Ventris, Michael


Ventris, Michael

▪ British architect and cryptographer
in full  Michael George Francis Ventris  
born July 12, 1922, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, Eng.
died Sept. 6, 1956, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire

      English architect and cryptographer who in 1952 deciphered the Minoan Linear B script and showed it to be Greek in its oldest known form, dating from about 1400 to 1200 BC, roughly the period of the events narrated in the Homeric epics.

      As a boy, his fascination with the classics led Ventris to study Greek and Latin. A competent and zealous cryptographer at 14, in 1936 he heard the famed archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans lecture on the Linear B script that he had discovered at Knossós, Crete, in about 1900 and how it still baffled linguists and archaeologists. Ventris' determination to solve the puzzle of this peculiar writing dated from that time.

      At 18 Ventris published a paper in the American Journal of Archaeology supporting the possibility of a relation between the script and another problematic language, Etruscan. In 1949, following architectural studies that had been interrupted by service in the Royal Air Force during World War II, he began searching in earnest for the key to Linear B. The method by which he achieved success was essentially that of statistical analysis, aided by stray hints from the analysis of various arrangements of syllabic signs. After the publication (1951) of texts in an almost identical script found on the Greek mainland in 1939, Ventris' progress was rapid. In June 1952 he announced over a British radio program that he had found the Linear B to be a very archaic form of Greek.

      Joined shortly thereafter by the Cambridge linguist John Chadwick, they assembled dramatic evidence supporting Ventris' theory. In 1953 they published their historic paper, “Evidence for Greek Dialect in the Mycenaean Archives.” Their Documents in Mycenaean Greek (1956; rev. ed., 1973) was published a few weeks after Ventris' death in an auto accident, and Chadwick's The Decipherment of Linear B (1958; 2nd ed., 1968) followed.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Ventris, Michael (George Francis) — born July 12, 1922, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, Eng. died Sept. 6, 1956, near Hatfield, Hertfordshire British architect and cryptographer. At age 14 he heard a lecture on the continuing mystery of Linear B script (see Linear A and Linear B)… …   Universalium

  • Ventris, Michael (George Francis) — (12 jul. 1922, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, Inglaterra–6 Sep. 1956, cerca de Hatfield, Hertfordshire). Arquitecto y criptógrafo británico. A los 14 años asistió a una conferencia sobre el misterio acerca de la escritura lineal B (ver escritura… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Michael Ventris — Born 12 July 1922(1922 07 12) Died 6 September 1956(1956 09 06) (aged 34) …   Wikipedia

  • Ventris — Michael George Francis Ventris (* 12. Juli 1922; † 6. September 1956) war ein englischer Architekt und Sprachwissenschaftler. Leistungen Ventris hatte 1952 zusammen mit John Chadwick die Linear B, eine in der mykenischen und minoischen Kultur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ventris — (izg. vèntris), Michael (1922 1956) DEFINICIJA engleski arheolog koji je 1952. dešifrirao natpise iz Knososa (Kreta) i Mikene pisane tzv. linearnim pismom tipa B i time omogućio jasniji uvid u kretsko mikensku kulturu iz 15 12. st. pr. Kr.… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Michael — /muy keuhl/, n. 1. a militant archangel. Dan. 10:13. 2. Rumanian, Mihai /mee huy /. born 1921, king of Rumania 1927 30, 1940 47 (son of Carol II). 3. (italics) a narrative poem (1800) by Wordsworth. 4. a male given name. * * * I In the Bible and… …   Universalium

  • Michael — (as used in expressions) Bennett, Michael Michael Bennett Difiglia Bishop, J(ohn) Michael Coetzee, J(ohn) M(ichael) Cohan, George M(ichael) Collins, Michael Curley, James Michael Curtiz, Michael DeBakey, Michael (Ellis) Douglas, Michael Dummett,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Michael Ventris — Michael George Francis Ventris (* 12. Juli 1922; † 6. September 1956) war ein englischer Architekt und Sprachwissenschaftler. Ventris entzifferte 1952 zusammen mit John Chadwick die Linear B, eine in der mykenischen und minoischen Kultur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michael Ventris — Michael Ventris, né le 12 juillet 1922, mort le 6 septembre 1956, architecte et philologue britannique, déchiffreur du linéaire B, un système d écriture du grec archaïque employé par la civilisation mycénienne. Biographie Élevé en Suisse, Michael …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Michael Ventris — Michael George Francis Ventris (12 de julio de 1922 – 6 de septiembre de 1956). Arquitecto inglés, nació en Wheathamstead. Gran aficionado a las lenguas clásicas desde niño y especialmente al latín y al griego consiguió en 1952 descifrar el… …   Wikipedia Español