Posts Tagged ‘Homer’

Linear B at the Summer School in Homer, UCL 22-26 July: Day 2

July 23, 2019


1023  We await two new people.  Alexandra comes to shut  off my escape.

1048  I don’t feel too bad…yet…

1052 I want to go home.  The god Νηρεύς exemplifies the classes of consonants omitted in Linear B.

1200  It is a vessel containing honey.  I want to go home.

1245  I go home!

Linear B at the Summer School in Homer, UCL 22-26 July: Day 1

July 22, 2019

Linear B sign inventory

MONDAY JULY 22: 0627  Do I want to wake up now?  No.

0910  The train gets crowded and stops at Denmark Hill for a long time.   The driver announces that a passenger has fainted.

0940  UCL–there are signs to the Slade Summer School and EF. Great! I follow old people to the A V Hill Lecture Theatre.

1002 Antony Makrinos is the Zeus of the Summer School.  There are 98 participants, some male and some female.  UCL has a strict green policy, as well as catastrophically awful admin even by academic standards.

1035 Ester our lecturer goes to find someone who understands the IT.  Everyone is very young, keen and bright.

Tiryns is Ester’s favourite Mycenaean site.


So that’s what a rhyton looks like (from Ayios Vassileios)

You can hear Michael Ventris talking on the BBC about his decipherment here.

1345 Should we have come back now (as in the programme) or at 1430 like she said?  Best to practise our silent staring at blank screen skills for a bit.

1430 When she says she doesn’t expect us to learn the 91 syllabic signs immediately she means the opposite of course.

Exercise in  reproducing the syllabic grid is just like management training where the trainer lets you get so far and then suggests it would be better if you organised yourselves rather than all doing the same thing.  Except that this is interesting and important.

1530 I set off home without pausing for  Disability in Antiquity.  It is hot.


Ester addresses the troops over a completed Linear B exercise (in duplicate)




Linear B at the Summer School in Homer, UCL 22-26 July: Day 0

July 21, 2019


I thought I would keep a diary of doing Linear B at the Summer School in Homer to give people an idea of what it is like.



 What do they mean, registration from nine to ten?  I haven’t got a train up to Town in the morning rush for more than a year now.  Doubtless I will have to stand, and Bloomsbury is in the wrong bloody place anyway.   And what’s this talk about ‘Disability’–the ancients certainly didn’t go in for that kind of polite language.

Three-and-a-half hours less five minutes of classes.  I suppose I will survive.  But I don’t imagine there’s going to be anything interesting on at the Renoir if it does become too much.



But then I have to admit that the Day 1 programme looks very interesting, and I would regret missing it.  The main cause for optimism is surely that all of the participants will be at the same level of not knowing anything about Linears B or A.

Iliad Day, Hellenic Centre 21 July

July 1, 2012

Homer reciting some stuff

We see that there will be a day-long session of Iliad reading/recitation/singing at the Hellenic Centre in Marylebone on Saturday 21 July from 10 am to 8 pm.  What are probably the official details can be found here, with a slightly different account here.  You can register to take part here; the default languages it offers you are English and Modern Greek, but you can write in your own choice.  It looks as though they have snaffled Book 24 already, so you’ll need to work out where the other good bits might be in the ten 1-hour slots.

If you don’t want to read, I think you can also register to spectate by emailing them.  But it looks as though there are still plenty of opportunities for people who want to read, recite or sing.

Representatives of cultural societies and communities based in London, ambassadors, artists, journalists, athletes and students, are expected to join hundreds of citizens who will read or sing their passages, each in their own way and language, one after the other, during 10 hours.

The reading will be coordinated with on-stage projections of archaic and classical images, along with the English version of the epic, a mosaic of segments from Pope’s and Fitzgerald’s translations and Christopher Logue’s Iliad. The Homeric rhapsodies will be accompanied by interludes and melodies from the musical ensemble Daemonia Nymphe, on reconstructed ancient Greek instruments by Nicholas Brass.

At the conclusion of the celebrational Reading, the Hellenic Centre and the Readers of Homer will offer a simple yet delicious feast of Homeric edibles and potables for the participants’ sustenance and delight.

On a related subject, see here for  Greek plays I know about in London.

Hellenic Centre

Odyssey XI, Madingley Hall 18-20 February

February 26, 2011

Evidence of study

This time I was determined not to lose my return ticket or my glasses or to catch a cold, and I just about managed it, though my very nice taxi driver did manage to miss the Madingley turning on the drive from the station, which ended up costing me some money…

The ten of us in our group had little difficulty in disposing of the 640 or so lines of Odyssey XI in the nine hours (6 x 1.5 hour sessions) available.  Elizabeth Warren our instructor described us as well-prepared and eager to share our views.  She also produced a photo of her husband holding a winnowing-fan to show how it might be confounded with an oar (or rather, the other way round).

Cambridge. February.

Peter Jones gave a talk on the Saturday evening.  After treating us to an imitation of ‘dear old Enoch’ Powell as part of his mission to bring classics to the masses, he said that a certain number of lines in Od. XI didn’t make sense, and furthermore there were large-scale errors in composition.  Tiresias never did tell Odysseus how to get home, and it looked as though a catalogue of Theban women had been inserted for no reason.  Odysseus had gone from summoning the spirits of the dead to travelling through the underworld without any explanation, and the suddenly cut and run at the very thought of a Gorgon’s head.

In the taxi back to the station, I had an interesting talk with a young woman who had been doing Forensic Facial Reconstruction and felt it would be practically useful to her in her future career.