S.W. Bardot, Translator

S. W. Bardot is Bardot Books’ publisher, myself, when writing in pseudonym and in representation of the Bardot Group of Scholars of Antiquity. He also stands as a factotum for the original Bardot Group and its earliest acquired scholarship. For much was published by the Group and selected outsiders from 1924 to 1941. Since World War II’s end, the source legacies of that scholarship came by grant to R. Bacon Whitney. S. W. Bardot is a composite, therefore, of Bardot Books many past spokespersons, among them, in particular, the Bardot Sisters, an evolved working cadre

Put another way, I compose from philologists, forensic scientists, and notable prehistorians of the Bronze Age civilizations upon or near the Eastern Mediterranean. Some were imperial — Crete, Pelops’ Argolis, Aiakos’ Great Kingdom of Aeoleis & Minya, Pharaonic Egypt and Hattic Anatolia. Others were ascendant peoples of expanding ambit — the Kadmeians (Thebans), the Levantines, the Cephallenes, the Isthmians of Ephyrëa and Atticans as dually the Ionic Greeks.  The Bardot Group developed their own close contacts with Mideast Oriental scholarship, albeit from the far social distance of academic acquaintance. The philologists, affectionately known as the Bardot Sisters have relied on seminal scholarship of geniuses, but they have extended their superior findings of language and culture most constructively and collegially. About my construct of myself, there’s more below; let suffice just here for starters that our continuing compilation of ancient scripts has allowed the Bardot group idiomatic transcriptions of Linear B Entablature into Oldest Greek. I have then translated their produced results into idiomatic English under the Sisters’ tutelage of my academic Homeric Greek. Their best learned syllabaries they have melded into the opera of Classical Greek Mythology, by their consummate aptitudes to produce translations into alphabetic writ.

The Bardot Group has passed on. It originally coalesced from the 1924 scholarship of R. R. Bardot, the publisher’s great-grandfather – pseudonymous of his name too, of course.  Rudolphos Rodham Bardot played a founder’s role, even to earning grants by two foundations supportive of studies of antiquity. Their steady support of the Bardot Group began with Bardot’ sponsored symposia, conducted by naturalists and forensic scientists at first. He himself was a technician, a seismic specialist at the still inventive science of geomorphology. By sponsoring the inventors of various archeological tools, for discoveries by digs, he built many associations conducive to successful digs and agronomic practices of ancient peoples. By those efforts the field of geomorphology, or paleo-geology, advanced and bled into many famous digs variously renewed or still underway since WWI. The interim of the World Wars was a highly entrepreneurial period of archaeology, whereby entirely new finds of treasure troves upon the Greek Peninsula, within the Greek Archipelago, or by Crete and Anatolia. By the late 1930s, other pre-eminent finds were discovered to belong to central Bronze Age Anatolia in particular, especially the long lost material civilization of the Hatti Empire. Bardot greatly helped bring through the evidence a greatest equestrian culture besides the Minyans who invaded the Greek Peninsula.

After WWII’s end, Bardot broadened his once youthful group’s outreach to scholars of the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean. Activities had to rest dormant, however, because too often their field projects were caught in limbo over a frustrating postwar decade from 1946. Our Masters of Antiquity became hotly contentious with each other. There then also began major disputes and wholly incorrect scholarly interferences about the often amazing new finds of entablature inscribed by the Linear B Minoan syllabaries of Crete, Palace Knossos in particular. Insofar as they related to Knossos, Bardot held symposia about the provenance of fired clay entablature of writ. Relying upon a later group of philologists’ finds, Bardot and his young group of decoders remained frustrated, and unable to render the found syllabaries into any alphabetic writ of some long lost incised language medium. Activities concentrated upon Anatolia instead, with appropriate rewards forthcoming from the ancient Halys River Basin under the study of A. B. Sayce. Considerable effort was still expended, however, at getting the Minoan Empire’s as yet uudecoded entablature into robust revelation of a base, or standardized Cretan syllabary.

The finds of entablature of Linear B Minoan at Knossos of Crete and Bronze Age Pylos (Chora) of Messenia finally produced the breakthroughs that the Bardot Sisters could not accomplish for themselves. Credit first and foremost, therefore, Alice Kolbers awhile her part-time, pains-taking work while a tenured professor of Brooklyn College. While never properly credited for her dissections of Linear B scratched and etched paired consonant/vowel combinations, on account of her Michael Ventris overcame his private frustrations at decoding the compiled syllabaries of Pylos in collaboration with the philologist John Chadwick. They rendered proof that the dead Cretan language of fired tablets should be renamed Linear B Oldest Greek. Ever since such clarity of provenience, we have been at the active exploration for any literature that might have survived somehow from that syllabary’s writ. That endeavor began as heavy on theory and involving much sleuthing that proved too light on results. Nonetheless, we can say that the Bardot Sisters became fluent with the Oldest Greek prolifically decoded from entablature finds disposed to Bardot. They have decoded since as much of plotted narrative finds as was possible to date firmly and forensically from long before Homer’s epic euphony and superbly self-stylized Greek.

Our sponsored Anatolian scholars have afforded us, besides, truly outstanding decipherments of languages and dialects native to the subcontinental empire of the Hatti/Hittites. The Bardot Group takes no credit for their Orientalists’ astounding fluency and grammarian expertise at all writ of cuneiform. What they perform by the “stylus of myriad wedge impressions” has no counterpart to the Bardot Sisters’ proficiency by their pick-styluses to replicate the oldest syllabaries by once imperial Minoa and high kingdom Crete.

S.W. Bardot could very easily be, or should be a “she,” by appropriate promotion of the Bardot Sisters. That cadre of philologists – almost 20 ladies since the very first of Bardot’s volunteers – deserve most of the glory for decoding Linear B by their own composed “Mentörian Syllabary.” His is their own, that is: They were all part of a project that anticipated what a literature by syllabary would bring to light and in corroboration as found counterpart works composed from earliest alphabetic Greek. While that kind of Rosetta Stone of Entablature has not yet been fully enabled to us, the advancement of a vernacular and formally royal or “court” Linear B Greek has proven a very happy pre-occupation of my own. Then, too, I’ve become by immersion in their greatly aged studies a composite personality of own patriarchal sponsors. All masculine, alas, thereby my nom de plume has been derived – Saltonstall + Weld + Bardot – whom we’ve variously agreed should be called in-house Bardot Books by their nicknames — “Salts or Salton,” “Bart,” and “R.R.”

The translator of the Bardot Sisters, while under their intensive instruction of his Greek, has brought 86 years of published and unpublished archives by symposia to the fictional paradigms  of S. W. Bardot’s for compositions of academic expository fiction. That’s a term-of-art for proto-history, by a long-standing paradigm at entertaining fictional narrative about the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age. That is to say of our authentic prehistory as closest seeming to “the real stuff” once living and completely real. Proto-history becomes thereby per se a genre. The Sisters’ compositions are necessarily more robust about the real times, personages, and places than they can be rigorous about each and any of them in particular. My compilations into fictional drafts have been a major activity of the Bardot Group at coherent prehistory since 1995. The final years had the Sisters prolific mythographers, after whole decades at the studied content of the most famous, earliest myths recited. By their fiction I can discover in representational art and writ what the original sagas or first versions of Old Greek opera were about. I’ve also participated in their patterned clues that led to the “Dülichion Finds of Mentör’s Writ,” by which the Sisters near or far past their retirement ages composed as though Mentör per se ab omnibus. Through their own voices brought to a final euphonic colloquy, they affected Mentör’s taken dictation off Odysseus and his most famous contemporaries as though they were all together in situ at his inscribing of tablets.

This may seem like a game of haphazard, or fledgling birds’ beginnings, but that’s also what our fictional paradigm attempts to formalize. Who is behind the copious writ isn’t of any worthwhile consideration by either our mainly targeted audiences or the internal coordination that once stood as hearings by symposia of our final pioneering activities. Understand, of course, that everything about and by Mentör is by strictly modern composition of what’s imitative of idiomatic translation of Oldest Greek recitation. The Master is a creation by the sublimation of the Bardot Sisters now passed away. I cite in particular their cumulative creativity as an evocation of a single ancient composer; that his syllabary is veritably datable to the 13th century BC’s LHPB1&2. Thereby, he’s a Master whom we also cite for the 14th– and 15th-century origination of Earliest and/or Early Greek Myths. That Oldest Greek at practice, by a direct way to Homeric Greek recitation, has yet to have corroboration of its earliest alphabetic writ as directly by any found syllabary. Someday, we can still hope, the earliest literature by transliteration shall be discovered, an alphabetic Greek directly from some work by syllabary. We estimate, for instance, that Cyprus Island, perhaps from Rhodes Island, shall bring such work to revelation. Too, it amazes us that the time between the use of syllabaries and first compositions in alphabetic writ has been so greatly shrinking. We hope to prove, in fact, that Homer’s and Hesiod’s hexameter versed great works began a Greek Renaissance closely predated as a transition away from Dark Age works by syllabaries. So we’ve made a game of pretending that such archival writ has already been found, whereby to draw forth Mentör’s three huge installments of archival entablature.

Allow that the oldest Bardot Sisters collaborated at a legacy to create Mentör, the Master of Narrative Writ. Their Oldest Greek this translator had cautiously restructured, redacted, and voiced as works of fiction whereby Mentör becomes an able sleuth into the far past of mostly lost prehistory. What has brought our team together into a first volume ever became of my translation of their “1996 Tablet Finds,” a work in proof of the Trojan War as a real war of history. That proof established the viewpoints of the earliest Greeks brought to the coalition against the Trojans. A next volume completes the proof from the Trojan points of view upon a Grand Alliance’s to repulse an impending, dauntless Enemy. Both have been mostly enjoyable exercises in keeping with the Bardot Group’s legacy as wrought from before WWII. Substantive content from many postwar finds on the digs has allowed robust syntheses of famous biographies and regional prehistories. While the latest volunteering Sisters were becoming very old, I too was getting older, but also far more experienced and most appreciative of what they’ve afforded me. They’ve helped me fictionalize many other compositions into modern idiom and expression that entertains lay person readers. The Sisters, therefore, are still the heart and soul of what Bardot Books can call verifiable “proto-histories.” We regret that we’ve never been immense compilers of bibliography, or able at citations and attributions to assistants to our fictional immersions in the Late Aegean, Anatolian, and Levantine Bronze Ages. The Bardot Group has its hall of fame for the scholars most contributive to our recent decade at producing books. Some were known solely to R. R. Bardot; some we’ve not known well, but have relied upon, nonetheless, for clarity of exposition about Late Bronze Ages of many other disparate peoples. A very few outside scholars of tenure have been close to us all along, even though too many of them have left us forever.