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23 Jan 2021

[18] Correspondence and papers [ edit ] [10], An English Heritage blue plaque commemorates Ventris at his home in Hampstead.[11]. John was born on June 28 1818, in West Cornwall Hospital, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Michael Ventris, the decipherer of Linear B Greek, was a remarkable linguist, in the sense of one who speaks languages, though he was not a linguist in the academic sense. A student of languages, Ventris had pursued the decipherment as a personal vocation since his adolescence. [3] He did not do outstanding work there - by then he was spending most of his spare time learning as much as he could about Linear B, some of his study time being spent under the covers at night with a flashlight. However, Ventris would not enjoy his success for long, for later in 1956, he died in a car accident, aged just 34. Michael Ventris. Ventris did not complete his architecture studies, being conscripted in 1942. His preference was for navigator rather than pilot, and he completed the extensive training in the UK and Canada, to qualify early in 1944 and be commissioned. "A Very English Genius" is a documentary telling the story of how Michael Ventris became obsessed with the quest of cracking the earliest known writing system, Linear B, which originated in Greece. We should start, Michael Ventris is MIchael and then he is Ventris. The book covers it all, from his childhood, through his World War II service and early family life, to the days of the decipherment and finally his disillusionment with the subject and early death in … At this time, he secured a scholarship to Stowe School. And in 1952, Michael Ventris did. The money for her artistic patronage came from Polish estates. Corrections? Boys from Stowe school were in attendance at one lecture and tour conducted by Evans himself at age 85. After the publication (1951) of texts in an almost identical script found on the Greek mainland in 1939, Ventris’ progress was rapid. Brilliant as he was, I am greatly inclined to believe he did, but his untimely death at the young age of 34 in a terrible car accident in 1956 never gave him the chance to further develop and refine his initial decipherment of Linear B in 1952. Mythologised by Homer, and dated to 1700bc. [13][14], Shortly before World War II, American archaeologist Carl Blegen discovered a further 600 or so tablets of Linear B in the Mycenaean palace of Pylos. 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. [9] Ventris continued with his efforts on Linear B, discovering in 1952 that it was an archaic form of Greek. His parents divorced in 1935. 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. Tragically, Michael Ventris died in a car accident on 6 September 1956, aged only 34. He is that. ); studied Latin and Greek at school; studied architecture in London; after World War II was an architect and … Reading Andrew Robinson's fascinating book Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts (2002, McGraw-Hill), I recently learned the amazing story of the decipherment of the Linear B script by amateur philologist Michael Ventris in the 1950s. His mother often spoke Polish to him, and he was fluent by the age of eight. A few years after deciphering Linear B in 1951–1953, Ventris, who lived in Hampstead, died instantly in a late-night collision with a parked truck while driving home, aged 34. In a lecture after he had cracked Linear B, and before his death, Ventris did however give substantial credit to Kober for her contribution - … And in 1952, Michael Ventris did. Ventris’ death in September 1956 was a great blow to Chadwick, who had lost his colleague, friend, and ally in the task of winning over the decipherment’s critics. The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris - Kindle edition by Robinson, Andrew. So we shall never know. After creating a new field of study, Ventris died in a car crash a few weeks before the publication, with John Chadwick, of Documents in Mycenaean Greek. Villa Ariadne, Evans's home there, was now part of the school. There he met his wife-to-be Lois Knox-Niven, daughter of Lois Butler. Directed by Robin Dashwood. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. His father, Edward Francis Vereker Ventris, was a lieutenant-colonel in the Indian Army,[2] who retired early due to ill health. Comparing the Linear B tablets discovered on the Greek mainland, and noting that certain symbol groups appeared only in the Cretan texts, Ventris made the inspired guess that those were place names on the island. Subject. Ventris’ determination to solve the puzzle of this peculiar writing dated from that time. In 1940, the 18-year-old Ventris had an article "Introducing the Minoan Language" published in the American Journal of Archaeology. He soon was fluent in both languages and showing proficiency for Swiss German. Ventris was awarded an OBE and an annual award in his honour, the Michael Ventris Award, was established in 1957. Michael Ventris was born as the only child into a traditional army family to Edward Francis Vereker Ventris, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army, and Anna Dorothea Janasz, the daughter of a wealthy immigrant landholder from Poland. A friend of the family, Russian sculptor Naum Gabo, took Ventris under his wing. The Ventris Papers were given to the Institute in 1988, following the death of Lois Ventris (Michael’s widow) in 1988. The story brings home some important lessons about innovation: Be willing and eager to collaborate … It may have been at Gabo's house that he began the study of Russian. Michael George Francis Ventris, (; 12 July 1922 – 6 September 1956) was an English architect, classicist and philologist who deciphered Linear B, the ancient Mycenaean Greek script. The death was ruled accidental, though some have speculated, on no evidence except personality, that it was suicide. 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