Melissa's Reviews > The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh

The Buried Book by David Damrosch
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's review
Jun 16, 2009

really liked it
Read in June, 2009

Story of the discovery of the "Epic of Gilgamesh" and the various cultural and personality oddities involved. The book is organized something like an archaeological tell - most recent layer first, "digging down" into the earlier layers into the murky origins of the tale. I recommend the book to people with an interest in Mesopotamian culture or as a fascinating example of the ways in which the (British) imperialist, colonialist, and archaeological projects coincided.

To me the most engaging parts were the sections on George Smith, the London engraver without a classical education who edged his way into the British Museum and first discovered and translated the parallels with the Biblical Flood story, and on Hormuzd Rassam, born in Mosul (modern Iraq) near ancient Nineveh, who among many other achievements discovered the Assyrian library where the most complete version of the Gilgamesh story was found, but whose reputation was unfairly besmirched by envious English scholars.
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message 1: by umberto (new) - added it

I've just bought this book today so your comment is a good background for my reading. In March 2009, I read the "Epic by Gilgamesh", a Penguin paperback translated by N.K. Sandars, in which I think we can learn a lot from that great ancient king. A few days ago, I came across another translated version (I'm sorry I can't recall the title now) so, presumably speaking, how many translated tiles/translators of the Epic are there presently as far as you know?
Your information will definitely help me hunt them down to read further.

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