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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mycenaean Names

Thanks to the awesome talk on Bronze Age Greece mentioned in my earlier post, I am now well stocked with Mycenaean names of all kinds -- or um, some kinds, anyway. This list is mostly for me and my potential future needs,* but I thought some of you would appreciate the quick reference.

It seems like some names were based on occupation -- which should be too surprising, all things considered. In the modern world. we have that same kind of convention in our surnames (Smith, Potter, Cooper). A few examples from Linear B, related to Smithing:
Mycenaean Ruins, taken by Jeanhousen via wiki commons

Aithalos (Soot)
Arisbas (he who quenches very much)
Puraltas (Fire-feeder)
Purkoros (fire-sweeper)
Khalkeus (smith)
Melanthos (dark)
Pamphusos (all bellows)
Psolion (sooty)
Psolarkhos (he who rules over soot)

Other names were related to, it seems, characteristics:

Atukhos (Unlucky, armorer of the king)
Plouteus (Wealth/wealthy)
plus another name I didn't catch the spelling of but translated to "On the Lake" ha!

And still more were mentioned in passing and I have no idea what they mean:

Tantalos (like Tantalus? Kind of fitting if it was, what with him being the Great-Grandfather of Agamemnon.)
Warnotaios
Lakhuros
Phalaikos
Kusos
Kerawios
Kotullon
Aikhweus
Aithiops
Adamaos
Atukhos
Pikreus
Alksoitas
Komawens son of Dewos
Pakhullos, son of Dewos
Khalkeus
Euestor
Awekseus


Finally, a couple of titles:**

Wa-na-ka (Wanax, or King -- in the PALACE context, as opposed to the hamlet context)
Ra-wa-ke-ta (Iawagetas, Leader of the Host -- Kind of like the king, but not quite as impressive.)
E-qe-ta (Hequetas, Follower -- hypothesized as similar to Alexander the Great's companions, aristocratic companions to the Wanax.)
Qa-si-re-u (Basileus "community leader" or chief, which came to mean "king" in later Greek)

Also: Telestai (not explicitly discussed but presented in a chart as "governors" and "chiefs")


*Just like the rest of this blog, really. Not that I do not love sharing with all of you as a side-benefit! 

**Hyphenated words are the Linear B representations, and inside the parentheticals you'll find the later Greek and the meaning.

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