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Epic of Gilgamesch (GB)

Legendary King of Uruk on the banks of the Euphrates, which dates back to 2700 BC Lived. Chr. The city of Uruk (which in the Old Testament of Bible as Erek is mentioned) was in the 3rd millennium BC. The center of the Sumerian culture (today ruin place Warka in the south Iraq ). At that time, the Sumerians dominated a large part of Mesopotamia, They were organized in city-states and the forerunners of the later empires Assyria and Babylonia, Gilgamesh is the central hero of numerous Hittite, Sumerian and Akkadian poetry.

Gilgamesh - epic with deluge narrative, lion tamer Enkidu, modern translation

The poet Sin-leqe-unnini created it in the 12th century BC. Chr. The work, which is called today Gilgamesh epic. It is the first written, literary work of humanity. Some of the motifs later became part of the legends, fairy tales and religious works of many peoples, including the Flood with the hero Utnapishtim (Noah the Great) Bible ). Most of the extant text comes from the large clay tablet library built by the Assyrian king Assurbanipal (668-625 BC) in the capital Nineveh. This is recorded in cuneiform on twelve clay tablets. In 1849, the ancient Nineveh was discovered, and four years later the clay tablets, now in the possession of the British Museum in London, were discovered. Gilgamesh ruled shortly after the Flood. He is two-thirds God and one-third man and is described as "overpowering, handsome, knowledgeable and wise". He ruled over his people as an absolute tyrant. For example, he claims the "right of the first night" (ius primae noctis), often mentioned by potentates.

The goddess Aruru creates with Enkidu an opponent to Gilgamesh. This primitive man is, inter alia, by the enjoyment of beer to the cultivated person and after they fought first to the friend of Gilgamesh. The further course of the epic revolves around the mortality of the people and the attempt of Gilgamesh to escape her. In his mourning for Enkidu, killed by the gods, Gilgamesh enters the realm of the sun, where he discovers an enchanted vineyard whose wine could finally give him immortality. This vineyard is described in flowery language as follows: rubies are its fruits, hanging in grapes, wonderful to look at; Lapis lazuli are its branches, and it bears fruit, desirable to look at . But the guardian of the vineyard, the goddess Siduri Sabitu, refuses to enjoy it.

Picture left: From , CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link
Right: From Unknown - TangLung , CC BY-SA 3.0 , Link

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