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To Uruk-the-sheepfold I will take it, to an ancient I will feed some and put the plant to the test! Unfortunately, when Gilgamesh stops to bathe, it is stolen by a serpent , who sheds its skin as it departs. Gilgamesh weeps at the futility of his efforts, because he has now lost all chance of immortality. He returns to Uruk, where the sight of its massive walls prompts him to praise this enduring work to Urshanabi. This tablet is mainly an Akkadian translation of an earlier Sumerian poem, Gilgamesh and the Netherworld also known as "Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld" and variants , although it has been suggested that it is derived from an unknown version of that story.
Because of this, its lack of integration with the other tablets, and the fact that it is almost a copy of an earlier version, it has been referred to as an 'inorganic appendage' to the epic. Enkidu offers to bring them back. Delighted, Gilgamesh tells Enkidu what he must and must not do in the underworld if he is to return. Enkidu does everything which he was told not to do. The underworld keeps him. Gilgamesh prays to the gods to give him back his friend.
Enlil and Suen don't reply, but Ea and Shamash decide to help. Shamash makes a crack in the earth, and Enkidu's ghost jumps out of it. The tablet ends with Gilgamesh questioning Enkidu about what he has seen in the underworld. This version of the epic, called in some fragments Surpassing all other kings , is composed of tablets and fragments from diverse origins and states of conservation. They are named after their current location or the place where they were found. Gilgamesh tells his mother Ninsun about two dreams he had. His mother explains that they mean that a new companion will soon arrive at Uruk.
In the meanwhile the wild Enkidu and the priestess here called Shamkatum are making love. She tames him in company of the shepherds by offering him bread and beer. Enkidu helps the shepherds by guarding the sheep. They travel to Uruk to confront Gilgamesh and stop his abuses. Enkidu and Gilgamesh battle but Gilgamesh breaks off the fight. Enkidu praises Gilgamesh. For reasons unknown the tablet is partially broken Enkidu is in a sad mood. In order to cheer him up Gilgamesh suggests going to the Pine Forest to cut down trees and kill Humbaba known here as Huwawa.
Enkidu protests, as he knows Huwawa and is aware of his power. Gilgamesh talks Enkidu into it with some words of encouragement, but Enkidu remains reluctant. They prepare, and call for the elders. The elders also protest, but after Gilgamesh talks to them, they agree to let him go. After Gilgamesh asks his god Shamash for protection, and both he and Enkidu equip themselves, they leave with the elder's blessing and counsel. After defeating Huwawa, Gilgamesh refrains from slaying him, and urges Enkidu to hunt Huwawa's "seven auras". Enkidu convinces him to smite their enemy. After killing Huwawa and the auras, they chop down part of the forest and discover the gods' secret abode.
The rest of the tablet is broken. Partially overlapping the standard version tablets IX—X. Gilgamesh mourns the death of Enkidu wandering in his quest for immortality. Gilgamesh argues with Shamash about the futility of his quest. After a lacuna, Gilgamesh talks to Siduri about his quest and his journey to meet Utnapishtim here called Uta-na'ishtim.
Siduri attempts to dissuade Gilgamesh in his quest for immortality, urging him to be content with the simple pleasures of life. After a short discussion, Sur-sunabu asks him to carve oars so that they may cross the waters of death without needing the "stone ones". The rest of the tablet is missing. The text on the Old Babylonian Meissner fragment the larger surviving fragment of the Sippar tablet has been used to reconstruct possible earlier forms of the Epic of Gilgamesh , and it has been suggested that a "prior form of the story — earlier even than that preserved on the Old Babylonian fragment — may well have ended with Siduri sending Gilgamesh back to Uruk There are five extant Gilgamesh stories in the form of older poems in Sumerian.
Some of the names of the main characters in these poems differ slightly from later Akkadian names; for example, "Bilgamesh" is written instead of "Gilgamesh", and there are some differences in the underlying stories such as the fact that Enkidu is Gilgamesh's servant in the Sumerian version:. Various themes, plot elements, and characters in the Epic of Gilgamesh have counterparts in the Hebrew Bible —notably, the accounts of the Garden of Eden , the advice from Ecclesiastes , and the Genesis flood narrative.
He is introduced to a woman who tempts him. In both stories the man accepts food from the woman, covers his nakedness, and must leave his former realm, unable to return. The presence of a snake that steals a plant of immortality from the hero later in the epic is another point of similarity. Several scholars suggest direct borrowing of Siduri 's advice by the author of Ecclesiastes.
A rare proverb about the strength of a triple-stranded rope, "a triple-stranded rope is not easily broken", is common to both books. Andrew George submits that the Genesis flood narrative matches that in Gilgamesh so closely that "few doubt" that it derives from a Mesopotamian account.
These stories then diverged in the retelling. He claims that the author uses elements from the description of Enkidu to paint a sarcastic and mocking portrait of the king of Babylon. Many characters in the Epic have mythical biblical parallels, most notably Ninti , the Sumerian goddess of life, was created from Enki 's rib to heal him after he had eaten forbidden flowers. It is suggested that this story served as the basis for the story of Eve created from Adam 's rib in the Book of Genesis. Hamori, in Echoes of Gilgamesh in the Jacob Story , also claims that the myth of Jacob and Esau is paralleled with the wrestling match between Gilgamesh and Enkidu.
Gilgamesh is mentioned in one version of the The Book of Giants which is related to the Book of Enoch presumably written by biblical grandfather of Noah. Numerous scholars have drawn attention to various themes, episodes, and verses, indicating that the Epic of Gilgamesh had a substantial influence on both of the epic poems ascribed to Homer.
It is a work of adventure, but is no less a meditation on some fundamental issues of human existence. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Epic of Gilgamesh disambiguation. Epic poem from Mesopotamia. The Deluge tablet of the Gilgamesh epic in Akkadian. Primordial beings. Seven gods who decree. Other major deities.
Minor deities. Demigods and heroes.
New Gilgamesh Fragment: Enkidu's Sexual Exploits Doubled
Spirits and monsters. Enmerkar of Uruk. Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta Enmerkar and En-suhgir-ana. Lugalbanda of Uruk. Dumuzid and Gilgamesh of Uruk. Dumuzid of Uruk tablets Epic of Gilgamesh tablets. For the present the orthodox people are in great delight, and are very much prepossessed by the corroboration which it affords to Biblical history.
It is possible, however, as has been pointed out, that the Chaldean inscription, if genuine, may be regarded as a confirmation of the statement that there are various traditions of the deluge apart from the Biblical one, which is perhaps legendary like the rest. Further information: Panbabylonism. Main article: Gilgamesh in popular culture.
Ancient Near East portal Literature portal Mythology portal. List of artifacts in biblical archaeology List of characters in Epic of Gilgamesh Babylonian literature The Book of Giants Cattle in religion Sumerian creation myth Sumerian literature. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
Detroit, MI: Gale. Oxford University Press. The Bible in the British Museum. The British Museum Press. Penguin Classics Third ed. London: Penguin Books. Retrieved 8 October CDL Press. Retrieved 12 September The New York Times. Bryn Mawr Classical Review. Retrieved 18 October The goddess of creation, Aruru, creates a mighty wild-man named Enkidu , a rival in strength to Gilgamesh. He lives a natural life with the wild animals, but he soon starts bothering the shepherds and trappers of the area and jostles the animals at the watering hole.
At the request of a trapper, Gilgamesh sends a temple prostitute, Shamhat, to seduce and tame Enkidu and, after six days and seven nights with the harlot, he is no longer just a wild beast who lives with animals. He soon learns the ways of men and is shunned by the animals he used to live with, and the harlot eventually persuades him to come to live in the city. Meanwhile, Gilgamesh has some strange dreams, which his mother, Ninsun, explains as an indication that a mighty friend will come to him.
The newly-civilized Enkidu leaves the wilderness with his consort for the city of Uruk, where he learns to help the local shepherds and trappers in their work. Enkidu and Gilgamesh fight each other and, after a mighty battle, Gilgamesh defeats Enkidu , but breaks off from the fight and spares his life.
He also begins to heed what Enkidu has said, and to learn the virtues of mercy and humility, along with courage and nobility. Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu are transformed for the better through their new-found friendship and have many lessons to learn from each other. In time, they begin to see each other as brothers and become inseparable. Years later , bored with the peaceful life in Uruk and wanting to make an everlasting name for himself, Gilgamesh proposes to travel to the sacred Cedar Forest to cut some great trees and kill the guardian, the demon Humbaba.
Enkidu objects to the plan as the Cedar Forest is the sacred realm of the gods and not meant for mortals, but neither Enkidu not the council of elders of Uruk can convince Gilgamesh not to go. She also gives Enkidu some advice and adopts him as her second son. On the way to the Cedar Forest , Gilgamesh has some bad dreams, but each time Enkidu manages to explain away the dreams as good omens, and he encourages and urges Gilgamesh on when he becomes afraid again on reaching the forest. Finally, the two heroes confront Humbaba, the demon-ogre guardian of the sacred trees , and a great battle commences.
Gilgamesh offers the monster his own sisters as wives and concubines in order to distract it into giving away his seven layers of armour, and finally, with the help of the winds sent by the sun-god Shamash, Humbaba is defeated. Humbaba then curses them both, and Gilgamesh finally puts an end to it. The two heroes cut down a huge cedar tre e, and Enkidu uses it to make a massive door for the gods, which he floats down the river.
Some time later, the goddess Ishtar goddess of love and war, and daughter of the sky-god Anu makes sexual advances to Gilgamesh , but he rejects her, because of her mistreatment of her previous lovers. The city of Uruk celebrates the great victory, but Enkidu has a bad dream in which the gods decide to punish Enkidu himself for the killing of the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba.
He curses the door he made for the gods, and he curses the trapper he met, the harlot he loved and the very day that he became human. However, he regrets his curses when Shamash speaks from heaven and points out how unfair Enkidu is being.
Full text of "Reading The Epic Of Gilgamesh"
He also points out that Gilgamesh will become but a shadow of his former self if Enkidu were to die. Nevertheless, the curse takes hold and day after day Enkidu becomes more and more ill. He orders the people of Uruk, from the lowest farmer to the highest temple priests, to also mourn Enkidu , and orders statues of Enkidu to be built.
The ageless Utnapishtim and his wife now reside in a beautiful country in another world, Dilmun, and Gilgamesh travels far to the east in search of them, crossing great rivers and oceans and mountain passes, and grappling and slaying monstrous mountain lions, bears and other beasts. Eventually, he comes to the twin peaks of Mount Mashu at the end of the earth , from where the sun rises from the other world, the gate of which is guarded by two terrible scorpion-beings.
They allow Gilgamesh to proceed when he convinces them of his divinity and his desperation, and he travels for twelve leagues through the dark tunnel where the sun travels every night.