Legendary King of Uruk on the banks of the Euphrates, around 2700 BC BC lived. The city of Uruk (the one in the Old Testament of Bible when Erek is mentioned) was in the 3rd millennium BC The center of Sumerian culture (today Warka ruins in the south Iraq ). At that time the Sumerians controlled 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 poems.
The poet Sin-leqe-unnini created it in the 12th century BC. The work that is known today as the Gilgamesh epic. It is the first written, literary work of mankind. Some motifs from it later went into the legends, fairy tales and religious works of many peoples, including the deluge with the hero Utnapishtim (the Noah the Bible ). Most of the surviving text comes from the large clay tablet library that the Assyrian king Assurbanipal (668-625 BC) had built in the capital, Nineveh. This is recorded in cuneiform writing on twelve clay tablets. In 1849 the old Nineveh was discovered and four years later the clay tablets, which are now in the possession of the British Museum in London. Gilgamesh reigned shortly after the deluge. He is two thirds God and one third human and is described as "overpowering, handsome, knowledgeable and wise". He ruled his people as an absolute tyrant. For example, he makes use of the “right of the first night” (ius primae noctis), which is often mentioned by potentialants.
The goddess Aruru creates an opponent to Gilgamesh with Enkidu. This prehistoric man is, among other things, enjoying beer to the cultivated man and after they first fought to become Gilgamesh's friend. The further course of the epic revolves around mortality and the attempt by Gilgamesh to escape it. In mourning for Enkidu, who was killed by the gods, Gilgamesh penetrates into 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 bunches, 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.