Alice Kober

Alice Elizabeth Kober ( born December 23, 1906 in New York; † May 16, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York) was an American classical philologist and archaeologist Michael Ventris and John before the Chadwick on the decipherment of the Mycenaean - Greek language, as in shape of the linear B tablets is present, and worked first recognized facts about the structure of language.

Life and work

Alice Kober studied in New York. In 1928 she graduated from Hunter College and in 1932 received his doctorate from Columbia University with a altphilologischen work. From 1935-1950 she was at Brooklyn College in New York Associate Professor of Languages ​​and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1946.

In the early 1940s got Alice Kober access to the Linear B tablets from the estate of Arthur Evans. Forty years, scientists had tried in vain to the unraveling of this writing and language. Kober began with her own new approaches from the front. She found out for the assumed Nouns that a highly inflected language with only three cases - nominative, dative and accusative - present. According to Kober's theory introduced the characters syllables represents the first two syllables of the respective noun - so Kober - always belonged to the stem. The third syllable of a noun, they took a bridge to syllable - consisting of a consonant, also belonging to the tribe, followed by a vowel for flexion. In this structure, Kober went out in their working hypotheses from the Akkadian.

Alice Kober died before the completion of their life's work in 1950 from lung cancer. She had never married. The brother William Kober grieved for the sister. During his lifetime, the researcher her student Eva Brann had confessed: " ... you know only when it tickles you in the backbone that you have done something really big. " Even on the basis of research results Kober and Ventris deciphered Chadwick in 1952 the linear B tablets.


  • The Use of Color Terms in the Greek Poets, Including All the Poets from Homer to 146 BC Except the Epigrammists. ( Diss Columbia University) Humphrey Press, New York 1932. 130 pages