I'm delighted to have finally read this oldest of know tales.
There are many lines or phrases in Gilgamesh that we're more familiar with as biblical or koranic yarns. As Gilgamesh is the earliest known narrative, it's doesn't need an insightful intellect to draw the conclusion that plagirism's at play in those mythologies.
Reptition in Gilgamesh feels irksome until you realise that story telling is interractive for the communities of distant times: for me, reading Gilgamesh promted images of fireside groups sharing meals and familiar stories. Did grandpa take a bite of bread and sup of beer as grandchild took up the tale? Please read Gilgamesh and, while doing so, ponder how groups enjoyed it together. Consider how the many components of ancient tales could've been Lego-like blocks, the favourites of which, might serve in building a village's of family's unique thread that remained accessible to visitors? Stories as tools for societal cohesion? Stories as tools for social control? Is the occasional mention or writing something added to the tale at the time it was recorded? Or does the saga pre-date carefully placed marks on slabs of clay? Whilst this is only my own conjecture, unsupported by any data I've seen elsewhere, could the hairsuite Enkidu be a ghost of ancient interractions with neanderthals (or hairier northerners)? Is it significant that all characters share but one language? If so, what does that suggest: pre Babylonian? I don't know but would love to learn more.
4 stars is a high mark from me, I hope you use some time taking pleasure and seeding thoughts from Gilgamesh and other ancient texts like "The Hammurabi Code," "Popol Vuh," "Pistis Sophia" and many other cheap oldies on kindle.
I like to keep my mind educated; even at my late years; and this was an area I had frequently seen mentioned or referred to; but never explored it's relevance to what I was reading. The very age of this work, predating both Islam and Christianity and other contempory beliefs points to a possible origin of all beliefs!
This is not an easy work to absorb; but the effort will be rewarded by a better understanding of both religion; and more importantly, man's desperate need for an answer to not just who and what he is; but more importantly - Why he is!.
Beautifully translated. (I wish I was clever) And very readable too. some different takes on the story which I am sceptical about but that is what it is all about, a dialogue and this has made me think.
Content is fine but (as too often in kindle books) navigation is poor. We are told that if we wish to defer reading the intro we should go straight to Tablet 1, but I could find no way to do that except by turning page after page, or trying GOTO and guessing a page.
Wonderful to read this in conjunction with watching a TV Documentary on the History of the old Roman Empire. There are so many facets to the History of the Mesopotamia, Sumerian and Babylonian eras. Sure the Gilgamesh has not been passed down to us in a complete form but, it is still a peep-hole into that fascintating era long long time gone...