The story revolves around the relationship between Gilgamesh, a king who has become distracted and disheartened by his rule, and a friend, Enkidu, who is half-wild and who undertakes dangerous quests with Gilgamesh. Much of the epic focuses on Gilgamesh's thoughts of loss following Enkidu's death. It is about their becoming human together, and places a high emphasis on issues surrounding human mortality. It is often credited by historians as being one of the first literary works.
Nebuchadrezzar II (Akkadian: Nabû-kudurri-uṣur, "Nabu, defend my firstborn son", reigned 605 – 562 BC) was the second king of the Neo-Babylonian Dynasty and its greatest ruler. He was called "Nebuchadrezzar, the Great" in ancient times, but his destruction of temples in Jerusalem caused his vilification in the Bible.
He was a successful military leader before ascending the throne, defeating the Egyptians in the Battle of Carchemish. After his father Nabopolassar died and he became king, he defeated the Cimmerians and Scythians in Anatolia and continued campaigning in the Levant, including the capturing Jerusalem, destroying both city and temple and deporting a large portion of the population to Babylon. He then started a 13-year siege of Tyre, ending with Tyre's accepting Babylonian authority.
When he wasn't waging war, he continued he father's work of restoring Babylon, which had been devastated through years of Assyrian rule and more recent rebellions. He made Babylon one of the wonders of the world, with projects like the Ishtar Gate and the hanging gardens of Babylon.