Talk:Epic of Gilgamesh/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2

Alexander the Great Myth

Some factual inaccuracy in the bottom section concerning Islamic "myths". At no point in the Quran from which the story is derived is Alexander the Great quoted anywhere. This is nothing but conjecture and debate as to who "Dhul Qarnayn" (translated as "Two Horned One" actually was. Because Alexander fits some, but not all of the characteristics of Dhul Qarnayn many have conjectured that it could, maybe have been him. But again this cannot be taken as "gospel" so to speak. Throughout history the man who was a powerful king, Dhul Qarnayn, has been debated on by scholars through the millenia, so to state that the legend of Gilgamesh inspired the legend of Alexander of the Great is to conjecture upon conjecture, without factual basis in the actual source itself.

If you're gonna state without question that Dhul Qarnayn was Alexander the Great then provide evidence from the Quran or Hadith of the Prophet. No other source is authoritative and is no more than mere subjective commentary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.192.246.138 (talk) 02:04, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Add sections? Interpretation, Popular references

1) A section of this article describing the meaning and significance of the epic would be nice. e.g. I read somewhere that Gilgamesh can be undestood as an allegory for settlment culture's triumph over hunter-gatherer culture. 2) Also a section on references to it. There are plenty. 195.195.177.146 (talk) 19:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC) R.E.D.

...what?

Were the ancients really incredibly bad writers, or am I just reading this wrong? Enkidu is sent as an enemy of Gilgamesh, they have a "mighty battle", and suddenly Gilgamesh is all "HEY DUDE LET'S GO ON A QUEST TOGETHER WE'LL BE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER". What the hell? Gaiacarra 17:06, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps not poor writing in this case, but a difference of personal experience. I met the best friend of my childhood in a fight. It's a "guy thing", and not one that happens to every guy, at that? Piano non troppo (talk) 12:54, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

time-frame Troubles

For the entire history of the Epic, there is: Old Babylonian, Middle Assyrian, and Neo-Assyrian; to pick a 'number', we are dealing with about 1000 to 1500+ (plus) years of a Re-worked, and re-read Epic. The various "tablet notes", (footnotes etc), have the sparse variations in Syllables, phrases, and even additions/ deletions of lines(paragraphs). I still think the "Meteorite" stanzas of Chapter 1 and 2, (the word used 10 times), are the more profound, with their implications to human history. (See Kovacs, reference and translation.) (kisru played against Zikru; the three s's, s, ş and š(sh) and z are all interchangeable in this, basically "No vowel used" language.)...///break apparently UN-signed: (I entered this info many months ago(2005/2006))(It's based on Maureen KOVACS great work, that was 10 years before Simo Parpola's)(My 3rd attempt at tranlating/transliterating(the last 3 paragraphs)-while looking up word usage in all chapters, I found "risque" stuff-I think the "insider" understanding,and reading of this on clay, is to be expected,knowing our species.)SonoranDesert guy-ArizonaUSA--Mmcannis 23:52, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

old talk

This bit about an untranslated tablet believed to be the twelfth tablet of Gilgamesh... where does the information come from? How come the tablet is "believed to contain" something when it's untranslated? Can anyone provide a link to a more informative news story? _________________________________________________________

I read that the 12th tablet had been translated and does not contain the 12th chapter of the epic. It contains a separate poem about Gilgamesh. In contrast to the first 11 tablets it includes both Shumerian and Akkadian texts.

Moved the passage about the Akkadian versions to the main part, as it did not belong to the 'Sumerian legends'. --Oop 11:15, Sep 26, 2004 (UTC)

_________________________________________________________

Although the epic itself was lost for millennia, Hittite versions of it existed. Some people think that it has had an indirect impact on Western literature through the Biblical story of Noah and the flood, a suspected retelling of a portion of the Gilgamesh epic.

I'm a bit confused about the Hittite referrence since the most complete version we have of the Gilgamesh epic comes from the 7th century BC, long after the Hittite empire but also contemporary with the writing of the Bible. I'm going to go ahead and delete that part for now (someone may wish to revert and provide clarification). Grice 06:32, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Some serious criticism is needed to find out which versions of Gilgamesh epic have influenced the Old Testament the most. So, I would not dare to claim a special status for the Hittite version. While it may have been an important source for the Greek loans, I also would not say the genuine epic was lost for the time whilst Hittite version would have been dominant, as the passage above seems to suggest. Maybe it is only a question of bad wording, of course. --Oop 21:30, Oct 9, 2004 (UTC)

removed relevant bit

this got tossed out with the "trivia" section and could later be re-introduced into a more detailed version (if correct):

The Great flood from the Epic of Gilgamesh describes a cube-shaped vessel some 60 meters long on each side that was built in only seven days.

dab 19:22, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The purpose of mentioning this is to claim that the bible account is entirely different.

It is important to note that the trivia section failed to mention the similarities.

If the description goes back in then the similarities must be added as well. To fail to do so is not applying NPOV.

There is an article Great Flood which discusses the details of the flood account in the Epic of Gilgamesh. That article is where such detail belongs, if anywhere. And addition to that article also requires the addition of details of the similarities to be an NPOV addition. CheeseDreams 19:34, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

and your point is? the "trivia" section was not mine, and I considered deleting it before. You will note that I only cite the Gilgamesh bit, not the Genesis bit that was there also. Since this article is about the Epic of Gilgamesh, a more detailed summary of the action could eventually include this information. At the moment though, it was, I agree, just trivia. dab 19:48, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Dubious deletions concerning Gilgamesh

Please refrain from your habitual deletions on the Gilgamesh articles regarding homosexuality. I am sure this is a misunderstanding. If you view the Epic of Gilgamesh entry and click on the link entitled "Is gay marriage older than the Bible?" you will see all requested information and sources. If you have any questions be sure to bring them up. Thanks. 67.41.186.237 02:42, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please refrain from adding dubious information to wikipedia. The link is dead. In general, websites are not reliable source if info and in absense of more solid data are disregarded. On my website I may post an article that Gilgamesh is my grandfather and send you to hell. I am perfectly aware that homosexuality was widesplead in ancient world, e.g., in Greece and East, but this is the case that requires solid confirmation, not some sensationalist article circulating in blogs. thank you. mikka (t) 02:50, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

[1] This is hardly sensationalist. Not some personal blog but an acclaimed scholar. Here is a new link since the old one is out of use. 67.41.186.237 02:52, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The key phrases in a review are he admits he doesn't know Akkadian and Given the incomplete condition of the original, he has not hesitated to fill in some gaps. Feel free to write a wikipedia article about this book. mikka (t)
that review is by a person not a scholar, that fact still stands that a previously untranslated portion of the 12 tablet contained male homosexuality, that is undisputed 67.41.186.237 02:59, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

and the ref. to he filled in the gaps is concerning story line not sexuality, you should read the book 67.41.186.237 03:00, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please stop adding unverified information, otherwise you will be blocked from editing. Feel free to write an article about the controversial book. mikka (t)

this information is verified, you will be blocked for persistent vandalism. it is ibviously verified, a source is given, and this scholar is acclaimed, your edits are contraversial 67.41.186.237 03:05, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The scholar does not know the language, he cannot be acclaimed as translator. You are violating the 3-revert rule. You may be blocked for this. mikka (t) 03:10, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Mikkalai is an arrogantly vapid twat who needs to check his facts. Try actually reading the book, dipshit. 131.111.195.8 18:37, 6 June 2005 (GMT)
the facts are checked. The book is written by a person who admits he does not know the language of the origin. Hence his work is a pure fiction, a translation from English to English. mikka (t) 17:45, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
@mikka In an attempt to resolve this debate here is what I think the Wikipedia guidelines have to say on this matter. That you don't agree with the source or don't find him credible is not grounds for removal according to the Wikipedia guidelines; they require that a "reliable source" be given for the information provided - it does not provide room for users to debate that source (for obvious reasons leading to this kind of back and forth editing). Should you want to include the fact about his not knowing the language of origin you can do so (as long as it is also sourced properly - for instance, your conclusion that his work is pure fiction is not supportable, whereas quoting his admission would be). To not follow the guidelines in removing information, I feel, is akin to censorship. In conclusion, please stop removing this source unless you can provide other scholars that debunk the source; or show how this source does not meet the Wikipedia guidelines of a "reliable source" (remembering to rely on the facts and not your views on whether he is reliable, note that the source does not need to know the origin language to meet the "reliable source" criteria AFAICS). Should you be able to do that properly then you would be correct in removing the information but so far you have failed to justify (using the terms of the guidelines) that action. ABCGi (talk) 08:33, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

homosexuality claims

"Some claim" will not do at all. By a long way. What exactly are the claims, and who published them, when and where? I would be interested to have even oblique references to homosexuality in Gilgamesh, but let's keep this up to academic standards. The more outlandish your claim, the better references you will need. Also, anon, at the stage when you think it necessary to begin calling people names like "dipshit", you probably need to sign up so people have a username to respond to. dab () 16:26, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It is in the reference Mitchell, Stephen (2004). Gilgamesh: A New English Version.
The guy decided that traditional academic translations are very dry, and he decided to translate it into "modern English" (BTW, he confessed he does not know Akkadian. So you may imagine what academic quality this book is.) It amounted to spreading erotism and sex all over the text AFAIK. the rumors that Tablet 12 was suppressed because of homosexy in it is bull. Ancient pederasty has been pretty well known; and it was not suppressed in academia; rather it was not brandished at every possible occasion. mikka (t) 01:51, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
no, no, I mean a publication where the text is actually discussed, word by word, so that we can quote the actual phrase, with competing reconstructed readings, and their translations, so that we can judge what the allegations are based on. Just saying "there was homosexuality in tablet 12" without discussing the actual text is worthless of course. dab () 08:18, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • The LGBT Mythology category seems dubious. Having read three different translations, I can't imagine why anyone would conclude that it has any explicitly-stated homosexual themes in it. By applying these types of a loose standards, one could easily classify the Christian Bible as "Incestuous Mythology" based on Gen.19:30-38 and 2S.13:29. I say lose the category until actual text is cited. Most of the text is lost in translation, in my opinion. "Soulmate" citation with regards to Enkidu's relationship with Gilgamesh is archaic is doesn't necessarily imply homosexuality.

I've never heard anyone assert that the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu is concretely homosexual, but I have read many times that it contains abundant homoeroticism, which it clearly does. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh weeps for him as he would for a dead wife. You shouldn't have a hard time finding information on that.VatoFirme (talk) 02:57, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I've never read any homosexuality in this. This is a typical friendship genre; there will always be somebody who wants to read more into it. However, if Gilgamesh's relationships are not mentioned in the story, Enkidu's is. He is civilized by a woman, so I really suspect the story assumes that he is straight. Twofistedcoffeedrinker (talk) 20:22, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
You are interpreting these characters' behavior in terms of a modern (and invalid) "binary" view of sexualty -- people are hetero or homo, and that's it. The issue is how Sumerians would have viewed human sexuality. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 17:24, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Could someone site a scholarly reference that includes the words in question, and their possible translation? I picked up an older Penguin version by N.K. Sanders (1962, but updated perhaps until 1987). It does indeed use the same word for Enkidu's sleeping with a whore who shows him her "woman's arts" as is used in encounters with Gilgamesh ("encounter"). My assumption was that this might, or might not imply bisexuality. (And maybe, if he slept with sheep, trisexuality. Joke.) Anyhow, if there was definite evidence, it would be interesting to see here. Piano non troppo (talk) 13:06, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Arrrggghhh. (I will omit the exclamation points.) There is a difference between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior. Many heterosexual males engage in homosexual behavior at least once in their lives, often simply out of curiosity. (Yes, I've seen it.) As Quentin Crisp said: "Men are neither heterosexual nor homosexual. They are sexual." Same-sex sexual attraction and experimentation are normal for human males.

Just as queer readers would like to project something positive about queerness into stories, whether or not it's "really" there, so do people who are uncomfortable with homosexual behavior insist on rejecting anything that even remotely suggests "homoerotic subtexts". (I defy them to read Bret Harte's "Tennessee's Partner" or "In the Tules" and tell me that these are stories of innocent male affection. God knows how'd they react to the movie version of "Paint Your Wagon"!) These people include those who don't believe Walt Whitman was queer (or at least that he never had sex with another man). "What proof do we have?" Well, people who aren't at least interested in sex between men rarely write about it -- and Whitman's poems are full of it.

As for Gilgamesh... You can't project a modern knowledge of human behavior on a 4000-year-old society. The concept of "sexual orientation" would have meant little or nothing to a Sumerian. As far as I know, the Sumerians were not homophobic. If Gilgamesh and Enkidu wanted to boff each other, they would have, and would have thought nothing ill of it. This might seem odd, because most of the documented historical homosexual behavior is paederastic, or a social construct (think of a Samurai or Spartan warrior taking a young man as his lover). It is rarely egalitarian, though that would have been the sort of relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

Did they? Well, they're awfully good friends, and Gilgamesh goes ballistic when Enkidu dies. There is no indication he loved any woman as much as he loved Enkidu (though this might be inherent in the highly male-oriented Sumerian society -- the Greeks and Romans valued same-sex friendship over other-sex love), or that, in their journeys they dallied with females. Given that both men are portrayed as having incredibly strong sex drives -- why would they give up sex just because they were good friends? Indeed, the opposite is likely, whether the sex was hetero or homo.

Gilgamesh's mother tells him that he will meet a dear friend: "You will take him in your arms, embrace and caress him the way a man caresses his wife." Then there is G&E's rejection of the goddess's sexual advances. It not only verges on the misogynistic, but one can almost hear G&E saying "We don't need you. We got each other." (Ennis puts his arm around Jack and lays his head on his shoulder.) True a****** buddies, figuratively and literally.

Of course, this is speculation. Plausible speculation, but speculation, nonetheless. Mitchell treats it pretty much as fact. You should read pp 18-26 of his edition, plus the related footnote on p 218, which includes the passages that Mitchell (and another commentator) consider proof of a sexual relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. (I can't think of G&E's street brawl without thinking of Ennis grabbing Jack and shoving him against the wall.) This issue needs to be discussed. "The Epic of Gilgamesh" has such obvious homoerotic elements that they cannot be dismissed by saying "Well, we really don't know".

Queer men cannot let heteros -- especially those desperately afraid of close friendhips with other men -- write their history for them. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 20:54, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

My understanding is that scholarly opinion is divided about whether there are references to homosexuality in Gilgamesh. The way I read the literature, the balance of probability falls on the side of the affirmative. See for example, “A Note on an Overlooked Word-Play in the Akkadian Gilgamesh" by Anne D. Kilmer, originally part of a book on Assyriological studies published by EJ Brill, one of the most highly respected academic publishers in the world. The article can also be read online at http://books.google.com.au/books?id=JrpU6O3VnawC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false Arguably the foremost expert on Gilgamesh today, AR George (The Bablonian Gilgamesh Epic... (2003), p453), examines the evidence and agrees with Kilmer, although he feels that it is largely incidental to the main story. Notably, those who argue that the text intends references to homosexuality base their argument on multiple references within the story, rather than an isolated verse. Some of the comments above seem to assume that such references are only contained in chapter 12. It is also worth mentioning that, as far as I know, no-one finds such references in the original sumerian poems. Of course, by the time we reach the standard version if the first millennium BCE the story has evolved considerably, as Tigay points out. In view of the evidence, I don't think it would hurt to have some reference to this question in the article. --Sineaste (talk) 08:28, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm hardly an Akkadian scholar but I've read several translations of the epic and not only in English, all of which contain such phrases as Gilgamesh "leaned against Enkidu as against a wife," has Enkidu recount his dreams to Gilgamesh when they're clearly sleeping together "in their bed" and of course the whole point is that Gilgamesh mourns Enkidu "as a wife." Obviously it would be anachronistic and reductive to claim that Gilgamesh is "gay" but it seems clear to me that either they have a sexual relationship or there is something seriously wrong with most modern translations. Naturally the former seems more probable. There are also people who claim Achilles and Patroclus were just "good friends"... (They weren't. Fortunately this isn't the place to discuss Jonathan and David). Unless you expect to find the phrase "Gligamesh inserted his ------ into the ---- of Enkidu" I can hardly imagine how much more straightforward the issue could be. (86.66.199.234 (talk) 22:33, 24 July 2010 (UTC))

Sorry I just write the above comment but in addendum, I just looked over the article on Alexander the Great - whom I do know something about - for comparison's sake and found much the same discussion going on there. This is nonsense. Ask any academic and they will tell you that Alexander has been widely known since antiquity to have had sexual relationships with men. In the real academic world, there's no sort of wild theorizing or controversy here at all that's a generally known fact. Now I dislike it as much as anyone when people go back and claim that Shakespeare and random others were "gay" in a modern sense of the term - that seems to be taking this problem to the other direction - and you may consider these comments to be wholly tangential, but when it seems as clear as it does that Gilgamesh and Enkidu are a bit more than "good friends" this should at least be mentioned as a probability. (86.66.199.234 (talk) 22:47, 24 July 2010 (UTC))

Should be merged with Gilgamesh page?

Yes. And if there's not going to be any mention of the influence (or "possible influence") on the Bible (and subsequently the Avesta, Qur'an, etc.), than at least put the link to the Great Flood article here. Otherwise it looks suspiciously POV. Khirad 08:28, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree that there should be some mention of the relationship between the flood story in the epic and other flood myths, including the biblical version. However, as far as the merge is concerned, as yourself one question; would you want to merge The Odyssey and Odysseus? Filiocht | Talk 13:45, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Some more New Talk - The 11/12 "Chapters"

Some common lengths of the Chapters, is about 315 lines. For a 3-column tablet, with say, 52 lines per column, that gives 2 (3-Column) "tablets" per Chapter.( The pictured Tablet has about 50 lines, but represents probably 56-60 lines, some doubled)

I do not know the facts about the Ashurbanipal archives. However, the 1997, Parpola, "Computerized" work, (with a couple of typos only, that I saw), list all the tablets, in all the Museums, collections, etc. The average, with duplication, is about 5 tablets per chapter, about 65 tablets, and probably another 15-20 "pieces". ( 80 % are 3-Column )

I don't have anything against calling the 12 Chapters, 12 Tablets. Parpola's, "Archives of Assyria", work does list everything as Tablet 1, through Tablet 12. So that is consistent with this Wiki page. I just wanted to point out that the Sumerians to the Neo-Assyrians called their Chapter = Tablet. That is the ultimate reasoning why it is Tablet 1 thru Tablet 12. It is really the naming that the Neo-Assyrians stuck with. The chapters, (the 12 'tablets') are really, composed of multiple, mostly 3-Column tablets, 2-Column, as well as some 1-column, and etc.,.. including school tablets.....

Sorry, reread some things; Chapter 12 has 155 lines, 29/30 line columns, up to column VI. 6 times the 30 gives or 29 gives, 174,slightly different than the 155. There are 4 tablets listed for Parpola Standard Babylonian version, tablets A,B,C,D, also e. e is NB Neo-Babylonian, A-D are NA, or Neo-Assyrian (Ashurbanipal's time). (The last ( of the 155 )2 lines are Title Page lines and are separted by spaces.)..(All the 12 Tablets, have an item on the last two lines ( the "colophon"?), which states "Ending, and the title of the next chapter coming up". ) ( The Colophon is also used as a "signature", line or lines. }..M McAnnis


The whole topic could be confusing to one who knows nothing of the 12 Tablets. They really are 12 Chapters, but originally called 12 Tablets. .....Michael McAnnis,YumaAZ


The reason for 'Chapter' discussion. I read a little of the above discussions, and it is not as easy as just grabbing ( 1 ) "tablet" and translating it. It just sounded like every body was talking about one "tablet" to study for chapter 12, or whatever. That's not the reality of it. MMcAnnis

Note on Tablet 11?

This seems to be very technical and somewhat out-of-place. Is it worth having in the article?--Rob117 19:07, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Seconded. I had a hard time trying to figure out what it is saying. At the very least it needs to be rewritten in a less technical format. --71.242.182.172 04:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Trivial?

Though oft pic w a bow, he didn't actually carry 1, but a battleax called Might of Heroism (or so I've read...) Trekphiler 17:37, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Both. "They cast for Gilgamesh the axe 'Might of Heroes' and the bow of Anshan." (N.K. Sanders, Penguin) Piano non troppo (talk) 13:13, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Noah's ark page

I'd be grateful if any experts on the subject could have a look at the Noah's ark page, other flood accounts section, which I've just revised. Please note that I'm only after fact-checking - explicit parallels with the Genesis account are not encouraged, being of a highly inflammatory nature. Thanks. PiCo 02:45, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Oldest work of literature

Let's talk here about how we should phrase the first sentence, i.e., is it "The oldest known" work of literature, "one of the oldest known", "arguable the oldest known", etc. Given the possibility of other texts, I think it should read "is arguable the oldest work of literature" with a [1] at the bottom of the page explaining the uncertainty. AdamBiswanger1 00:59, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Works for me. Change it to "arguably," though for grammatical correctness. — ዮም (Yom) | contribsTalkE 20:14, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Some more info - see Ancient literature. I'm not sure if it's so arguable, so maybe "one of" is better... — ዮም | (Yom) | TalkcontribsEthiopia 22:04, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Influence on later Epic Literature

The source cited for influence on the Odyssey (Kakridis) is rather old, and also unavailable in English. It should be replaced by a reference to something more recent and in English. I'd suggest e.g. M.L. West 1997, The East Face of Helicon. I don't have a copy to hand so can't do it myself. Petrouchka 22:08, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Disambiguation

this should be included in the gilgamesh disabiguation page

Arabian mythology?

Are you joking? There were no Arabs in Mesopotamia in the 26th century BC. Arabs did not arrive until the 6th centruy AD. So please remove this inaccurate information. It would be like saying that Aztec mythology is the same as Castille mythology. Worse, since there is over 3000 years time difference between Arabs in Iraq and Gilgamesh. Gees.... Tourskin

Huh...wha...

What the hell? This article is incrediably rubbish. It does not explain the actual story. Please someone, make a paragraph describing the whole story. This article has it all tangled up with archealogical information about different versions - and what about the actual epic? Come on. Its disorganized. It needs to be clearly paragraphed. Seperate out the info about different versions and different dates (which has been repeated twice, once at the beginning and the middle) from the actual story / poem. Tourskin

Lots of typos, too. Wish I had time to fix it, but in the meantime, I'll just point the fact out. :-)

Picture

This tablet is first of all not from the Ur III period but from the Akkad period and therefore predates all Gilgamesh references. The text on the cylinder seal also doesn’t mention Gilgamesh and the image is reversed. Mesopotamian cylinder seals depict a lot mythological scenes without making clear what exactly the story behind it is. Heroes fighting animals is a frequent motive and has most likely nothing to do with Gilgamesh. Notice how one of the figures fights a lion unlike the Giglames epic. I removed the picture. Djaser 09:54, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

The Gilgamesh and the story of Noah's ark in Genesis

The article says, "Some aspects of the Gilgamesh flood myth seem to be related to the story of Noah's ark in the Bible, see deluge (mythology)." This is understated, since some details of the flood myth in the Gilgamesh, such as releasing birds to test whether the flood has subsided and placing the rainbow in the sky, in this case Ishtar's necklace, to guarantee that the world will not return to the primal chaos, are obviously related. Both the J source and the P source in Genesis attribute all actions to one god, whereas the Gilgamesh has one god as destroyer and another as preserver. Jim Lacey 18:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The Noah's Ark article says The 19th century also saw the growth of Middle Eastern archaeology. George Smith made a remarkable discovery of a Mesopotamian story which paralleled the story of Noah's Ark in great detail. The mention here should also be strong.Saros136 (talk) 05:37, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


Why did someone change '...seem to be related to the story of Noah's ark' to '...the Noah's ark myth in the Bible.' The Bible does not present this story as a myth, this is editorializing. (And making a statement). I request that it's changed back to 'story'. By saying story, Wiki is not endorsing that the story is true. But by saying 'myth', Wiki is stating that the story is false. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Raskolnikov1985 (talkcontribs) 02:36, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

It is unlikely that a guy named Noah put a bunch of animals in a boat... All the animals of the world?... and then floated around while everyone else on earth was drowned. Maybe it works as a symbolic myth story thought for some. The area in question was prone to flooding, and there are other tales of floods, and related stories which predate the Hebrew bible by a couple of thousand years... so, the story is false in that sense. Some people have referred to the bible as the greatest story ever told but actually it is based on Egyptian and Sumer myths, and a few things tossed in by some others...You may be interested in Mesopotamian Texts Archives like this for more information. - skip sievert (talk) 03:00, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

A 2-day Library-trip, by a Scribe

OK, take this as a proposal: A scribe who decides to make another copy of the 11(12) Tablets(for another CITY, or TOWN) decides to undertake the task, BUT he(she?) hasn't read every chapter SEQUENTIALLY in say 4 to 5 years. So he, goes to the library and decides to read the 11 tablets in a 1-1 one-half day mini vacation. He takes the wife, and two kids, and she focuses on food, kids, play, etc....and he reads, maybe jotting notes. MY POINT: yes the populace, the people knew this story. It was part of their SOCIOLOGY, part of their STRUCTURE, and relationships in their societies, ...but the story, what was said in the words, ...maybe the phrases, the nuances,...I contend there was a lot of inside knowledge known, or thought, or discussed by the scribes(ONLY BY The SCRIBES). I've worked on 30 to 40 Amarna letters, and I wish the general public has GOOD access to side by side Translations, and transliterations. The phrases, and the words are Wonderful: A scribe(The King of Mitanni-Tushratta) talks about the Scribes being detained in Egypt (for 8(?) years) and getting over the "hurdle", the "impasse", of the discussion: the word used in Akkadian is: "Mountain", for Hurdle. It is wonderful stuff, trying to get over Hurdle discussions. ....But you have to do some translating... without the cheat sheets... (and 'SOME' of the side by side translating is called: Part-of-speech tagging with Text corpus'es)(like the Amarna letters Text corpus)--....SonoranDesert fellow/ -ArizonaUSA- ...Mmcannis 00:22, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

So, what is the point of this? Shouldn't this be removed from the discussion page? The proposal sounds great, from a translator point of view, but has no place in an encyclopedic article. Elideb (talk) 18:45, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Siduir was a fish?

In tablet 10 it states that "Gilgamesh meets the alewife Siduri", the "alewife" links to the page of the fish. 81.129.125.71 (talk) 14:26, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

These sentences makes no sense.

"The history of the epic is divided into two periods: old, and late. Many versions exist from this almost 2,050 year span, but only the old and the late periods have yielded significant enough finds to enable a coherent intro-translation."

These are badly written sentences, and the second sentence is written like there were more than the two periods listed. I don't understand what the writer meant, or I'd fix it. 138.192.86.254 (talk) 14:58, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I rewrote them so it's clear, I hope, that it's just the primary sources that come from two periods. Piano non troppo (talk) 13:28, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Sumerian version

I'm not sure where the unreference Old-Babylonian section comes from, but I added a new section on the Sumerian version, as per the ETCSL.

Does anybody know where the Old Babylonian section comes from, and could they reference it? IansAwesomePizza (talk) 18:30, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Spoiler Alert

How do I put the spoiler alert thing in here? Wikipedia ruined it for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 125.63.159.157 (talk) 12:06, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I think an encyclopedic entry on a work of literature can be expected to reveal plot elements as a matter of the content of the article. I think per Wikipedia:Spoiler this article does not need a spoiler warning. Jerry Ritcey (talk) 19:30, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Since there has not been a single comment in favor of the Spoiler alert, I'm removing the Task To Do. From Wikipedia:Spoiler warning: Since it is generally expected that the subjects of our articles will be covered in detail, such warnings are considered unnecessary. As that article explains, a plot section is obviously revealing events in the story. Elideb (talk) 18:39, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Languages used

Just wondering, the article speaks about a Sumerian version. Is this Sumerian version actually written in Sumerian? The German article holds that the text was preserved in "Old Babylonian, Akkadian, Hurrite and Hittite" and doesn't mention Sumerian. By the way, afaik, Old Babylonian is Akkadian... Steinbach (fka Caesarion) 11:37, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the Epic originated in Sumer and the Sumerian language version was copied and preserved in Babylonia, as well as translated and adapted into Akkadian. Whenever I see "Old Babylonian" language - well, first of all there is little written record of it, as Sumerian was used for religious purposes and Akkadian for administration in Babylonia. Sometimes older (i.e. out-of-date) sources will use the term "Old Babylonian" to refer to Sumerian as well. The German article should be changed. I may be wrong, but I'm not aware offhand of a Hurrian or a Hittite version either. Twofistedcoffeedrinker (talk) 20:05, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Enkidu as the original protagonist of Gilgamesh Epic's main events

In the work An old Babylonian version of the Gilgamesh Epic, edited by Morris Jastrow (1920), found in [Project Gutenberg], in chapter VI. (pages 33-40) it is maintained that the epic of Gilgamesh is a re-working of a previous one, that of Enkidu, re-assigning the latter's heroic deeds to the character of Gilgamesh. According to the author, this would have been done to re-use existing folklore to the greater glory of the King, inserting him in old legends and making him partner with deities or renowned heroes.

My knowledge of this legends and its studies is not enough to verify if this view is accepted to any extent. Should this theory/interpretation/opinion be represented in the Enkidu or Epic of Gilgamesh articles, as a reference to the genesis of Gilgamesh's epic? (This comment was posted as discussion in Enkidu too). Elideb (talk) 06:07, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

I may be missing something, but...

Something I've been wondering for a bit, many sources say he was supposedly 2/3 god and 1/3 human, but how is this possible? I cannot think of any combination of parents, grandparents, or however far back you want to go, that would result in being 2/3 anything. Am I just missing something, or did the writers just not understand genetics/math very well?


Though I guess "godhood" doesn't necessarily have to be inherited from the parents. It could simply mean that he was equivalent to 2/3 of a god, or something?

I dunno :( 98.208.65.56 (talk) 07:34, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

I suppose it could be an approximation - if he had 3 human great-grandparents and 5 divine great-grandparents, he would be 62.5% divine himself, which is near enough two thirds. More likely though, its because no-one knew about genetics then. Still, it would be nice to know how the legend explained it, if it did explain it. Wardog (talk) 15:31, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Both parents were Gods, Ninsun and Lugalbanda. Apparently in Uruk that wasn't sufficient to be a God. As King of Uruk Gilgamesh was father to all children born there. Perhaps that's how you get thirds- Goddess Ninsun, King/God Lugalbanda, and a mortal father also. Nitpyck (talk) 18:48, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Eurocentric angles as statements

In the section 'History', the article states that "The first modern translation of the epic was in the 1880s by George Smith." This sounds like a very Eurocentrically loaded statement. It doesn't state from what language to what language (I assume it means 'Into English').

In addition there is a sensitivity needed that to the fact that this is not a white, Euro or western mythology. This means we have to be even more careful with colonial sounding appropriations and languaging like I see here. Spanglej (talk) 23:16, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

No one could read Cuneiform signs from about 100 A.D. to after 1800 A.D. Furthermore, debating whether Sumerians are "white" or not is extremely pointless... AnonMoos (talk) 10:04, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Known or unknown?

The article’s section headed "Standard version" begins as follows:

The standard version was discovered by Austen Henry Layard in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh in 1849.

This leaves a question I’ve not seen addressed in the one or two books I’ve read on the subject:

Was there any modern knowledge of this work — the so-called Epic of Gilgamesh — before its discovery in Mesopotamia in the Nineteenth Century?

To put that another way: When the epic was discovered, in Mesopotamia, in the Nineteenth Century, what was the reaction of those who found it? Was it:

1 – What is this? We’ve never heard of this.
Or
2 – This is that Gilgamesh story that's mentioned by so-and-so [some ancient Greek writer or whomever].

If this question is treated in the article — which I’ve merely skimmed — maybe someone will point that out here (i.e., in response to this my present comment). If it’s not — maybe somebody will want to add material that does address it.

Wikipedia’s Gilgamesh article says that the name "Gilgamesh" appears once in Greek — as "Gilgamos" — in what the same article refers to as "a variant of the Perseus myth." A footnote indicates that that story comes from Aelian, via Walter Burkert's The Orientalizing Revolution. I'm not familiar with that work, but maybe it answers the question I've raised. Maybe, for example, the Greeks (and hence the Nineteenth Century Mesopotamian explorers) had no knowledge of the epic itself but were familiar with at least one story about the figure who turned out to be its subject. If that’s so, the question might be: At what point did explorers or scholars connect the epic's main character with the "Gilgamos" mentioned by Aelian? Maybe that is addressed by Burkert.

I personally won't be making any contributions to this article. I raise this subject simply because the editors who are involved with the article might think the article should address it.71.242.128.3 (talk) 22:44, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ yes