Epic o Gilgamesh
The Epic o Gilgamesh is an epic poem frae auncient Mesopotamie. Datin frae the Third Dynasty o Ur (circa 2100 BC), it is eften regairdit as the first great wirk o leeteratur. The leeterary history o Gilgamesh begins wi five Sumerian poems aboot 'Bilgamesh' (Sumerian for 'Gilgamesh'), keeng o Uruk. Thir independent stories war later uised as soorce material for a combined epic. The first survivin version o this combined epic, kent as the "Auld Babylonian" version, dates tae the 18t century BC an is teetled efter its incipit, Shūtur eli sharrī ("Surpassin Aw Ither Keengs"). Anly a few tablets o it hae survived. The later "Standard" version dates frae the 13t tae the 10t centuries BC an bears the incipit Sha naqba īmuru ("He who Saw the Deep", in modren terms: "He who Sees the Unkent"). Approximately twa thirds o this langer, twal-tablet version hae been recovered. Some o the best copies war discovered in the library ruins o the 7t-century BC Assirian keeng Ashurbanipal.
The first hauf o the story discusses Gilgamesh, keeng o Uruk, an Enkidu, a wild man creatit bi the gods tae stap him frae oppressin the fowk o Uruk. Efter an initial ficht, Gilgamesh an Enkidu acome close friends. Thegither, thay journey tae the Cedar Moontain an defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian. Later thay kill the Bull o Heiven, which the goddess Ishtar sends tae punish Gilgamesh for spurnin her advances. As a punishment for thir actions, the gods sentence Enkidu tae daith.
In the seicont hauf o the epic, distress aboot Enkidu's daith causes Gilgamesh tae unnertak a lang an perilous jurney tae diskiver the secret o eternal life. He eventually learns that "Life, which you leuk for, yw will never find. For when the gods creatit man, thay let daith be his share, an life withheld in thair ain haunds". Houever, acause o his great biggin projects, his accoont o Siduri's advice, an what the immortal man Utnapishtim tauld him aboot the Great Fluid, Gilgamesh's fame survived his daith. His story haes been translatit intae mony leids, an in recent years haes featurt in wirks o popular feection.
- James Thrower "The Alternative Tradition: A Study of Unbelief in the Ancient World" 1980, Mouton Publishers, The Hague, The Netherlands
- Jacobsen, T. (1949) Mesopotamia: The Good Life. Before Philosophy; :The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man" by Frankfort, Wilson and Jacobsen, Penguin Books, Baltimore, Maryland, Chapter VII, Page 226. Retrieved 2013-09-11.