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The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris

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9780500289983: The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris
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Linear B is Europe’s oldest readable writing, dating from the middle of the second millennium BC. This book, newly available in paperback, tells the life story of Michael Ventris, interlaced with that of his decipherment of Linear B. First discovered in 1900, on clay tablets among the ruins of the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Crete, it remained a mystery for over fifty years until 1952, when Michael Ventris discovered that its signs did not represent an unknown language as previously believed, but an archaic dialect of Greek, more than 500 years older than the Greek of Homer. Dubbed the ‘Everest of archaeology’, the decipherment was all the more remarkable because Ventris was not a trained classical scholar but an architect by profession, who had first heard of Linear B as a schoolboy. An initial fascination became a lifelong obsession for this intriguing and contradictory man, a gifted linguist but a divided soul. ‘Excellent: well researched and clearly presented ... compelling reading’ – The Times Literary Supplement ‘Excellent ... Robinson understands how to make the complexities of pictograms clear to the non-expert. The book gives many examples, and would appeal to anyone interested in crosswords, codes and cyphers, but it also tells a fascinating human story’ – The Independent ‘A wonderfully swift and clear biography, written for the nonspecialist’ –The Economist ‘A superb biography of Michael Ventris, combining a warm account of his life with just enough technical details to satisfy those who have knowledge of linguistics or indeed of the classics. It is a splendid read, and a fine memorial to the split personality that enabled Ventris to decipher Minoan Linear B so triumphantly’ – Current World Archaeology

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Mr. Robinson has given us a glimpse of genius at work, making significant connections between the work and the life.

Intrinsically fascinating. Robinson . . .has done more than retell the tale, albeit in a more accessible form than ever before.

About the Author:

Andrew Robinson has written more than 25 books on the arts and sciences. They include Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, India: A Short History and Earthshock, which won the Association of Earth Science Editors Outstanding Publication Award, plus Earth-Shattering Events . A regular contributor to such magazines as Current World Archaeology, History Today, The Lancet, Nature and Science, he has also been literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement and a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge.

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9780500510773: The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris

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ISBN 10: 0500510776 ISBN 13: 9780500510773
Publisher: Thames & Hudson, 2002
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Linear B is Europe's oldest readable writing, dating from the middle of the second millennium BC. This book, newly available in paperback, tells the life story of Michael Ventris, interlaced with that of his decipherment of Linear B. First discovered in 1900, on clay tablets among the ruins of the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Crete, it remained a mystery for over fifty years until 1952, when Michael Ventris discovered that its signs did not represent an unknown language as previously believed, but an archaic dialect of Greek, more than 500 years older than the Greek of Homer. Dubbed the `Everest of archaeology', the decipherment was all the more remarkable because Ventris was not a trained classical scholar but an architect by profession, who had first heard of Linear B as a schoolboy. An initial fascination became a lifelong obsession for this intriguing and contradictory man, a gifted linguist but a divided soul. `Excellent: well researched and clearly presented . compelling reading' - The Times Literary Supplement `Excellent . Robinson understands how to make the complexities of pictograms clear to the non-expert. The book gives many examples, and would appeal to anyone interested in crosswords, codes and cyphers, but it also tells a fascinating human story' - The Independent `A wonderfully swift and clear biography, written for the nonspecialist' - The Economist `A superb biography of Michael Ventris, combining a warm account of his life with just enough technical details to satisfy those who have knowledge of linguistics or indeed of the classics. It is a splendid read, and a fine memorial to the split personality that enabled Ventris to decipher Minoan Linear B so triumphantly' - Current World Archaeology. Seller Inventory # HUK9780500289983

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English. Brand new Book. Linear B is Europe's oldest readable writing, dating from the middle of the second millennium BC. This book, newly available in paperback, tells the life story of Michael Ventris, interlaced with that of his decipherment of Linear B. First discovered in 1900, on clay tablets among the ruins of the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Crete, it remained a mystery for over fifty years until 1952, when Michael Ventris discovered that its signs did not represent an unknown language as previously believed, but an archaic dialect of Greek, more than 500 years older than the Greek of Homer. Dubbed the `Everest of archaeology', the decipherment was all the more remarkable because Ventris was not a trained classical scholar but an architect by profession, who had first heard of Linear B as a schoolboy. An initial fascination became a lifelong obsession for this intriguing and contradictory man, a gifted linguist but a divided soul. `Excellent: well researched and clearly presented . compelling reading' - The Times Literary Supplement `Excellent . Robinson understands how to make the complexities of pictograms clear to the non-expert. The book gives many examples, and would appeal to anyone interested in crosswords, codes and cyphers, but it also tells a fascinating human story' - The Independent `A wonderfully swift and clear biography, written for the nonspecialist' - The Economist `A superb biography of Michael Ventris, combining a warm account of his life with just enough technical details to satisfy those who have knowledge of linguistics or indeed of the classics. It is a splendid read, and a fine memorial to the split personality that enabled Ventris to decipher Minoan Linear B so triumphantly' - Current World Archaeology. Seller Inventory # HUK9780500289983

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. More than a century ago, in 1900, one of the great archaeological finds of all time was made in Crete. Arthur Evans discovered what he believed was the palace of King Minos, with its notorious labyrinth, home of the Minotaur. As a result, Evans became obsessed with one of the epic intellectual stories of the modern era: the search for the meaning of Linear B, the mysterious script found on clay tablets in the ruined palace. Evans died without achieving his objective, and it was left to the enigmatic Michael Ventris to crack the code in 1952. This is the first book to tell not just the story of Linear B but also that of the young man who deciphered it. Based on hundreds of unpublished letters, interviews with survivors, and other primary sources, Andrew Robinson s riveting account takes the reader through the life of this intriguing and contradictory man. Stage by stage, we see how Ventris finally achieved the breakthrough that revealed Linear B as the earliest comprehensible European writing system. Tells the life story of Michael Ventris, interlaced with that of his decipherment of Linear B. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780500289983

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