DĀMOS Database of Mycenaean at Oslo

DAMOS (Database of Mycenaean at Oslo) is an annotated electronic corpus of all the published Mycenaean texts, the earliest (ca. XV-XII B.C.) written evidence of the Greek language, comprised of inscriptions in the Linear B syllabic script.

For scholarly use Linear B texts are usually published transliterated into Latin letters according to the conventions established by CIPEM (Comité International Pérmanent des Études Mycéniennes, affiliated with UNESCO): text files reproducing such current (paper) editions have been imported into an Sql database; also the epigraphical data which are usually conveyed by the transliteration conventions have been imported, so that important epigraphical information relative to the contexts of syllable/syllabogram, word, line and text (e.g. the chronology of a given text and its attribution to a particular scribe) is tagged and can be made available for searches.

The texts are then being manually annotated for morphology and syntax (with particular attention to case and case syntax) and provided a translation and additional lexical information (e.g. the Indo-European root, if reconstructible) for each word.

One feature of DĀMOS that particularly deserves to be mentioned is that its structure allows for multiple simultaneous analyses of a given linguistic unity: for example different hypotheses for the meaning or the grammatical value of a word can be entered and ranged according to their grade of probability. This feature is essential for work with a corpus like the Mycenaean one, where the deficiencies of the script and the fragmentary state of many texts frequently make interpretations uncertain and dependent on context and comparison with other texts of the corpus.

We would like here to specially thank:

Johan Tischler and Jost Gippert at TITUS, that at the very beginning of our work sent us draft files with the texts from the standard editions of the documents from Knossos, Pylos, Tiryns, Mycenae, Khania and of the vase inscriptions. Those files - that then have been revised, corrected, updated and integrated, so that, of course, the responsibility for any possible inaccuracy or mistake is exclusively ours - have constituted an invaluable starting point for our work.

Richard J. Firth, which made available for us in digital format the data about his reviews of the find-spots of the documents from Knossos and from Pylos

José L. Melena, for letting us see a preview of KT6

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens, and particularly Katerina Voutsa for providing us with a file of the inventory number of the documents kept at the museum.


As other publications, DAMOS would be grateful if you could refer to its use in your publications. You can of course refer to web addresses (URI's), but especially for bibliometrical purposes, these are often problematic. We would therefore appreciate it if you could add a reference to:

Aurora, Federico. 2015. DAMOS (Database of Mycenaean at Oslo). Annotating a fragmentarily attested language. In: Pedro A. Fuertes-Olivera et al. (eds.), Current Work in Corpus Linguistics: Working with Traditionally-conceived Corpora and Beyond. Selected Papers from the 7th International Conference on Corpus Linguistics (CILC2015) (Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 198), 21-31, doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.415