Synopses & Reviews
Since the discovery over one hundred years ago of a body of Mesopotamian poetry preserved on clay tablets, what has come to be known as the Epic of Gilgamesh has been considered a masterpiece of ancient literature. It recounts the deeds of a hero-king of ancient Mesopotamia, following him through adventures and encounters with men and gods alike. Yet the central concerns of the Epic lie deeper than the lively and exotic story line: they revolve around a mans eternal struggle with the limitations of human nature, and encompass the basic human feelings of lonliness, friendship, love, loss, revenge, and the fear of oblivion of death. These themes are developed in a distinctly Mesopotamian idiom, to be sure, but with a sensitivity and intensity that touch the modern reader across the chasm of three thousand years. This translation presents the Epic to the general reader in a clear narrative.
This new translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh is the first in English to take into account the new sources and linguistic research of the past twenty years: newly found pieces of tablets have filled in gaps in the text, and the meanings of many words are better understood. It now makes the Epic accessible to the general reader in as clear and complete a form as possible.
Table of Contents
A note to the reader; A note on the translation; Introduction; The epic of Gilgamesh; Appendixes.