Originally the work of an anonymous Babylonian poet who lived more than 3,700 years ago, The Epic of Gilgamesh tells of the heroic exploits of the ruler of the walled city of Uruk. Not content with the immortality conveyed by the renown of his great deeds, Gilgamesh journeys to the ends of the earth and beyond in his search for eternal life, encountering the wise man Utanapishti, who relates the story of a great flood that swept the earth. This episode and several others in the epic anticipate stories in the Bible and in Homer, to the great interest of biblical and classical scholars. Told with intense feeling and imagination, this masterful tale of love and friendship, duty and death, is more than an object of scholarly concern; it is a vital rendering of universal themes that resonate across the ages and is considered the world's first truly great work of literature.
Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and his companion Enkidu are the only heroes to have survived from the ancient literature of Babylon, immortalized in this epic poem that dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Together they journey to the Spring of Youth, defeat the Bull of Heaven and slay the monster Humbaba. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh's grief and fear of death are such that they lead him to undertake a quest for eternal life. A timeless tale of morality, tragedy and pure adventure, The Epic of Gilgamesh is a landmark literary exploration of man's search for immortality.
A new verse rendering of the great epic of ancient Mesopotamia, one of the oldest works in Western Literature. Ferry makes Gilgamesh available in the kind of energetic and readable translation that Robert Fitzgerald and Richard Lattimore have provided for readers in their translations of Homer and Virgil.
The stories translated here all of ancient Mesopotamia, and include not only myths about the Creation and stories of the Flood, but also the longest and greatest literary composition, the Epic of Gilgamesh. This is the story of a heroic quest for fame and immortality, pursued by a man of great strength who loses a unique opportunity through a moment's weakness. So much has been discovered in recent years both by way of new tablets and points of grammar and lexicography that these new translations by Stephanie Dalley supersede all previous versions. -- from back cover.
Vivid, enjoyable and comprehensible, the poet and pre-eminent translator Stephen Mitchell makes the oldest epic poem in the world accessible for the first time. Gilgamesh is a born leader, but in an attempt to control his growing arrogance, the Gods create Enkidu, a wild man, his equal in strength and courage. Enkidu is trapped by a temple prostitute, civilised through sexual experience and brought to Gilgamesh. They become best friends and battle evil together. After Enkidu's death the distraught Gilgamesh sets out on a journey to find Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Great Flood, made immortal by the Gods to ask him the secret of life and death. Gilgamesh is the first and remains one of the most important works of world literature. Written in ancient Mesopotamia in the second millennium B.C., it predates the Iliad by roughly 1,000 years. Gilgamesh is extraordinarily modern in its emotional power but also provides an insight into the values of an ancient culture and civilisation.
Author: N. K. Sandars
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Release Date: 2006-05
View every book in the Penguin Epics series. This beautiful limited edition boxed set contains the stunningly designed new Penguin Epics series: twenty short tales of human adventure, legend and myth. Penguin Epics depict the most extreme acts of heroism, ambition, bravery and violence, and in doing so they reveal mankind's most profound aspirations and darkest fears. From the rip-roaring exploits of Alexander the Great, through Dante's terrifying description of the Descent into Hell, to the swashbuckling adventures of Sindbad, these works will take the reader on a journey through the most astonishing and heroic legends of the past four-and-a-half thousand years of literature. The boxed set includes: The Epic of Gilgamesh Exodus Odysseus Returns Home Homer Xerxes Invades Greece Herodotus The Sea, The Sea Xenophon The Abduction of Sita Jason and the Golden Fleece Apollonius The Destruction of Troy Virgil The Serpent's Teeth Ovid The Fall of Jerusalem Josephus The Madness of Nero Tacitus Cupid and Psyche Apuleius The Legendary Adventures of Alexander the Great Beowulf Siegfried's Murder Sagas and Myths of the Northmen The Sunjata Story The Descent into Hell Dante King Arthur's Last Battle Malory The Voyages of Sindbad @UrukRockCity All the ladies want to get it on now that I've slain the demon. But I must decline. I'm a clean man these days. I just can't win with women. Before, nailing all the ladies was bad. Now I refuse to seduce, and the Gods send a giant bull to kill me? From
Illustrated Version The Epic of Gilgamesh An Old Babylonian Version By Morris Jastrow and Albert T. Clay The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. Dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (circa 2100 BC), it is often regarded as the first great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about 'Bilgamesh' (Sumerian for 'Gilgamesh'), king of Uruk. These independent stories were later used as source material for a combined epic. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the "Old Babylonian" version, dates to the 18th century BC and is titled after its incipit, Shutur eli sharrī ("Surpassing All Other Kings"). Only a few tablets of it have survived. The later "Standard" version dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BC and bears the incipit Sha naqba īmuru ("He who Saw the Deep", in modern terms: "He who Sees the Unknown"). Approximately two thirds of this longer, twelve-tablet version have been recovered. Some of the best copies were discovered in the library ruins of the 7th-century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. The first half of the story discusses Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, a wild man created by the gods to stop Gilgamesh from oppressing the people of Uruk. After an initial fight, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become close friends. Together, they journey to the Cedar Mountain and defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian. Later they kill the Bull of Heaven, which the goddess Ishtar sends to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances. As a punishment for these actions, the gods sentence Enkidu to death. In the second half of the epic, distress about Enkidu's death causes Gilgamesh to undertake a long and perilous journey to discover the secret of eternal life. He eventually learns that "Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let death be his share, and life withheld in their own hands". However, because of his great building projects, his account of Siduri's advice, and what the immortal man Utnapishtim told him about the Great Flood, Gilgamesh's fame survived his death. His story has been translated into many languages, and in recent years has featured in works of popular fiction. The Gilgamesh Epic is the most notable literary product of Babylonia as yet discovered in the mounds of Mesopotamia. It recounts the exploits and adventures of a favorite hero, and in its final form covers twelve tablets, each tablet consisting of six columns (three on the obverse and three on the reverse) of about 50 lines for each column, or a total of about 3600 lines. Of this total, however, barely more than one-half has been found among the remains of the great collection of cuneiform tablets gathered by King Ashurbanapal (668-626 B.C.) in his palace at Nineveh, and discovered by Layard in 18541 in the course of his excavations of the mound Kouyunjik (opposite Mosul). The fragments of the epic painfully gathered--chiefly by George Smith--from the circa 30,000 tablets and bits of tablets brought to the British Museum were published in model form by Professor Paul Haupt;2 and that edition still remains the primary source for our study of the Epic.
Author: Peter Dyr
Publisher: Peter Dyr
Release Date: 2013-04-05
Across the span of recorded history, at the birth of writing and civilization, there was the Epic of Gilgamesh. This seminal tale of gods, kings, battles, friendship, loss, the fear of death, the search for immortality and advice on how one should live life, represents our first complete work of literature. While the origin of the Epic of Gilgamesh is lost to the sands of time, it is probable that this story had been verbally transmitted for a very long time before the invention of writing, but we have no way of knowing when, where or why the story actually originated or even how many original contributors there were. What we do know is that the story encompassed a large number of concepts, ideas and philosophies, and was considered important enough that it was told from generation to generation for hundreds of years, before being immortalized in clay around four thousand years ago. Unfortunately, the original "Old Babylonian" version of the Epic of Gilgamesh is incomplete, making it difficult for us to piece together the exact story our ancient ancestors considered so important. However, several critical fragments of the original Epic have been recovered and differ in significant ways from later more complete versions. One of the most fascinating of these original fragments is the Sippar tablet which was discovered near the city of Sippar, on the Euphrates river, upstream of the Babylonian region in present day Iraq. The Sippar tablet contains the earliest recorded advice, given by a beautiful young girl called Siduri, on how we should live our lives. Interestingly, in a later version of the Epic of Gilgamesh (referred to as the "Akkadian" version) Siduri's advice was removed from the Epic and much of her original role was given to Utnapishtim, an immortal wise old man. One theory for the diminishment of Siduri's role is that Siduri being young, female and working class (a wine maker), and Utnapishtim being old, male and high class (an immortal wise man) may have contributed, and may suggest possible differences between Sumerian and Akkadian culture. Specifically, this change may highlight a degree of ageism, sexism and/or classism in Akkadian culture, and the removal of Siduri's advice could represent the first recorded case of censorship. Siduri's words were recorded long before any other religious text, including the Bible, the Koran or any eastern philosophies (including Buddhism) and represent a very different perspective to the religious texts used today. Siduri was pro-wine, pro-feasting, pro-music, pro-dancing, pro-joy, pro-sex and pro-family. Wouldn't the world be a better place if more people today would heed Siduri's ancient advice? In this book I have re-introduced Siduri's teachings, and the original Old Babylonian fragments into the Epic of Gilgamesh, while using the later Akkadian text to fill in the gaps in the original story. I have tried to remain faithful to the original events, concepts and philosophies our ancient ancestors found so important. I have also included a discussion of Siduri's teachings and how we can, if we so wish, live our lives according to Siduri's original ancient advice. In this updated Third Edition I have re-written the Akkadian prose to more closely resemble the shortened poetic verse of the Old Babylonian texts, added additional analysis of the rest of the Epic and included a new section at the end of the book that contains various informative discussions, from multiple contributors, regarding Siduri's philosophies and underlying concepts within the Epic of Gilgamesh. Discussions of Siduri and her philosophies are included in a few very short chapters at the beginning of the book, analysis of the rest of the Epic is incorporated into Chapter 6, the complete text for the Epic of Gilgamesh is contained within Chapters 7 to 9, and Chapter 10 contains the epilogue and the new multiple contributor discussions section.
Author: Mo Zi
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2013-11-07
A key work of ancient Chinese philosophy is brought back to life in Ian Johnston's compelling and definitive translation, new to Penguin Classics. Very little is known about Master Mo, or the school he founded. However, the book containing his philosphical ideas has survived centuries of neglect and is today recognised as a fundamental work of ancient Chinese philosophy. The book contains sections explaining the ten key doctrines of Mohism; lively dialogues between Master Mo and his followers; discussion of ancient warfare; and an extraordinary series of chapters that include the first examples of logic, dialectics and epistemology in Chinese philosophy. The ideas discussed in The Book of Master Mo - ethics, anti-imperalism, and a political hierarchy based on merit - remain as relevant as ever, and the work is vital to understanding ancient Chinese philosophy. Translator Ian Johnston has an MA in Latin, a PhD in Greek and a PhD in Chinese, and was Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Sydney University until his retirement. He has published translations of Galen's medical writings, early Chinese poetry (Singing of Scented Grass and Waiting for the Owl), and early Chinese philosophical works (the Mozi and - with Wang Ping - the Daxue and Zhongyong). In 2011 he was awarded the NSW Premier's Prize and the PEN medallion for translation. Unlike previous translations, this version includes the complete text. It also includes an introduction and explanatory end notes. 'A landmark endeavour' Asia Times 'A magnificent and valuable achievement' Journal of Chinese Studies 'Eminently readable and at the same time remarkably accurate...Johnston's work will be the standard for a long time' China Review International 'Compelling and engaging reading...while at the same time preserving the diction and rhetorical style of the original Chinese' New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies
The ancient Sumerian poem The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest written stories in existence, translated with an introduction by Andrew George in Penguin Classics. 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 fluid narrative and will long rank as the definitive English Gilgamesh. If you enjoyed The Epic of Gilgamesh, you might like Homer's Iliad, also available in Penguin Classics. 'A masterly new verse translation' The Times 'Andrew George has skilfully bridged the gap between a scholarly re-edition and a popular work' London Review of Books