Linear B and The Iliad

About this page

Richard Vallance Janke is among the rare contemporary linguists who can read both Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C quite fleuntly, as well as the Arcado-Cypriot dialect in alphabetic Greek.


Richard Vallance Janke (Twitter)

Associated PINTEREST boards: Ancient Sea PeopleKnossos & Mycenae, Sister CivilizationsLinguistics & Language.

KORYVANTES Association is proud to announce Linear B & The Iliad, a collaborative project with Richard Vallance Janke to promote the knowledge and value of Greek Linear dialects. Current page, Linear B & The Iliad, is designed as an integral section of, dedicated to provide insight on the expetional work of Richard Vallance Janke and his research colleague, Rita Roberts.

Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae, already the second-largest blog on Mycenaean Linear B on the Internet after only 21 months in existence, has entered into partnership with Koryvantes, The Association of Historical StudiesLinear B, Knossos & Mycenae is an unusually comprehensive blog, specializing in several aspects in the field of Linear B studies, with the following CATEGORIES:

Lineaar B, Knossos & Mycenae CATEGORIES (1)

Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar and Vocabulary

By the end of this year, 2015, Richard Vallance Janke, the blog’s owner, will have reconstructed almost all of the missing elements of Mycenaean Greek grammar which can be safely and reasonably restored. In 2014,  the conjugations of these tenses of the active voice of both thematic and athematic verbs: present, future, imperfect, aorist and perfect, were fully reconstructed. The theory underpinning his reconstruction of Mycenaean Greek grammar is called Progressive Linear B.  Apparently neither any other other site on the internet nor anyone, since Michael Ventris successfully deciphered Linear B in 1952, has compiled a truly Comprehensive Grammar of Mycenaean Greek, based on a unified, rational theory.

There is also a companion PINTEREST board, Mycenaean Linear B Progressive Grammar and Vocabulary

The English-Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Lexicon Project, 2015-2018

In the next few years, Richard will be working on an ambitious project, the publication of an English-Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Lexicon, which will be by far the largest lexicon, dictionary or glossary of Linear B, whether online or in print.  It will effectively double the current vocabulary of some 2,500 Mycenaean Greek attested (A) words to at least 5,000 or possibly even 6,000 – 7,000 attested (A) and derived (D) words.  Modelled to some extent on Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon (1986),  it will be of academic stature. Due to its immense scope, it is unlikely it can be published until at least early 2018.



But The Military section of this Lexicon is to be published first, meaning that KORYVANTES, The Association of Historical Studies, will benefit fully from the largest vocabulary of Mycenaean Linear B Military Terminology ever assembled online or in print. It will be published on its own sometime later this year as a prelude to our full lexicon, under the title, An English-Mycenaean Linear B/Mycenaean Linear B-English Lexicon of Military Terminology (PDF).

Decipherment of Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Tablets & Documents:

Since Richard is quite fluent in both Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, as well as in the Arcado-Cypriot dialect in alphabetic Greek, his blog is the only one on the Internet devoted to both Mycenaean Linear B & to Arcado-Cypriot Linear C. The blog also features translations of not only scores and scores of Linear B tablets in Mycenaean Greek, regardless of provenance (Knossos, Pylos, Phaistos, Mycenae, Thebes etc.), but also of as many Arcado-Cypriot tablets as can be found. This includes the famous bronze Idalion Tablet (ca. 400 BCE).

Translation of the entire Catalogue of Ships in Book II of Homer’s Iliad

Since Homer ostensibly derived much of his early Ionic-Epic Greek from both Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, Richard is also translating the entire Catalogue of Ships of Book II of Homer’s Iliad into fluent twenty-first century literary English.

NASA and the Application of Mycenaean Linear B to Extraterrestrial Communication

Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae even pursues one aspect of Linear B  research no-one else except NASA has ever considered.  This is the exploration of the Application of Mycenaean Linear B to Extraterrestrial Communication. If this sounds far-fetched, Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais of l’Université Lavale in Québec City, Québec, Canada, among other major communications experts at NASA, which sponsors the project, has written papers on this very topic, as you can see from the post here: Click here to read it in English in PDF.


The Discovery of Supersyllabograms, the First Major Breakthrough in the Further Decipherment of Linear B since 1952

The discovery, isolation, definition and functions of supersyllabograms represents another significant breakthrough in Linear B decipherment since Michael Ventris’ brilliant tour de force, the decipherment of at least 90 % of Mycenaean Linear B in 1952. Since then, the remaining 10 %, give or take, has remained recalcitrant to decipherment – until now. Richard’s strict methodology in the isolation of supersyllabograms, which essentially are single Linear B syllabograms accompanying any one of a fairly large number of ideograms on over 700 Linear B tablets on a statistically significant subset of 3,000 of the 4,500 + tablets in Sir Arthur Evans ’ Scripta Minoa, ensures an extremely small margin of statistical error. Supersyllabograms are all, without exception, the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of scores of Mycenaean words in the Scripta Minoa, all of them appearing singly (alone) and never contextually. So far, 31 Linear B supersyllabograms, representing more than 50 % of the 61 syllabograms in Linear B,  have been successfully isolated.

Between now and sometime later this year, the full text of the research paper, The Discovery, Isolation, Definition and Functions of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, is to be serially posted on the blog. It is difficult to estimate how many posts this process will require, but it is likely to be 10 or more.

Once all of the serial sections of the research results have been posted, the final research article,  resolving at least 5 % of the remaining 10 % of Linear B that has defied decipherment over the past 63 years, is to be carefully peer reviewed prior to publication publication in PDF format.

Short CV of Richard Vallance Janke

Contact information

Richard Vallance Janke

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada




  • Honours Bachelor of Arts (4 years), Sir Wilfred Laurier University (1964-1968), with majors in French and Latin, and minors in English literature and German.
  • Master of Library and Information Science (computer languages etc.), University of Western Ontario (1974-1975)

Fluently bilingual English-French; fluent in Latin; read at least 10 dialects ancient Greek very well (self-taught, 1999-present); I have translated all of the First Book of the Iliad into modern twenty-first century English, and am currently translating the entire Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad; read Italian and Spanish very well; learning modern Greek; used to be proficient in German and Russian, but for lack of speaking and reading these languages, I have lost touch with them. I also used to know some grammar and vocabulary of the Algonquin Family of indigenous North-American languages, but that too has slipped away.

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