Who was gilgamesh and why was he important
The Epic of Gilgamesh Quotes by Anonymous
The Epic of Gilgamesh (Full story)
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh [a] was a historical king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk , a major hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology , and the protagonist of the Epic of Gilgamesh , an epic poem written in Akkadian during the late second millennium BC. He probably ruled sometime between and BC and was posthumously deified. He became a major figure in Sumerian legends during the Third Dynasty of Ur c. Tales of Gilgamesh's legendary exploits are narrated in five surviving Sumerian poems. The earliest of these is probably Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld , in which Gilgamesh comes to the aid of the goddess Inanna and drives away the creatures infesting her huluppu tree. She gives him two unknown objects called a mikku and a pikku , which he loses.
Gilgamesh , the best known of all ancient Mesopotamian heroes. Numerous tales in the Akkadian language have been told about Gilgamesh, and the whole collection has been described as an odyssey—the odyssey of a king who did not want to die. The fullest extant text of the Gilgamesh epic is on 12 incomplete Akkadian-language tablets found at Nineveh in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal reigned — bce. The gaps that occur in the tablets have been partly filled by various fragments found elsewhere in Mesopotamia and Anatolia. The Gilgamesh of the poems and of the epic tablets was probably the Gilgamesh who ruled at Uruk in southern Mesopotamia sometime during the first half of the 3rd millennium bce and who was thus a contemporary of Agga, ruler of Kish; Gilgamesh of Uruk was also mentioned in the Sumerian list of kings as reigning after the Flood. There is, however, no historical evidence for the exploits narrated in poems and epic. The Ninevite version of the epic begins with a prologue in praise of Gilgamesh, part divine and part human, the great builder and warrior, knower of all things on land and sea.
The motif of the quest for the meaning of life is first fully explored in Gilgamesh as the hero-king leaves his kingdom following the death of his best friend, Enkidu, to find the mystical figure Utnapishtim and gain eternal life. Gilgamesh's fear of death is actually a fear of meaninglessness and, although he fails to win immortality, the quest itself gives his life meaning. This theme has been explored by writers and philosophers from antiquity up to the present day. Accordingly, Gilgamesh was a demi-god who was said to have lived an exceptionally long life the Sumerian King List records his reign as years and to be possessed of super-human strength. His influence was so profound that myths of his divine status grew up around his deeds and finally culminated in the tales found in The Epic of Gilgamesh.
The poem was the product of a lengthy compilation effort, which resulted in the composition of the national poem of Babylon. Until the s there were five known Sumerian works that described the deeds of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk.
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