The Decipherment of Linear B: KN Ra 1548

· Linear B Decipherments

KN Ra 1548

The Pirates’ Tablet

Pirates’ spoils
Scribe 126

.a                   / de-so-mo
.b ku-ka-ro / pi-ri-je-te pa-ka-na a-ra-ru-wo-a PUG 3

  1. a-ra-ru-wo-a | *ἀρηρυοα (areruoa) | * booty taken by force, plunder
  2. de-so-mo | δασμό(ς) (dasmos) | the division of spoils
  3. de-so-mo | δεσμό(ς) (desmos) | bonds, chains; imprisonment
  4. ku-ka-ro | kukkaro | Cuccaro (Vetere)
  5. pa-ka-na | *φάκανα for (σ)φάγνο(ς) (spagnos) | sword
  6. pi-ri-je-te | *πιριέτα for πειρατής (peirates) | pirate; brigand, sea robber

.a δασμό
• division of spoils

.b Cuccaro (Vetere)πιριέτα  φάκανα  *ἀρηρυοα
• Cuccaro (Vetere): pirate booty taken by force, 3 swords

Translation:  The division of booty (three swords) taken by force at Cuccaro (Vetere).

Notes:  Cuccaro Vetere, a coastal commune in southwestern Italy, has been prone to piracy from ancient times.  Cuccaro is derived from κύκλος (kuklos) “ring”, which refers to the town’s fortified status.  Nevertheless, many such communities encouraged piracy; the sale of booty– whether basic commodities, luxury goods, or slaves–significantly contributed to local economies [“Ancient Rome”].

The second definition of de-so-mo also raises some interesting issues.  Certainly, any booty taken by force can be bound to the takers.  The question regards the nature of the booty and the roles of pa-ka-na and PUG 3.  While the theme of piracy seems certain, the nature of the booty is not:  Did the pirates use swords to take three swords, or did they take three slaves at sword point?

Reference: 

  1. Ancient Rome and the Pirates. History Today.com. 2012. Ret. on 26 Jul 2014.

Log ins are not required to post comments. However, since your words may be quoted in scholarly articles, this forum requires that professional names be used to post comments. Please click "Edit/Change" to include credentials after your name. For example, you may say "Mary A. Smith: Harvard University, Associate Professor of Geography" or "John Jones: Independent Scholar, Historical Linguistics" or "Independent Scholar, General." Moreover, to promote scholarly excellence, this forum reserves the right to edit for clarity. Clear writing complements clear thinking.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: