Ventris, Michael George Francis

Ventris, Michael George Francis, 1922–56, English linguist. Ventris was a student of architecture, but he became interested in the untranslated Mycenaean scripts, particularly Linear B, which was found at Knossos, Pylos, and other sites. In 1952 he collaborated with John Chadwick in the decipherment and subsequent publication of Documents in Mycenaean Greek (1956); Ventris's efforts were built on the work of Emmett Bennett and Alice Kober, who identifed the symbols of Linear B. Ventris's theory, not previously accepted by most scholars, was that Linear B was an archaic form of the Greek language. Ventris died at 34 as the result of an automobile accident.

See biography by A. Robinson (2002); M. Fox, The Riddle of the Labyrinth (2013).

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