Book Notes: Linear B And Related Scripts by John Chadwick

Characteristics: (where 1 is bad and 5 is superb)

  • Interestingness: 3
  • Subject Matter: 3
  • Organization: 3
  • Binding: 4
  • Writing Quality: 3

Linear B is the oldest known script of Greek, and not surprisingly it has recorded the oldest Greek that we have. This book is a little introduction to Linear B. It is not a grammar book, but an overview of how it was discovered and deciphered, and what you find in the Linear B texts, along with some information on related scripts (Linear A and Cypriotic inscriptions). It does have the alphabet and information on some words.

The book is very short and can be read easily in a single afternoon. It contains a good number of sketches and photographs, which make the little book very useful. If you are interested in Linear B, I would recommend the book. A better book is The Story of Decipherment: From Egyptian Hieroglyphs to Maya Script, though it covers more material, is significantly longer, and costs more.