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The Decipherment of Linear B: Introduction

The decipherment of Linear B was of fundamental importance for the disciplines of Aegean archaeology and Indo-European linguistics: it completely altered our understanding of the early civilisations of Greece and Crete. Moreover, it pushed the earliest known examples of written Greek back to more than 3000 years ago, making Greek the oldest known European language that is still spoken today.

     Michael Ventris            John Chadwick 

The decipherment was achieved in 1952 by a young British architect, Michael Ventris. Within weeks of his discovery he was in touch with John Chadwick, a young philologist just appointed to a lectureship at Cambridge. Chadwick was the first scholar to accept the decipherment as correct; in his first letter to Ventris he made some further suggestions helping to confirm it. Ventris gladly welcomed Chadwick’s contributions and invited him to collaborate on the first scholarly publication of the decipherment, which came out in the Journal of Hellenic Studies in 1953. The two worked closely together for the next four years, until Ventris’s tragically early death in 1956, within weeks of the publication of their monumental joint work, Documents in Mycenaean Greek.

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Mycenae Archive opens for enquiries

May 04, 2018

The Faculty is pleased to announce that the Mycenae Excavation & Publication Archive, part of the Faculty of Classics Archives in the University of Cambridge, is open for enquiries. The Archives will be accessible by appointment to researchers in person on Mondays, 10am-4pm.

Student-Led Teaching Awards

May 04, 2018

The Faculty is delighted to announce that Dr Weiss has been recognised in the annual student-led teaching awards, as a runner-up in the Undergraduate Supervisor category. The Faculty also notes with pleasure that Dr Omitowoju had been shortlisted in the same category, while Professor Whitmarsh had been shortlisted in the Inclusive Practice category.

Professor Emily Gowers: Sather Lectures

Mar 27, 2018

The Faculty offers its warmest congratulations to Professor Emily Gowers who has been invited to deliver The Sather Lectures at Berkeley in 2021/2.

Honorary Degrees

Mar 26, 2018

The Faculty is delighted to announce the award of an Honorary Degree by the University to Joyce Reynolds, and also by the University of Oxford to Mary Beard, at congregations on 20th June.

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