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The Mycenaean World: Language BA


Admission requirements

The course is an elective open to BA, MA and ResMA students. A decent working knowledge of Ancient Greek (a completed language acquisitition course) is required.


Mycenaean civilization flourished in mainland Greece and the Aegean islands in the Late Bronze Age. The Mycenaeans have left behind an impressive material legacy, including the remains of mighty palaces, precious objects, decorative pottery, as well as thousands of clay tablets. These tablets, which all form part of local administrations, are written in the Linear B script, which was deciphered in 1952 by Michael Ventris. The documents are written in the Mycenaean language, an archaic form of ancient Greek.

This course gives an introduction to Mycenaean language, grammar and the Linear B script. The language will be taught in a hands-on manner, by reading a selection of prepared texts in class (partly in Linear B, partly in transliteration); in addition, students are expected to independently prepare a number of texts and articles for the exam. While close-reading the texts, we will deal with philological and interpretative problems. The course also pays attention to the linguistic relationship between Mycenaean and later Greek dialects, including the language of Homer.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students

  • have knowledge about the Linear B writing system (in transliterated form) and of Mycenaean phonology and morphology

  • are able to discuss the relation between Linear B script and Mycenaean phonology and morphology

  • are able to discuss the linguistic relation between Mycenaean, later forms of Greek, and Indo-European

  • are able to translate, interpret and contextualize Mycenaean texts with the help of a commentary


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture/Seminar

Assessment method


  • Mid-term test on Linear B script, phonology and morphology

  • Final exam with short open questions on prepared texts and articles


  • The mid-term test counts for 25% of the final mark, the final exam for 75%.


There is one resit option for each assessment.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

  • Y. Duhoux and A. Morpurgo Davies (eds.), A Companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World. Part 1. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters, 2008. (ISBN: 9789042918481)

  • Course Syllabus on spelling, phonology and morphology.

  • Selected articles (to be communicated at the start of the semester).


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory

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For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


This course is an elective that can be taken by BA and MA students in Linguistics, Classics and CAC.