The Decipherment of Linear C: ICS 152

· Linear C Decipherments

An epitaph at Marion

4.7″ (12 cm) high x 9.1″ (23 cm) long

Two lines, 13 syllabic-Greek characters, written in sinistroverse

Located in the cemetery (necropolis) at Marion in the district of Paphos, this epitaph includes both a declaration and a qualification.

[Read from right to left]
.1  ti-mo-ka-mo-se-e-mi
.2  o-ti-mo-ta-mo-ne

1. *e-mi | ἐμέ (eme) | for my part, for myself
1. *e-mi | ἐμίν (emiv) (Doric) | “I” (first-person pronoun)
2. *ka-mo-se* | γάμος (gamos) | marriage, wedlock, † union
3.  o* | οὐ | the negative of fact and statement
4. *ta-mo-ne | ταμών (tamôn) | that which was cut; † separation
5. ti-mo* or *ti-mo* | τῖμος (timos) | esteem, honor, worship

.1 τῖμο γάμος ἐμέ

• For my part, I honor union,

.1 οὐτῖμο ταμών

• [but I do] not honor separation

Notes: While there is a strong case for gamos as the institution of marriage, in context, political union is also possible.

Masson typically translates e-mi as ἠμί, but, here, it appears to be used in a demonstrative sense.


    1. Masson, Olivier. 1961. Inscriptions Chypriotes Syllabiques. Paris: E. de Boccard, Pl. XIX.

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