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The Epic of Gilgamesh: Book 1 in the Republic Series

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  45,456 ratings  ·  1,836 reviews
This ancient Mesopotamian epic is thought to be 4000 years old and may rightly be called the Odyssey of ancient Iraq. It has been placed by literary experts in the ranks of the world's greatest literature. Tablets of the text, some of which date back to the Seventh Century BC, were found among the remains of the library of Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian king. This important ne ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published January 15th 2011 by Garnet Publishing (first published -2000)
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Keely
Why is it that I should feel a pit in my stomach when I think of the Library of Alexandria wreathed in fire? Cotton's Library, too, when we nearly lost Beowulf and The Pearl. Who knows what we did lose?

A copy of an unknown work of Archimedes was found to have been scraped clean, cut in half, and made into a Bible. To think: a unique book of knowledge--one that outlined Calculus 1800 years before its time--was turned into a copy of the most common book in the world.

As a young man, Tolkien once g
...more
Stephen
5.0 stars. I thought this story was AMAZING. However, before I go any further I do want to point out that this review is solely for the version I read which was “Gilgamesh: A New English Version” by Stephen Mitchell. I say this because for a story written over 4000 years ago (approximately 2100 BC) about a King who lived over 4700 years ago (approximately 2750 BC) and was written in cuneiform in an extinct language (Akkadian), I imagine that the particular translation one reads may have a profou ...more
Riku Sayuj

He Who Saw The Deep: A Hymn to Survival

The Gilgamesh epic is one of the great masterpieces of world literature. One of the early translations so inspired the poet Rainer Maria Rilke in 1916 that he became almost intoxicated with pleasure and wonder, and repeated the story to all he met. 'Gilgamesh,' he declared, 'is stupendous!' For him the epic was first and foremost 'das Epos der Todesfurcht', the epic about the fear of death.

This universal theme does indeed tie together the various strands
...more
Rabindranauth
One of the oldest tales known to mankind, and a powerful tale befitting of it’s reputation.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the tale of an ancient Mesopotamian king, beloved by the gods and with a life to match the myth. Inscribed on 12 stone tablets, historians have carefully reconstructed this enduring myth, filling in the holes where the tablets have been damaged for the most part, and carefully reconstructing the myth as a whole from other sources where possible. With insightful commentary inserted
...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
BkC2) THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH: Not sorry I read it, but what a slog.

The Book Report: Evil King Gilgamesh is hatefully cruel to the citizens of Uruk, his kingdom. The gods, hearing the cries of his oppressed people, send Gilgamesh a companion, Enkidu. (Yes, that's right, a man.) Gilgamesh falls so in love with Enkidu, and has such big fun playing around and exploring the world and generally raising hell with Enkidu that his people are left alone to get on with...whatever it was that they weren't al
...more
بــدريــه  الـبـرازي
كلكامش : الملك السومري الخامس الذي حكم
في المدينة السومرية " أوروك " بعد الطوفان العظيم .
كانت تحت حكمه حوالي (2500 ق.م)
قهرت أوروك دويلات المجاورة وأسست ما نسميه
أمة صغيرة ، وعلى مدى ألفي سنة ظل كلكامش
بطلاً ملحمياً في منطقة الشرق الاْدنى .

لطالما أسرتني أساطير الشعوب المختلفة
أعجبتني قصة كل من كلكامش وأنكيدو
لكن الفصل الذي تحدث عن قصة ..
أوتو - نبشتم : والذي يعني بالبابلية
(الذي أدركَ الحياة) و هو بطل الطوفان عند
البابليين . هو الأثير بالنسبة لي

وكما يذكر أن أوتو-نبشتم يقابله النبي نوح
في روايات
...more
Greg
I think I read this in class once, I don't remember it at all though. I wrote something stupid in the margin though that if I saw in someone else's book I'd think they were a moron, so I guess this proves I'm a moron, or was, or something. This version is a prose version, something I think is silly, I mean I've made fun of people (behind their backs) who buy the prose version of Homer instead of a verse version, so now I'm going to snicker behind my own back. Except I didn't buy this, or I did, ...more
David Sarkies
Mar 02, 2015 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History geeks
Recommended to David by: Adelaide University Classics Department
Shelves: myth
Explores the question of why we die
14 July 2012

With the possible exception of sections of the Bible (and many of the dates that we ascribe to the various books are speculative at best) this would be the oldest piece of literature that I have read and reviewed. The epic was discovered in 1853 and was first translated in 1870 which means that we have not had the actual story for very long, however its influences do stretch out over all recorded history, particularly with the similarities between
...more
Zanna
Oral tradition is often characterised by repetition, using rhythm, cyclic forms, repeated phrases or figures, returning symbolic props etc. The Epic has elements of all of these strategies, and while it's a bit dull on the page, it's easy to imagine it being spectacularly performed (though of course, it may not have been performed at all). In any case, it's full of intriguing motifs, some mysterious, others deliciously familiar...
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 25, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Classics)
Shelves: 501, classics
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient Sumerian poem first discovered in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) on December 3, 1872. It is among the earliest known works of literature. This is how the tablet containing a part of the poem looks like:
description

One thing that struck me, as pointed out also by some literary scholars, is the fact that in this epic poem, there is also a Noah-like great flood and other Biblical stories that exist here about 1,500 years before the book of Genesis was written. I mean, were there
...more
Alex
Here's the first book in the world, written around let’s say 2000 BC in Uruk, which is now Iraq, so when I set out to read all of the books in order a while back this was the first one I read. So it's nice that it's very good.

It’s about this king, Gilgamesh, who’s a dick. He’s a terrible king, a total tyrant. His best buddy Enkidu, on the other hand, is your archetypical noble savage guy, an innocent wild man. Enkidu gets civilized via the traditional method of having a sex priestess fuck him fo
...more
سمر محمد


- رحلة ممتعة وشيقة جداً تعود بك إلى التاريخ القديم وخاصة تاريخ بلاد الرافدين
لتتبع "أوديسة العراق القديم" ملحمة جلجامش أو كلكامش التي تعتبر من أقدم أنواع أدب الملاحم البطولية في جميع الحضارات
كما أنها أطول وأكمل ملحمه عرفتها حضارات الشرق القديم

- ملحمة جلجامش
الملحمة هي قصة شعرية طويلة مليئة بالأحداث قد تحكي حكاية شعب او حكايات بطولية وقد تدخل فيها الأساطير بشكل كبير
أما جلجامش فهو الملك السومري الخامس الذي حكم " أوروك " بعد الطوفان العظيم والذي يعني إسمه "المحارب الذي في المقدمة" أو "الرجل الذي
...more
Lotz
It’s always a special feeling when you read something that is almost as old as civilization. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the great granddad of World Literature: more senior than Homer’s poems—an old man who makes the Romans look downright sprightly. Sure, Gilgamesh is a little rough around the edges. His memory is going, so there are some gaps in the story. He does tend to repeat himself, and sometimes gets a little off topic. But you have to respect your elders.

As one would expect, this epic bears
...more
Alex
The story of Gilgamesh is the Hero's Journey for all time. It is haunting in its sheer age — a ghostly voice speaking to us from Iraq, five thousand years ago. Yet it remains startlingly relevant to 21st century Americans, as its hero struggles to find a first-world sense of purpose. King Gilgamesh wants for nothing, and then loses the only person he ever loved. He covets eternity. He accomplishes the greatest things a human can... and then what?

Gilgamesh hits bottom and begins to rise from his
...more
Book Riot Community
I bought this to read for class, and this month I finally plunged into this four thousand year old epic poem. Translated from it’s original Akkadian and Sumerian, the Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest known pieces of literature, but both the legend and the philosophy it contains are still fascinating. I am generally interested in mythology and history but what was particularly interesting here was seeing how closely Gilgamesh parallels other stories, legends, and areas of history, that I ...more
Evan
"The common man, the noble man,
Once they have reached the end of life,
Are all gathered in as one..."
--
"Immortal under the Sun are the gods alone,
As for mortals their days must end -
What they achieve is but the wind!"
--
"I must face battle strange to me,
Travel a road unknown to me."
--
"He who leads the way preserves himself
And keeps his companion safe."
--
"Fixing his gaze on me, he led me to the House of Darkness
There where Irkalla lives, He, the God of the Dead.
No one who enters that house comes fo
...more
Antonomasia
The Epic pulses with primitive rhythm and the mesmeric quality of repeating structures constructed under the oral tradition. Some lines of this translation feel as if they could be chanted and accompanied by drums.

It was scary, as well as fascinating: here is a voice from a time when life everywhere was harsher, when values were different - 1500-2000 years before Buddha or Jesus - and so many things we know wouldn't exist for millennia hence. We are very very far from home. At the same time the
...more
Christopher
What can I do to win eternal life? Wherever I go - even here - I am drawn back to death.

I always thought Gilgamesh was the monster that was slain in his eponymous epic poem; likewise, Beowulf. Both protagonists have monsterish, evil-ish sounding names. So what I expected to discover in Gilgamesh was an action-packed hero story akin to Beowulf, but I was pleasantly surprised to find much more depth here. This epic poem is a treatise on suffering, friendship, mortality, loss, and redemption. And r
...more
Andrew
Gilgamesh, one of the oldest things in writing, is certainly a wonderful read for those who relish things old, such as myself. I'm lately attempting to give myself a belated sort of Classical education, and though Gilgamesh isn't exactly part of the Classical tradition, figuring it to be the oldest thing from the Ancient Near East/Mediterranean, I thought I'd give it a try. I was slightly disappointed though. The story itself is fine, with a great deal of resonant power--something the translator ...more
Peycho Kanev
The world's first truly great work of literature. The Epic of Gilgamesh was written 3,700 years ago on clay tablets and I read it today on my Kindle. Oh, Humanity!
Peycho Kanev
The Epic of Gilgamesh is, perhaps, the oldest written story on Earth. It comes to us from Ancient Sumeria, and was originally written on 12 clay tablets in cunieform script. It is about the adventures of the historical King of Uruk (somewhere between 2750 and 2500 BCE).
Stories do not need to inform us of anything. They do inform us of things. From The Epic of Gilgamesh, we know something of the people who lived in the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the second and third millenniu
...more
James
Sometimes I feel very naïve about life: I see all the people heading to work each day, buying their coffee, shuffling across the street, or just staring into the ether while marching onward—I see the genuinely earnest looks that carry people forward and wonder how they do it, how they keep going when there’s so much uncertainty, so many problems and so little time to reflect and come to grips with existence. It’s no wonder that the majority of people believe in an afterlife. It simply fills out ...more
Philip
Billed as being among the earliest known works of literary writing by the more and more reliable wikipedia. (I really wish wiki would have said oldest but you can't have it all.) Gilgamesh chronicles the life of the King of the Great Walled Uruk and a few of his adventures in his quest for immortality.

He makes some friends, slays some monsters, angers some gods and meets the man who survived the flood that ended all life on earth by building an ark and taking along a bunch of animals... Consequ
...more
Behnoosh E
از زیبا ترین داستانهای که بصورت دنباله دار تو مجله سروش کودکان چاپ میشد و برای من در اون زمان که دوم دبستان بودم سنگین بود . اما باعث می شد برای فهمیدنش تلاش بیشتری بکنم و همیشه با خواهرم اون رو بخونیم. تاثیری که این داستان در من و خواهرم داشت بسیار زیاد بود ، به حدی که خواهرم برای پایان نامه عملی کارشناسی نقاشی 7 لوح از 12 لوح داستان گیلگمش رو انتخاب کرد و نمره ممتاز رو گرفت
Jacob Bentley
Fantastic. The economy of the storytelling is incredible--for such a short poem, you'll find everything here; if you're patient enough to look, I should add.
Lina AL Ojaili
تركز على معضلة الإنسان الأزلية الخلود
Naftoli
This book, the Epic of Gilgamesh, is a short epic that I have always wanted to read but only now pulled from the bookshelf. I was happiy surprised. I was expecting something along the lines of Beowulf - which I like but find thematically simplistic. Despite the brevity of Gilgamesh, it is, to my mind, much more complex. I found the similarities to the Biblical narrative to be intriguing and was seduced by the gods and goddesses whose names are but cousin to the Hebrew words for nature objects. F ...more
Henry Martin
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a brief, albeit quite profound work of literature. In the interest of reading a translation as close to the original text as possible, I selected an edition translated by Maureen Gallery Kovacs, published by Stanford University Press in 1989. I'm aware of other translations available on the market, some more 'readable' than others, nevertheless, some of them were altered significantly to either sound more poetic or to fill in the lines missing from the original text.

Tha
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
گیلگمش، پادشاهی خودکامه و پهلوان بود. او نیمهآسمانی و دوسوم وجودش ایزدی و یکسومش انسانی. حماسه «گیلگمش»، با بیان کارها و پیروزیهای قهرمان، آغاز میشود، به گونهای که او را مردی بزرگ در پهنه دانش و خرد، معرفی میکند. او میتواند توفان را پیشبینی کند. مرگ دوست صمیمیاش «اِنکیدو» او را بسیار پریشان کرده، برای همین «گیلگمش»، پای در سفری طولانی، برای جستجوی جاودانگی میگذارد، سپس خسته و درمانده به خانه بازمیگردد و شرح رنجهایی را که کشیده بر گلنوشتهای ثبت میکند. حماسه «گیلگمش» در ایران نیز شهرت دارد. نخستین ...more
Terence
I have an ugly secret to divulge - with few exceptions I have not read in their entirety the foundational epics of Western civilization. You name it, chances are good I haven't read it: Gilgamesh - no; Homer - no; Virgil - no; Beowulf - no; The Song of Roland - no; Cervantes - no. I could go on with the "roll call of shame" but I'm sure you get the idea.

Oh, I've taught parts of many of these works as a TA during my days at UCLA, and I know their gists but I've never been able to sit down and rea
...more
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Gilgamesh and User Stats 8 43 Feb 16, 2015 03:09PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Cover needs to be added 2 17 Dec 24, 2014 10:56PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please combine a stray book edition with the main bunch 2 13 Nov 15, 2014 10:12AM  
Books about Ancient River Civilizations for Middle School Students 5 41 Oct 26, 2014 11:12AM  
Gilgamesh and "traditional values" 5 44 Jun 30, 2014 11:02AM  
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Books can be attributed to "Anonymous" for several reasons:

* They are officially published under that name
* They are traditional stories not attributed to a specific author
* They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author

Books whose authorship is merely uncertain should be attributed to Unknown.
More about Anonymous...
Holy Bible: King James Version The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights Holy Bible: New International Version The Bhagavad Gita The Quran

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“Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man.” 29 likes
“Strange things have been spoken, why does your heart speak strangely? The dream was marvellous but the terror was great; we must treasure the dream whatever the terror.” 18 likes
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