About what kinds of things we may learn about mythology by reading about rituals recorded by bureaucratic scribes

2019.11.22 | By Gregory Nagy §0. This essay centers on a scribe working in the Mycenaean palace at Pylos who wrote a Greek-language text about protocols involving rituals. The scribe’s text, written on a tablet of clay in a form of writing known as Linear B, was accidentally preserved because this tablet, along with hundreds of other such tablets, was baked solid by a great fire that destroyed the palace… Read more

Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIII, with a focus on the role of Hēraklēs as kingmaker

2019.10.18 | By Gregory Nagy §0. In my essay for 2019.10.11, “Hēraklēs at his station in Mycenaean Tiryns,” I focused on references in Greek myth to the stationing of Hēraklēs at the Cyclopean stronghold of Tiryns in the context of the Labors that this hero performs for the king Eurystheus, who rules from his own Cyclopean stronghold of Mycenae, nerve center of the Mycenaean Empire. I argued that such a… Read more

Linear B po-re-na, po-re-si, and po-re-no-

2018.02.04 | By Roger D. Woodard §0. Opinions have varied and swayed regarding the interpretation of the Linear B term po-re-na. Whatever meaning is assigned, many would draw the forms po-re-si and po-re-no- into their interpretation of po-re-na, and vice versa. In this investigation I begin with the interpretation of po-re-na that appears most probable and reconsider po-re-si and po-re-no- on the basis of both internal and comparative evidence. [[For… Read more

A bathtub in Pylos

2017.03.16 | By Gregory Nagy In Odyssey 3, Telemachus as guest of Nestor is given a bath in a bathtub called an asaminthos. Archaeologists have linked this asaminthos with a terracotta bathtub found in the so-called Palace of Nestor at Pylos. Explored here is the ritual significance of a bath in such a bathtub. Read more