The Greek World

 
Greek Calendar
Greek Festivals     
Panhellenic Games
Seven Wonders of the World
Seven Wise Men
Greek Alphabets
Linear B





Greek Calendar
 

Passages in the works of Homer and Hesiod indicated that the Greeks had used lunar months. Hesiod, in his Works and Days, had also shown that he often used the constellations to plan when to plant and harvest crops.

The lunar and solar systems were used in the Greek calendar. Like all lunar calendar, the time difference will make the calendar fall out of phase with the solar calendar and the seasons each year, so it was normal to add an extra month to a lunar year to make them realign to the solar calendar; the extra month is known as intercalated month. Sometimes, extra days were added, while at other time they were omitted. This can make the calendar difficult to determine each year.

It appeared that the name of each month was normally named after its main festivals. You will find more detail about the festivals in the next article, titled Greek Festivals. Below is the name of the months that was used in Athens. The first month of the year was called Hecatombaion, beginning in midsummer, which is around roughly in mid-July.

There were other calendars that were used in various part of Greece, such as the Macedonian calendar. Hesiod, who was most likely a Boeotian, had only named one month in the Works and Days - Lenacon, which was around January-February. The name differed from the Athenian Gamelion. So it clear that the Athenian was not uniformly accepted in other parts of Greece. However, I had listed the Athenian months, because it was better documented than the calendar months used by other Greek city-states.

 
Greek Months Equivalent
Hecatombaion July-August
Metageitnion August-September
Boedromion September-October
Pyanopsion October-November
Maimacterion November-December
Poseideion December-January
Gamelion January-February
Anthesterion February-March
Elaphebolion March-April
Mounychion April-May
Thargelion May-June
Scirophorion June/July



Greek Festivals
 

There are number of festivals that have very little to do with mythology, but has great religious significance.

The rites or events in the festivals varied widely. Some of these festivals allowed everyone to participate, while others were only for the selected few, such as the priests or priestesses. Some required fasting or remaining chaste, while others enjoyed wine, feasts and sexual activities. Or there may be sacrifice of animals to the gods, or a procession through the streets of the city. Contests and games were sometimes held in honour of the gods, or recitals and music were heard.

I have left out some festivals (eg. Olympic Games, Isthmian Games, etc), but these can be found in the Panhellenic Games, which you can read in the next article.

   


 
Festival Dedication City Date Description
Daedala (Daidala) Hera Plataea. Held every seven years.

The festival was held in honour of Hera, at Plataea, every seven years. The Great Daedala was held every 59 years, all over Boeotia. The festival involved in a procession of the wooden bride (daidala), before this image was burned in a sacrificial fire. This was meant to be a festival of reconciliation. The myth surrounding this festival was when Hera left her husband, because she was fed up with his frequent infidelities. They were reconciled when Zeus pretended that he has a new bride and she discovered that her so-called rival was only a wooden statue of a woman, when she ripped off the veil. See Hera.

Panathenaea
(also Great Panathenaea)
Athena Athens. Mid-August.

The Panathenaea was a festival held in Athens, where they sacrificed animals to the goddess Athena, their great patron goddess and protectress. At first, the festival was held annually, but around the mid-5th century, a larger festival was held every four years, like the Olympic Games. The larger festival was called Great Panathenaea, where the celebration for lasted five days, while the smaller festivals held in the other years, lasted for only 2 days.

The festival usually begins with a procession, with people bringing in sacrificial animals. After the sacrifices, there were recitals of parts of epic poems, but this was later replaced by music contests at the time of the statesman Pericles (fl. mid-5th century BC). Commemoration was also held for those who had fought in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC). There was also smaller version of the athletic competitions. At night, there was a procession in where the people bore torches as they moved towards the temples on the Acropolis.

Chloia Demeter Chloë Eleusis Anthesterion (March)

A spring festival held in honour of Demeter Chloë, around the time that grains begin to sprout.

Scirophoria Demeter and Kore (Persephone) Athens. 12th of Skirophorion (June/July).

An annual festival held in honour of Demeter and her daughter Kore (Persephone). It was at this time of the year when the threshing is done. Priests and priestesses from the temples of Athena, Poseidon and Helios marched to the place known as the Skiron, under the large, white umbrella. The umbrella symbolised protection of the soil from the sun.

Eleusinia Demeter Eleusis Held every two years, probably in the month of Metageitnion (August-September).

A Thanksgiving festival held in honour to Demeter for the new crops. Though, it is held at Eleusis, it may not have anything to do with Eleusinian Mysteries. It was festival was held every two years on the month of Metageitnion, which involved sacrifice to Demeter and athletic contests.

Proerosia Demeter Eleusis September

A festival which involved praying for good harvest, before they begin ploughing and sowing.

Thalysia Demeter Cos autumn

This festival was held in autumn after harvest on the island of Cos. Basically the festival is that of Thanksgiving.

Thesmophoria Demeter Various parts of Greece. 12-14 Pyanopsion (October).

An annual three-day festival which was held in honour of Demeter Thesmophoros, observed in various part of Greece. It is a festival where the rites were carried out by women, and the purpose was to ensure the fertility of the land, so that good crop would be harvested. The women participating in the rituals had to fast and observe their chastity for several days.

The rite was supposed to symbolised the abduction of Kore (Persephone), daughter of Demeter, and of the time she must spend on the surface and in the Underworld. So on the first day, pigs was thrown into a pit or underground chamber. What remains that are left and not eaten by snakes, and before it had time to rot, the remains are then brought back up by women who had fasted. The pigs' remains are then place on the altar, in the hope that there are good crop this year. The second day involved with women fasting, in remembrance to the time that Demeter was wandering and mourning over the loss of her daughter. On the third day, the women spent the day giving gifts to children and praying for blessing on family. They also prayed for good crops. On this day, it was to commemorate Demeter reunion with her daughter, ending the famine and failed crops.

Haloa Demeter Eleusis, Athens Poseideon (December)

The festival involved a procession from Athens to Eleusis. Triptolemus was Demeter's first priest, whom she taught how to use the threshing floor.

Thargelia Apollo Athens. Held on the sixth and seventh days of Thargelion (May-June).

Thargelia was a vegetation festival held annually in Athens, where a man played the role of a god. This person was used as a scapegoat, where the people drive him out of the city. Sometimes, this victim was actually sacrificed, particularly during the time of famine; the scapegoat was either thrown into the sea or burned alive on a funeral pyre. On the second day of the festival there was a feast and procession as a mark of thanksgiving.

Daphnephoria Apollo Ismenius or Apollo Chalazius Thebes. Every nine years.

Daphnephoria was a festival held in honour to Apollo every nine years at Thebes. The festival involved a procession where one person bears an olive branch, with laurel flower and bronze balls that were tied to a branch. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with Daphne, the nymph who had escaped Apollo by transforming into a laurel tree. According to the legend, it was was establish in honour of Apollo when the Thebans won the victory in a war against the Pelasgians and the Aeolians.

Delia Apollo Delos. Every 4 or 5 years.

Delia was a festival held in honour of Apollo on the island of Delos, his birthplace. Like the Pythian Games, it involved with athletic and music contests, though in a much smaller scale than the Pythian. According to the myth, it was established by the hero Theseus over the victory of slaying the Minotaur in Crete.

Pyanopsia Apollo Athens. Seventh day of the month of Pyanopsion (October).

The Pyanopsia was held annually on the 7th day of Pyanopsion (October). The rite involved hanging a hodgepodge of pulse and a branch of olive or laurel on the gate of the temple of Apollo. The Athenian hero Theseus was said to have began this ritual to thank Apollo and commemorating his victory over the monster, the Minotaur.

Bacchanalia or Dionysia Dionysus Various parts of Greece, southern Italy, including Rome. Dates varied.

A festival held in honour of Dionysus (Bacchus or Liber), the god of wine. The festival was usually celebrated with food and drinking. There are a number of different kinds of festivals, and the best known was the Great Dionysia where the festival held dramatic performances in the theatre. The Little Dionysia was simple, smaller feasts. While Anthesteria, held on the month of Anthesterion (February-March), involved merrymaking and drinking on the second day of the holiday. The Anthesteria was to celebrate the spring and the maturing of wine.

Agrionia Dionysus Orchomenus. Held annually.

A festival held in honour of Dionysus in Orchomenus. Orchomenus was the city of the mythical king, Minyas, where his daughters were all driven mad, devouring their children. It was a punishment for not believing or worshipping Dionysus as a god. The festival used to involve with the priest killing a woman who was descendant of Minyas.

Aiora Icarius and Erigone Athens Held at grape harvest.

The Aiora or "Swinging" commemorate the death of Erigone and her father of Icarius. Erigone had hanged herself when she discovered her father's body. Icarius was a follower of Dionysus, so the wine god punished Athens causing madness upon young Athenian girls, where they too hanged themselves, until the murderers were punished. Athens instituted the festival during the grape harvest, where girls swung on ropes.

Hyacinthia Hyacinthus Amyclae and Sparta Three-day festival, held annually.

An annual festival held in honour of the Spartan youth, Hyacinthus, son of Amyclae. He was lover of Apollo, but the god accidentally killed him with a miscast discus. Athletic contests were held to commemorate his death and the festival lasted for 3 days, each year at his tomb in Amyclae. In Amyclae, he was worshipped as a god. Sparta took over the festival, where Apollo was also honoured.

Adonia Adonis   Held annually.

A festival held in honour to Adonis, the young hunter whom Aphrodite loved, but who died tragically. Mostly young women celebrate his death and rebirth, by planting seeds in shallow soil, growing flowers that grow fast but die young.

Bendidea Bendis Athens Annual

An annual festival dedicated to Bendis in Athens, but has its origin in Thrace. It involved night horse-race, where riders carried torches.



Panhellenic Games
 

The ancient Greeks were known for their robust athletic skills and training. Homer had represented most of the heroes as great warriors and athletes. The needs to show off their physical appearance and their manly skills in all manners of sports, was mostly the pastime of aristocrats and the warriors. Portrayal of the Greek gods in arts was seen with powerful and perfect physique, often youthful like that of the Greek sun god, Apollo.

Strength, stamina and speed were of utmost importance to the Greeks. Through exercising and competing, the Greeks hoped to look almost godlike in appearance.

In Greece, four Panhellenic Games were established. Though, these games were set some time in the early 1st millennium BC, some writers placed the establishment before the arrivals in Greece of the Dorians, Ionians and Aeolians, the ancestors of the modern Greeks. These writers had set them in the Bronze Age or the mythical Heroic Age, the time of the Mycenaean and Minoan empires.

Of the four games, the Olympic Games became the most important and sacred, where hostilities between two warring city-states were temporarily curbed during the games, so all men can compete (except for foreigners, women and slaves).

The usual events include footraces, jumping, discus and javelin throwing, wrestling, boxing and chariot races. Victor in contest was usually awarded a crown of wild olive, celery or parsley.

The Pythian Games had introduced music and singing contests. The Isthmian Games and Nemean Games held similar contests as the Pythian Games, with both athletic and music competitions.

There is only one extra "Games", which was different to others. The four great games were events only men could compete. So there was one Games, which were only held for women competitors, and it is known as the Heraean Games. It was named after the goddess, Hera, which the games honoured. Historically, it is possible that the Heraean Games was older than the others.

There are festivals where games and contests held various parts of Greece, but these tends to be more local, such as the Panathenaea in Athens and Delia on the island of Delos. See the previous article on Greek Festivals.


Then, there are also games that are only held once. Such as the funeral games for a hero or ruler, just after the cremation. Despite the funeral games being smaller than the Panhellenic Games, they were more widespread. In Greek and Roman mythology, games are sometimes held after the funeral.

The Nemean Games, being an exception. The Nemean Games had actually started out as a funeral games to the infant Opheltes, before it became a major event that was held every five years in Nemea.

Perseus competed in the funeral games where he had accidentally killed his grandfather, Acrisius, which thereby fufilled a prophecy. Great funeral games was held for King Pelias of Iolcus, where many heroes took part, including a woman competing for the first time; the heroine's name was Atalanta. A funeral game was also given in honour to Achilles, but this had tragic consequences, when Ajax contested Odysseus for the armour of Achilles.

Great details were given to the funeral games of Patroclus, friend of Achilles, in the Iliad, and that of Anchises, Aeneas' father, in the Aeneid. With funeral games of Patroclus, Achilles had actually sacrificed twelve Trojan captives, along with twelve horses. Though, sacrifices of animals were normal for such a funeral, human sacrifices wasn't.

   


 
Games Location (Dedications) Description
Olympic Games Olympia (Heracles the Dactyl or Zeus)

The Olympic Games is the most famous of the four Panhellenic games. The Olympics was held in Olympia in Elis, every four years, traditionally beginning in 776 BC. The games were probably invented before the year 776 BC, but the names of winners of the competitions were recorded for the first time. Victor of certain event was awarded a crown of olive, and had their head anointed in olive oil.

According to Greek myth, the Olympic Games was invented by a Cretan youth named Heracles the Dactyl, some time before the Deluge (do not confuse him with the hero Heracles). Heracles the Dactyl had competed against his brothers in various contests. A different myth says that Zeus had invented the Games, when he wrestled against his father Cronus, in the war against the Titans, though I would find this highly unlikely.

During the Olympic Games, weapons put aside and wars were suspended on this occasion, so peace was temporary whenever the games were held.

The modern Olympic Games were first established in 1896, held first at Athens. Traditional contests were held as well as new events were introduced.

Pythian Games Delphi (Apollo)

The Pythian Games was held every four years in Delphi, to commemorate Apollo his victory in slaying the giant serpent or dragon, Python, which guarded the oracle. According to Hyginus, it was actually funeral games that Apollo had instituted for the honour of Python. The Pythian Games had also held music contests as well as athletic contests. The victor was awarded with the crown of laurel.

Nemean Games Argos (Opheltes)

According to the myth, the Nemean Games was held in honour of the infant Opheltes, who was killed by snakebite, in Nemea. The event was organised by King Adrastus of Argos, who was on his way to war against the city of Thebes, with six other Argive leaders (see Seven Against Thebes). The Nemean Games at first was just a funeral game for Opheltes, but it was held every five years, where victor received a crown of celery.

Isthmian Games Corinth (Poseidon)

The Isthmian Games was established in Corinth, in honour of the great sea god, Poseidon. Athletic and musical contests were held every two years. The Isthmian Games were said to have started by its king, Sisyphus, though in other legend says that Theseus may have founded the Games. Like the Nemean Games, victor received a crown of celery.

When Athamas, Sisyphus' brother, and Ino, daughter of Cadmus, were inflicted with madness by Hera, for harbouring Dionysus, Athamas killed his eldest son, while Ino leaped into the sea, with her younger son, Melicertes. Some say that Melicertes was transformed into the sea god, Palaemon. While others say that his body was carried to Corinth, by a dolphin, where Sisyphus found and buried his nephew's body. Sisyphus established the Isthmian Games in honour to Melicertes.

Heraean Games Olympia (Hera)

The Heraean Games was held every four years in Olympia, in honour of Hera, where the competitors were young women or girls. It was said to be first introduced by Hippodameia, the wife of Pelops. Like the Olympics, the victor was awarded with a crown of wild olive. Historically, the Heraean Games may well be older than the Olympics and the other three games.



Seven Wonders of the World
 

Antipater of Sidon, who flourished in the 2nd century BC, was one of the writers who reported the Seven Wonders of the World. These wonders were either monumental architectures or immense statues built in the known world of the Greeks.

Pyramids of Giza Giza, Egypt. Pyramids were constructed by the Egyptian pharaohs in the 4th Dynasty.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon Babylon, Mesopotamia. Palace garden constructed during the reign of Nebuchadrezzar II for his queen.
Statue of Zeus Olympia, Greece. Statue for the temple Zeus, was said to be created by the great Athenian sculptor Phidas (fl. 430 BC).
Temple of Artemis Ephesus, Lydia, Asia Minor. Temple for Artemis was built by Croesus in 550 BC.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Halicarnassus, Caria, Asia Minor. Mausoleum of Mausolus, constructed by his wife and queen, Artemisia.
Colossus of Rhodes Rhodes. Statue of the sun god Helios, to commemorate the victory over the army of Demetrius I Poliorcetes.
Pharos of Alexandria Pharos, near Alexandria, Egypt. Lighthouse built by Ptolemy II about 280 BC.
   



Seven Wise Men
 


Anacharsis Early 6th century BC. Scythian prince.
Periander d. c. 588 BC. Corinthian tyrant.
Pittacus of Mytilene c. 650 - c. 570 BC. Statesman from Mytilene.
Solon of Athens c. 630 - c. 560 BC. Athenian statesman and reformer.
Pherecydes of Syros fl. c. 550 BC. Mythographer and cosmogonist from Syros.
Thales of Miletus c. 624 - c. 545 BC. Philosopher and cosmogonist from Miletus.
   







Writing Systems




Greek Alphabets
 

Apart from using the characters of the Greek alphabets as notations in my maths and science classes, I don't know how to read Greek. (sigh This is a real tragedy.) Nor am I a linguist genius, since English is the only language I know. English is the only language I can read and write. (Judging by the number of spelling and grammar errors I had, I haven't even fully mastered English. sigh)

However, I can give you a brief history on the Greek alphabets.

On the right, I have listed the Greek alphabets, with the last column being the English (Latin) equivalent of each Greek character.


So what is the "alphabet"?

To avoid going too deep with theory, the alphabets can be defined as a set of characters that represented the phonemic structure of the word. A word will have vowels and consonants. (Well that's enough of the theory for the day!)

The Greeks did not invent the alphabets. (Well, the writing system was actually named after them. The word "alphabets" was actually derived from the first two letters of the Greek alphabets – "alpha" and "beta".)

The origin of the alphabets was probably invented between the 17th and 15th century BC, by the Phoenicians, those great sea-going nation in ancient time. Linguistically, the Phoenician belonged to the Semitic language, used by the people living in Phoenica (modern Lebanon). (As oppose to the Greek language being part of the Indo-European family language.)

What the Greeks invented, was their own set of characters and their introduction to the vowels in the alphabets full of consonants. The Phoenician and other Semitic languages didn't have vowels. The Greek alphabets were invented some time between the 8th and 7th century BC, after the Dorian Invasion, thus the arrival of the Hellenic people (eg. Greeks, such as the Dorians, Aeolians and Ionians).

According to the 1st century BC historian, Diodorus Siculus, it was Cadmus, who brought the Phoenician alphabets to the Greeks, and therefore creating their own version of alphabets. This would mean the Greek alphabets by Cadmus is far older than they are actually are. For if Cadmus did exist, he would have lived in the Bronze Age, at least half-dozen generations before the war between Argos and Thebes, ie. Seven Against Thebes.

Anyway, the Greek alphabets had greatly influenced other writing systems in Europe. Because, the Roman or more precisely the Latin alphabets had borrowed either directly and indirectly the alphabets used by the Greeks. Latin had also borrowed (more directly) the characters used by the Etruscans, but then the Etruscans had also borrowed some of the characters from the Greek alphabets as well.

There was a period in the Republican Rome where the Greek language was used by the Roman elites and scholars more than their own language: Latin. The Latin alphabets would later become more widely use than the Greek, where it had directly influenced the Germanic language, including English.

Though the Greek alphabets remained relative unchanged since its invention, regionally and racially the spoken language had undergone many phonetic changes over the centuries, so there were many different dialects in Greek.

 
Alphabet Capital Lower Case Latin Equ.
alpha Α α a
beta Β β b
gamma Γ γ g
delta Δ δ d
epsilon Ε ε e
zeta Ζ ζ z
eta Η η h
theta Θ θ th
theta (symbol) ϑ
iota Ι ι i
kapa Κ κ k
lamba Λ λ l
mu Μ μ m
nu Ν ν n
xi Ξ ξ x
omicron Ο ο o
pi Π π p
rho Ρ ρ r
sigma Σ σ s
sigma (final) ς
tau Τ τ t
upsilon Υ υ u
upsilon (symbol) ϒ
phi Φ φ ph
chi Χ χ kh, ch
psi Ψ ψ ps
omega Ω ω w



Linear B
 

There is one thing I should point out. During the Bronze Age, writing did exist in the Aegean civilisation before the Hellenic invasion/migration (eg. Dorians, Aeolians and Ionians) and before the introduction of the Greek alphabets in Greece. The pre-Hellenic writing system was known as Linear B, used in Mycenaean civilisation on Crete and surround islands, as well as in Mycenae and other cities on the mainland. The Linear B was used as early as 1450 BC. It was forgotten when the Mycenaean cities were destroyed during the Dorian invasion (c. 1150 BC). See Who were the Greeks?, about the Greek people, in the About Classical Mythology page.

All the Greek writing that had come down to us from ancient Greece, were written in with the Greek alphabets. And the authors of these Greeks were descendants of the Hellenic Greeks, such as Homer, Hesiod, Euripides, etc. So you may have pondered if the Linear B were written in the language of the Greek?

The answer was yes, the scripts of Linear B were indeed Greek, but these pre-Hellenic Greeks didn't used the Greek alphabets. When the Linear B writing was discovered by the 19th century archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans in Knossos, the experts at that time thought that it wasn't Greek at all. It wasn't until it was deciphered, that experts now believed that the language used by the Mycenaeans belonged to one of the Greek dialects.

However, there was no literature that was written using these Linear B scripts. Nor were there any historical document written in Linear B. What was discovered when the Linear B was deciphered, was that the writing that were found, were used for administrative purposes only. Clay tablets that were found, only recorded accounting of goods and inventories.

The language used at this period (1450-1200 BC) on the mainland Greece, was Mycenaean, because Mycenae was the most powerful Greek kingdom at the time. It is generally believed that Mycenaean was ancient dialect of the Greek language.

The Linear B was adapted from an earlier writing that were found in Crete and a few Aeagan islands, known as Linear A (flourished 1850-1400 BC). The language of the Linear A has not yet been determined, nor has the Linear A writing been successfully deciphered.



Some of the names found in both tablets in Knossos and Pylos, were believed to be the name of deities, though this can't be established with great certainty. The names could be title of rulers, priests or priestess, instead of deities. The names are not limited to the offerings listed in Linear B tablets; the names are linked to any mythology or religion.

Below, are the names of deities and other figures in the Linear B tablets found in Knossos, Crete and in Pylos on main Greece:

   


Linear B Greek equivalent Roman equivalent
Knossos Pylos Translations
PO-TI-NI-JA PO-TI-NI-JA Potnia – "Lady" or "Mistress"
A-TA-NA PO-TI-NI-JA Atana Potnia – the Idaean Mother of Crete Athena? or "Lady of Athens"? Minerva
Potnia theron – "Mistress of Animals" Artemis or Britomartis Diana
QE-RA-SI-JA the Hunter Goddess
DA-PU-RI-TO-JO PO-TI-NI-JA "Lady of the Labyrinth" Ariadne? Ariadne
PO-TI-NI-JA PA-KI-JA-NI-JA Potnia of Sphagianeia (place name)
PO-TI-NI-JA I-QE-JA Hippeia – "Mistress of Horses"
A-SI-WI-JA (PO-TI-NI-JA) A-SI-WI-JA Aswia, Lady of Asia?
NE-WO-PE-O (place name)
U-PO-JO ?
MA-TE-RE TE-I-JA Mater theia – "Divine Mother" Cybele or Demeter?
E-RE-U-TI-JA Eleuthia Eileithyia Ilithyia
PI-PI-TU-NA Diktynna Dictynna (Britomartis)  
PO-SE-DA-O-NE PO-SE-DA-O-NE Poseidon Neptune
PO-SI-DA-E-JA feminine form of Poseidon
E-NE-SI-DA-O-NE Enosidas Enosichthon ("Earth-shaker")
DI-WO DI-WE, DI-WI-JE-U Diwei Zeus Jupiter
DI-WI-JA DI-WI-JA Diwia Dione, feminine form of Zeus
E-RA Hera Juno
A-RE A-RE-JA Ares? Mars
E-NU-WA-RI-JO Enyalios Enyalius, epithet of Ares
PA-JA-WO-NE Paiawon Paean or Paian
A-TI-MI-TE Artemis Diana
E-MA-A Herma(h)âs Hermes Mercury
DI-WO-NU-SO-JO Dionysus? Liber
E-RI-NU Erinys? either the Erinyes (Furies) or the epithet of Demeter
I-PE-ME-DE-JA Iphimedeia, mistress of Poseidon
TI-RI-SE-RO-E Trisheros – the "Triple Hero"?
WA-NA-SO-I Wanasoi – "the Two Queens"
DI-PI-SI-JO-I Dipsioi
DO-PO-TA Despotas? – the "Lord"?
  A-NE-MOI Anemoi – "The Winds"    
KO-MA-WE-TE-JA "the fair-tressed female deity"?


The only names that we have in common in both the Knossos and Pylos tablets are PO-TI-NI-JA (Potnia), PO-SE-DA-O-NE (Poseidon), DI-WO or DI-WE (Zeus), DI-WI-JA (Dione, a feminine form of Zeus), and A-RE or A-RE-JA (Ares).

There are cases where there are masculine and feminine names for both Poseidon and Zeus. The feminine spelling of Poseidon is PO-SI-DA-E-JA, while DI-WI-JA is a feminine name for Zeus, perhaps equivalent to the Oceanid Dione.

The names of Eleuthia (Eileithyia), and Dictynna were recognisable names in Knossos. While in Pylos, we can find the equivalents to the classical Hera, Artemis, Hermes, and even more remarkable there is Linear B equivalent for Dionysus. Though, modern scholars are doubtful that this name for Dionysus is a diety.

Though, Hera's name appeared in the Linear B tablet at Pylos, the goddess was not identified or linked with Zeus, as his consort, like in the classical myth.

As can be seen in the table, some of the deities survived to the Archaic and Classical periods.

   









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