Iurii Mosenkis



Linear A a-ra-ko-ku-zu-wa-sa-to-ma-ro-au-ta-de-po-ni-za

ἀρχόιο Γύγας ἀστυόχης αὐτοδεσποινικία’  

 A close cognate of the Trypillian Moon-Bird Goddess may be identified in Minoan Crete     

 In honor of Dr. N. Burdo

 B. Burdo underlines a role of water-bird related to the Moon in the Trypillian art, on the one hand, and a similarity between Trypillian and Mycenaean religious art, on the other hand.[1] The names of the Lunar Goddess of Athena (Γυγᾶ) and of the water bird (γύγης) were very similar in the Old Greek language. The Lunar Goddess might be mentioned in an eight-sided Cretan Hieroglyphic seal and in a Linear A inscription.[2]

 Key words: Minoan Athena, Trypillian Moon-Bird goddess, Cretan Linear Script A

    However, the Trypillian bird-goddess was related to a duck (and traced to Starčevo-Kriş and Pre-Cucuteni-Trypillia A), according to N. B. Burdo, while ancient Greek lunar goddess of Athena was related to an owl. The duck is depicted on the above-mentioned eight-sided seal as possible designation of goddess: ἄνασσα ‘queen, lady (goddess or human)’ and νᾶσσα ‘duck’. Perhaps, the Greek name of duck lost initial α- (cf. Latin anas, gen. anat-is, Lithuanian ántis ‘duck’), because of the homonymy with the title of queen. Cf. ‘consecrate wheat in honor of the duck’ (Aristoph. Birds 567). Greek names of queen and duck are Proto-Indo-European; cf. also Proto-Indo-European names of grandfather (Hier. Luw. huha-, Lat. avus) and bird (Hier. Luw. huwa-, Lat. avis).           

Lin. A a-ra-ko-, cf. ἀρχός ‘leader, chief, ruler’: ἀρχός πόλεως ‘ruler of city’ prob. in Eur. Fr. 1014 (LSJ, s. v.).  

Lin. A ku-zu-, cf. Γυγᾶ: Ἀθηνᾶ ἐγχώριος (‘of the country’, Hesych.), γυγαί: πάπποι (‘grandfathers’, Hesych.), γυγαίη νύξ σκοτεινή (‘darkness’, Hesych.), ὠγύγιος (‘primeval’, Hesych.), κουκᾶνα: πάππον (‘father’, Hesych.), Hittite huhhas, Luwian huhhas, Hieroglyphic Luwian huha-, Lycian χuga- ‘grandfather’.[3] The name of grandmother is different in mentioned Hittite-Luwian languages. Possible goddess of zu-za = k’u-k’a or gu-ga is mentioned in the Cretan Hieroglyphic. In contrast to Hittite, Luwian, Luwian Hieroglyphic, and Cretan Hieroglyphic, the word has different consonants in Lycian and Linear A. It might be a trace of ‘Cretan Lycian’.                     

Lin. A wa-sa-to-, cf. ϝάστυ, ἄστυ ‘town’, Sanskrit wasati ‘dwell’; Ἀστός fem. as epithet of ΚόρηIG12(5).225 (Paros, v c. BCE, LSJ, s. v.).               

Lin. A ma-ro-, cf. μάρη ‘hand’, μάρπτω ‘take hold of’, μάρπτις ‘seizer’; the root formed a verb in Linear B. Alternatively, cf.  Proto-Semitic *marʔ- ‘son, boy, child, man, lord’ etc. and Canaanite-Phoenician worships of the lord (i. e. god) of city, but 1) only in Aramaic the root mārā means ‘lord’ and 2) the feminine form, Proto-Semitic *marʔ-at-, means ‘woman’ and has a suffix which is absent in the Linear A inscription.    

Lin. A wa-sa-to-ma-ro- might mean ‘city-holder, city-ruler’, cf. στυάναξ ‘lord of the city’, epithet of certain gods (Aesch. Suppliant Women 1018), and name of a descendant of the throne in Troy, and especially ἀστυόχος ‘protecting the city’, Ἀστυόχη, Homeric personal name of woman.                 

Lin. A au-ta-, cf. αὐτός, Cretan ϝτός, fem.  αὐτή ‘self’.  

Lin. A de-po-ni-, cf. δέσποινα ‘mistress, princess, queen, goddess‘. Two Arcadian goddesses had the name.        

Lin. A au-ta-de-po-ni-, cf. αὐτοδεσπότης ‘absolute master’, αὐτοδεσποτεία ‘absolute rule’. About the suffix -za in de-po-ni-za, cf. adj. δεσποινικός. The adjective form might point to the vessel possessed, i. e. offered, to the goddess.      

So the whole inscription a-ra-ko-ku-zu-wa-sa-to-ma-ro-au-ta-de-po-ni-za may be read as ἀρχόιο Γύγας ἀστυόχης αὐτοδεσποινικία (vessel) ‘chief goddess’, city-holder’s, absolute ruler’s (vessel)’.  


[1] Бурдо Н. Б. Сакральний світ трипільської цивілізації, К., 2005; Бурдо Н. Б. Антропоморфна пластика з трипільського поселення Майданецьке, Археологія, 2011, № 2,      

[2] KO (?) Zf 2 (Khania Mus. 1385 [Mitsotakis collection]) (GORILA IV: 158-159), bronze mesomphalos bowl,    

[3] Puhvel, J. Hittite Etymological Dictionary, Mouton de Gruyter (Berlin, New York 1991), vol. 3, pp. 355-358.