The Decipherment of Linear B: KN Db 1232

· Linear B Decipherments
KN Db 1232

KN Db 1232

The Lamb Tablet

KN Db 1232

Scribe 117

.1  OVIS:m 23 ,  OVIS:f  27

.2  NA-PU-TI-JO  /  ti-ri-to , pe-ri-qo-ro-jo

  1. na-pu-ti-jo | νηπύτιο(ς) (neputios) | a small child; childish
  2. OVIS:f | sheep: female; ewes
  3. OVIS:m | sheep: male; rams
  4. pe-ri-qo-ro-jo | *περιχωρόζω (perikhorozo) | *to be around about a place, to dance or to caper about, to be among
  5. ti-ri-to | τρί(σ)το (tristos) | three
  6. ti-ri-to | *τρίτο (trito) | *yearling (lamb)

.1  rams 23, ewes 27

  • 23 rams, 27 ewes

.2  νηπύτιο  / τρίτο  *περιχωρόζω

  • three lambs capering about

Translation: three lambs capering among 23 rams and 27 ewes

Notes:  While ti-ri-to for “three” is a distinct possibility, perhaps ti-ri-to = τρητήν (triten) for πρητήν (priten) “a yearling lamb” like τρητός (tritos) for πρῆστις (prestis) “blowhole”.  Cf. Τριτο-γένεια (Trito geneia), an epithet for Athena that has been interpreted to mean either “born on the third day” or “born as the third child”.  However, note that, among the sacrifices of female animals to Athena, no female lambs were ever sacrificed [“Athena”].  Also cf. τρητός δόνακες (tritos donakes) “shepherd’s pipe” in which “blowhole” is likely a collateral meaning, since δόνακες refers to reeds that are inherently hollow.  Finally, note that lambs are often born during the third month, around the commencement of Aries (the Ram).

If ti-ri-to > τρίτο “yearling lamb”, the translation may be amended as follows:

.1  male 23, female 27

  • 23 males, 27 females

.2  νηπύτιο  / τρίτο  *περιχωρόζω

  • yearling lambs capering about

Translation (amended): 23 male and 27 female yearling lambs capering about

I favor this second translation because it resolves the anomaly of a total that appears as a number rather than as a numeral.

This tablet also demonstrates the ways in which words with final /jo/may serve as either nouns or verbs.


  1. Athena. Greek Family History. 2011. Ret. on 27 Sep 2014 <>.

Updated on September 27, 2014



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