Preliminary Notes (Dagv group)

The series Da, Db, Dc, Dd, De, Df, Dg and Dv constitute a homogeneous group of texts which deal with the inventory of the flocks of sheep of the Palace. They were compiled by the most important scribe of the Palace of Knossos, H 117. This group comprises about 670 tablets, some of which are complete and others fragmentary.

Each of the above-mentioned series deals with a particular type of flock: the documents which fall into the series Da deal with flocks of sheep made up of rams (OVISm), while the Db and Dc-Dg series may record both ewes and rams (OVISm – OVISf) or flocks of various types of sheep, including sheep differentiated not only by sex, but also as being young, old or missing (pa OVISm, pe OVISm, o OVISm). The series Dv comprises tablets which cannot be classified with precision, due to their fragmentary state (Greco 2010).

All these documents were found in the same place in the Palace of Knossos, the East West Corridor, located in an area just to the east of the great central court (conventionally known as J1) (Olivier 1967; Driessen 2000). They are dated approximately between LM IIIA2 and LM IIIB (between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 13rd century BC) (Firth-Skelton 2016; Firth-Melena 2016a).

All texts show a homogeneous structure: they typically present on the left a shepherd’s name in larger characters, the inscription then continues on the right on two lines; the top line contains a collector’s name and the logogram for the animal (sheep), followed by a numeral, while a toponym appears in the lower section.  (Greco 2010, 148).

 

Preliminary Notes (series Da)

The Da series comprises 131 palm-leaf tablets compiled by the scribe H 117 (Olivier 1967; Aurora 2015, DAMOS, Database of Mycenaean at Oslo). It includes all the documents dealing with flocks made up exclusively of rams. Twelve tablets in this group mention the toponym pa-i-to (Phaistòs) (Olivier 1988; Greco 2010).

 

Da 1170 +

The tablet Da 1170 + is characterized by a rather consistent structure (Greco 2010): on the left, the shepherd’s name is provided in larger dimensions; on the right a toponym appears in the lower section, while the upper section mentions the animals managed by the shepherd on behalf of the Palace.

However, unlike most of the texts characterised by the presence of the toponym pa-i-to, Da 1170 + does not mention any collector. Collectors – known as functionaries of the Palace supervising the work of the shepherds to whom the flocks of sheep are entrusted – are usually mentioned just before the indication of the number of sheep (Greco 2010).

The text therefore suggests that, at the time when the tablet was compiled, a shepherd called o-ku, working at Phaistos (pa-i-to), was entrusted by the Palace to manage a flock of one hundred rams.

The anthroponym o-ku appears also in other tablets from Knossos – Dl(1) 792 and As(1) 8161 (DMic s.v.). Although Dl(1) 792 belongs to the same D class, it differs from Da 1170 + in terms of find-spot, scribal hand and information provided (toponym and type of flock).

Both Da 1170 + and As(1) 8161 show the anthroponym o-ku. This is the only piece of information that they have in common. As(1) 8161, in particular, was compiled by the scribe H 103. This text is unfortunately fragmentary and shows no toponym. Given the lack of internal diagnostic elements, it is therefore impossible to identify this individual with certainty (Greco 2010).

.A                           OVISm 100

.B        o-ku  /  pa-i-to

 

Ōkus, (at) Phaistos, 100 rams.

 

O-ku: anthroponym of Greek origin, in the nominative singular /Ōkus/. This is probably the name of a shepherd in charge of the raws mentioned in the top line of the tablet.

Etymon: the interpretation as Ὦκυς, in the light of adj. ὠκύς (Attic), “fast” (DELG), is generally accepted.

 

Pa-i-to: toponym, in the locative (/ nominative of rubric). This is a place name generally interpreted as /Phaistos/ (: Φαιστόϛ). The geographical localization in the plain of the Mesara, to the south of river Ieropotamos, is unanimously accepted.

The tablet Da 1170 + belongs to a group of homogeneous texts compiled by scribe H 117. It measures ca. 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967).

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