dialectal alternations, I largely disagree with this approach because it presumes that the early Greeks lacked competence to represent the consonants of their language; I have conversely endeavored to preserve the integrity of the consonants while allowing great latitude with the vowels. One must bear in mind that, while Linear B has five vowels, alphabetic Greek has seven vowels, the sounds of which are interpreted in different ways by the numerous dialects. Consequently, my approach has resulted in words such as πῆμα (pema) “calamity, misery” for pe-ma.

As one may well imagine, the premises of these divergent approaches result in divergent conclusions. However, a key tenet of logic states that, if the premises are false, the conclusion(s) must then be false. Therefore, while I am always receptive to thoughtful debate, my primary concern is whether my premises and conclusions make “Greek sense”.  In the absence of cogent arguments to the contrary, I remain steadfast in my approach, even though I may be its only proponent.

Gretchen E. Leonhardt

P.S.  For an alternate approach, visit Richard Vallance Janke’s Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae.

For further insight about the development of Greek, see The Meanings of Linear-Script Signs.

1 Comment

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  1. Richard Vallance Janke: Independant Scholar, Linear B and Homeric Greek

    It is not so much a question of which translation makes more sense, but to whom, and, more to the point, why.

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