Linear-Script Signs: MA

· Philology, Phonetics


*= Proposed

By Numeric Reference
080 (MA) |

By Phonetic Value
MA (080) |


AB *080
MA “demon, devil, evil spirit, witch”

This image has long been interpreted as a cat, which appears feasible for the first three LinA signs but loses credibility with the LinB signs, which give the impression of demons or witches with arms raised in incantation or invocation. While the form of this sign survives in the katakaname, the on reading and the meaning for ma have been preserved. MA 魔 is found in numerous Japanese words that pertain to demons and evil spirits (e.g. inma 淫魔 “incubus, succubus”, jama 邪魔 “a demon who hinders Buddhist training”, and muma 夢魔 “a demon that appears in a dream”).  Cf. also inflections, LinA ma.di and LinB ma-di > 蠱 maji “the work of demons” as they pertains to magic and the Medes; cf., further, Toponyms in Linear A Texts: ma.di.

Entry added on 30 Jan 2013
Updated on 25 Nov 2015 * 14 April 2017

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