The Epic of Gilgamesh by AnonymousAndrew Georges masterly new translation (The Times) of the worlds first truly great work of literature
Miraculously preserved on clay tablets dating back as much as four thousand years, the poem of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, is the world’s oldest epic, predating Homer by many centuries. The story tells of Gilgamesh’s adventures with the wild man Enkidu, and of his arduous journey to the ends of the earth in quest of the Babylonian Noah and the secret of immortality. Alongside its themes of family, friendship and the duties of kings, the Epic of Gilgamesh is, above all, about mankind’s eternal struggle with the fear of death.
The Babylonian version has been known for over a century, but linguists are still deciphering new fragments in Akkadian and Sumerian. Andrew George’s gripping translation brilliantly combines these into a fluent narrative and will long rank as the definitive English Gilgamesh.
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SOAS University of London
Published from the fund given to the university in memory of Mary Stevens Hammond [ 2 ]. Copyright, , by Yale University Press [ 5 ]. The Introduction, the Commentary to the two tablets, and the Appendix, are by Professor Jastrow, and for these he assumes the sole responsibility. The text of the Yale tablet is by Professor Clay. The transliteration and the translation of the two tablets represent the joint work of the two authors. In the transliteration of the two tablets, C. IX, Appendix, New Haven, has been followed.
Scholars believe Gilgamesh the demi-god mythological character may have descended from legends such as a year reign and superhuman strength told about a historical 5th king of Uruk. Buried under the fantastic stories lies some documentary impulse. On the other hand, Gilgamesh —like all mythology—exists outside of time. Gilgamesh and Enkidu always kill the Bull of Heaven, again and again forever. And perhaps the only way to approach some common understanding of myths as both products of their age and as archetypes in realms of pure thought comes through a deep immersion in their historical languages.
Utnapishtim replied, "There is no permanance. Do we build houses to stand forever, Do we seal a contract to hold for all time? Do brothers divide an inheritance to keep forever, Does hatred persist for ever in the land? Does the river for ever rise and bring on floods? Doeshe dragon-fly leave its shell That its face might but glance on the face of the sun? From the days of old there is no permanence.
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The Epic of Gilgamesh Full Book
This is one of the first essentially complete academic translations of the epic of Gilgamesh. It includes all of the principal episodes of the epic: the wild man Enkidu; the battle with Humbaba, the cedar forest demon; the death of Enkidu, the journey of Gilgamesh to find the secret of eternal life, in the course of which he encounters the Babylonian Noah, Uta-Napishtim, and hears the story of the great flood. Oxford trained Thompson , was an Assyriologist associated with the British Museum. He was a teacher both of T. Lawrence and Max Mallowan, husband of Agatha Cristie. He excavated at Ur, Ninevah and Carchemish.