Linear A to Japanese: ni

· Linear A Lexicon


LinA words
ni |

Japanese words (Hiragana)

Japanese words (Kanji)

Japanese words (Romaji)

ni > に
ni > 丹 (ni) | “red earth (which contains cinnabar or minium), vermilion”
Haghia Triada (HT Scribes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16-17, 19, 20, unknown)
Khania (KH Scribes 1, 2, 3, unknown)
KN Zb 35 (KN Scribe unknown)
TEL Zb 1 (TEL Scribe unknown)
ZA 8 (ZA Scribe 2)
As a logogram, AB *030 NI is commonly known as FICus for its presumed representation of figs. However, evidence suggests that FIC is actually cinnabar and that the sign depicts crystals rather than leaves.  Cf. the ubiquitous red pigment of the Minoans. This pigment was likely obtained from Turkey. Note that the Japanese kanji 土耳古 for Turkey comprises 土 “red soil”, 耳 “crust, edge”, and 古 “ancient”. In fact, the earliest known use of cinnabar as a pigment dates to 7000-8000 BCE in the wall paintings of the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük. Consider, also, the possible Minoan derivation of minium, which once pertained to cinnabar that had been coated with minium oxide: “[H]owever, once the red-lead contaminant was determined to be chemically distinct from cinnabar crystals, the name, minium, was applied.” It is also said that minium was named for the Iberian river that was known to the imperial Romans as Minius and that is now known to the Spanish as Miño and to the Portuguese as Minho. See also contextual complement < κόκκινος (kokkinos) “scarlet”.

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