CLAS 7012: Linear B

Spring 2020
Wednesday 3-5:30 pm
HUM 370

Basic information

Professor Dimitri Nakassis
Office:                  Eaton Humanities 1B25
Office hours:       Mondays, 12-2 pm (or by appointment)
Phone:                  303-492-8184

Course schedule

Week 1

Wednesday, January 15

               Class: Brief introductory lecture about Linear B (no assignment)

Week 2

Wednesday, January 22: no class

Read (for background):

  • John Younger and Paul Rehak, “The Material Culture of Neopalatial Crete” (2008)
  • John Younger and Paul Rehak, “Minoan Culture: Religion, Burial Customs, and Administration” (2008)
  • Cynthia Shelmerdine and John Bennet, “Mycenaean States” (2008)
  • Laura Preston, “Late Minoan II to IIIB Crete” (2008)
  • Joseph Maran and James Wright, “The Rise of the Mycenaean Culture, Palatial Administration and Its Collapse” (2020)
  • Jan Driessen, “Chronology of the Linear B Texts” (2008)

Week 3

Wednesday, January 29

Class: Lecture and discussion on the historical context of the emergence of the Linear B script, by James Wright (professor emeritus, Bryn Mawr College, former director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens)


  • Tom Palaima and Elizabeth Sikkenga, “Linear A > Linear B” (1999)
  • Jan Driessen and Charlotte Langohr, “Rallying 'round a 'Minoan' Past: The Legitimation of Power at Knossos during the Late Bronze Age” (2007)

*Thursday, January 30: James Wright lecture on “Art and Civilization in the Protohistoric Aegean” (HUMN 135, 5 pm)

Week 4

Wednesday, February 5

Class: interpreting texts, part I


  • Yves Duhoux, “Interpreting the Linear B records: some guidelines” (2011)
  • José Melena, “Mycenaean Writing” (2014), pp. 1-26
  • Ruth Palmer, “How to Begin? An Introduction to Linear B Conventions and Resources” (2008)

Week 5

Wednesday, February 12

Class: interpreting texts, part II