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  • Print publication year: 1982
  • Online publication date: March 2008

36d - The Cypriot syllabary

Cyprus possesses in the Classical Syllabary a unique system of writing. Except for the Phoenician alphabet used by the Semitic element in the island's population, and for the Greek alphabet on certain coins and in the rare epitaphs of foreigners, the syllabary was in almost exclusive use throughout the Archaic and Classical periods. After Evans' discoveries and Ventris' decipherment, it is natural that we should look to Linear B Script and its manifest relationship to Minoan Linear A. while Linear B is exclusively dextroverse, like the Cypro-Minoan scripts, the Cypriot syllabary is predominantly sinistroverse, with important exceptions in the South-Western signaries. If Idalium can be considered typical of the common Cypriot, as may well prove to be the case, although far too little is yet known of the syllabaries of the important kingdoms of Salamis and Soli, a sequence can be established through Idalium for the common syllabary.
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The Cambridge Ancient History
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