Posted by patriwths on May 24, 2002 at 19:00:48:
In Reply to: very interesting... posted by Ibrahim on May 24, 2002 at 03:53:32:
: I'm especially curious about the "pelasgian" languages you mention in your post. You state there is written evidence
: of these languages, which according to you originally date back to the greek neolithic, hence they must be non indo
: european languages (unlike e.g. Greek). Do you have any references for sources on these languages, on their
: clasifications and especially on their written evidence?
yes, these languages are certainly not indo-european. The primary texts we have in these languages fall into three major classes.
First, there are the linear A texts. They are plentiful and indecipherable. We know the phonetics of linear A since the myceneans used the cretan script to write greek, which was discovered by Ventris in the 50s and he subsequently translated a huge volume of tablets and inscriptions. The second set of these is from the iron age, scattered throughout the greek world, the ones i know of off the top of my head are from Lemnos and Kypros, there are some grave stones with inscriptions in greek letters (heh, it came full circle!) but speaking a language that is not indo-european and has yet to be figured out. The third one is Etruscan. The minoans/cretans/pelasgians/proto-greeks (not achaians) seem to also be the progenitors of or related to the Etruscans in italy. The etruscan legends, fragments of which were preserved in Rome, told that the first etruscan city was founded by minoans, basically. There is also the roman legend of Aeneas, which could have been the combination of confused oral traditions mixed with
artistic embellishment, of an older etruscan story of the founding of etruria by minoans. In any case, the etruscan language bears many resemblances to the minoan 'pelasgian' (thats how they called themselves) tongue, and neither have been deciphered yet. The pelasgians were the indigenous inhabitants, there is continuous occupation through the neolithic in greece by people with the same features and skeletal structure as the 'minoans'. Only on some of the islands today does their blood still dominate. Most
of their features must have been recessive compared to those of the Ellhnes and slowly were pushed out. The minoans maintained political, cultural, and economic sway over the ellhnes for about 700 years, but after -1454 when Stroggili (now Thira), the volcanic island, erupted, the minoan power was destroyed and it was achaians from the mainland who rebuilt the minoan palace in Knossos. They weren't as good at keeping the peace in a big empire, though, and after about 80 years the palace was again destroyed and not rebuilt. The Ellhnes had absorbed so much of the culture of the minoans that they still aspired to _be_ them, enough to rebuild the palace and rule crete themselves as if they were the minoan kings. Certainly much of their blood was minoan blood, even more then than now.
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