Translation of Greek Words on Jacob's Tapestry [Updated]
Last night on the live post-Season 5 finale podcast, Congested sought to be the first to discover the meaning of the words written on the tapestry in Jacob's dwelling place beneath the statue. Congested knew that the writing was in Greek letters, so he tracked down some folks who could read Greek and ultimately came up with the following translation:
"May heaven grant you in all things your heart's desire"An alternate translation from Lostpedia reads:
"May the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires"This is a line from Homer's Odyssey (Lostpedia) (Wikipedia) (Amazon).
So, now that we know what the tapestry says, what is its significance or meaning? Richard Alpert told John Locke (er, "John Locke") that Jacob had given him the power of immortality. We don't really know whether Richard can be killed, but at least we know that he seems to be able to live forever without showing any signs of aging. Either way, this was a gift or blessing that Jacob gave to Richard. Jacob himself seems to have the same ability since, like Richard, he never seems to age. When Richard was speaking to "Locke" about coming back from the dead—something Richard had never seen happen before—he assumed that it must have been a gift from Jacob as well. Thus, it seems that Richard is convinced that Jacob can grant "whatever one's heart desires."
Richard Alpert is not the only person whom Jacob has blessed. At Sun and Jin's wedding, Jacob offered them "his blessing" for their marriage, and because of Sun and Jin's experiences on the Island their marriage and love for one another were restored. Hurley is another person who has apparently been blessed by Jacob. While they were riding in the cab together, Jacob said to Hurley, "What if you were blessed? You get to talk to the people you've lost." Although this isn't a direct revelation that Jacob is responsible for blessing Hurley with his ability, it is implied by the conversation, especially when viewed in context of the other things we learned about Jacob in the episode.
Is the writing on this tapestry a reflection of Jacob's power to make dreams come true? Or does the tapestry magically give Jacob power to grant wishes? My guess is the former: that Jacob already had this power. After all, Jacob himself created the tapestry:
Here's yet another puzzler to ponder: Why did Jacob create a tapestry with Greek writing when virtually everything else that's manmade on the Island (pre-DHARMA Initiative, that is) seems to be of ancient Egyptian origin? While it makes sense for a quote from The Odyssey to be written in its original language, a tapestry with Greek words on it seems rather out of place inside the base of a giant Egyptian statue.
Thanks again to Congested from Audibly Lost for passing along the Greek translation.
UPDATE: This high-quality image from DarkUFO shows more writing than has been translated so far, including hieroglyphics (see below). Lostpedia now has a translation of the Greek text in the middle of the tapestry: "May the gods grant thee happiness."
UPDATE 2: I've continued the discussion of Jacob's tapestry in this post.
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