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The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation
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Ancient Sumeria

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message 1: by David (last edited Dec 01, 2012 07:42PM) (new)

David Krae (DavidKrae) This is a discussion thread about Ancient Sumeria, its culture, literature and influence in the ancient world.

Has anyone read Gilgamesh: A New English Version (trans. Stephen Mitchell 2006) The Epic of Gilgamesh (trans. Andrew George 2003) or The Epic of Gilgamesh (N.K. Sanders, 1972)? What are your impressions?

Do you think these ancient Sumerian stories might have influenced later stories and legends that showed up in other cultures?


Bryn Hammond (BrynHammond) | 13 comments Hmm. I have the Penguin, translator Andrew George. Like to hear opinion on Stephen Mitchell's 'A New English Version'. A quick trawl through Amazon reviews suggests it's a free version or adaptation even. Not that I mind that if it's understood that's what you're getting, and what you're after.

I read one ages ago, and - against a memory of that - I was happy with the Andrew George.


message 3: by David (new)

David Krae (DavidKrae) Hi Bryn. I wasn't really looking for a comparative between the translations but that would be an interesting discussion...and I'd like to learn more about Mitchell's version as well. The reason I included different versions was more to draw attention to the fact that Gilgamesh is not an esoteric story, though it is much neglected outside of academic circles.

I wonder how many people know of the theory that the great flood story from the Old Testament may have been a retelling of a story from Ancient Sumeria.


Margaret (MargyW) | 6 comments David wrote: "This is a discussion thread about Ancient Sumeria, its culture, literature and influence in the ancient world.

Has anyone read Gilgamesh: A New English Version (trans. Stephen Mitchell 2006) The E..."


Read the Sanders translation back in the 1980s. Gilgamesh was a very interesting character.


message 5: by MpaulM (new)

MpaulM | 1 comments David wrote: "This is a discussion thread about Ancient Sumeria, its culture, literature and influence in the ancient world.

Has anyone read Gilgamesh: A New English Version (trans. Stephen Mitchell 2006) The E..."


I haven't read these versions, but I have read a generic translated version and also a children's book based on the story. There is no doubt in my mind that it was written way before the account that Moses wrote in Genesis but I don't think it influenced him.


Laura Gill | 3 comments MpaulM wrote: "David wrote: "This is a discussion thread about Ancient Sumeria, its culture, literature and influence in the ancient world.

Has anyone read Gilgamesh: A New English Version (trans. Stephen Mitche..."


Moses did not write anything; his was a nomadic/oral literature culture. The Israelites would not have been exposed to the Gilgamesh story until their Babylonian captivity, when they came across all manner of Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and other Mesopotamian stories that had been preserved.


message 7: by Jeff (last edited May 11, 2014 01:37AM) (new) - added it

Jeff | 1 comments Hello everybody, this is my first post in Goodreads. You may be interested to know that I'm preparing to publish a book which deals with the Epic of Gilgamesh and its relationship with the later biblical stories. According to the archaeology, the origins of the Gilgamesh epic can be traced further back to the first stories ever written around 2500 BC.


message 8: by Aaron (new) - added it

Aaron Meyer (loptsson) Laura wrote: "MpaulM wrote: "David wrote: "This is a discussion thread about Ancient Sumeria, its culture, literature and influence in the ancient world.

Has anyone read Gilgamesh: A New English Version (trans...."


I find it hard to believe that the Israelites wouldn't of been exposed to the stories until their Babylonian Captivity. There was plenty of trade and cultural influences going on between the cultures well before that event. Further more Abraham himself was from Ur so for him not to have known the stories and not have handed them down in some form or another seems pretty far fetched.


message 9: by Nick (new)

Nick Barksdale | 1 comments Currently reading a two volume set from the 1800s called Ancient History by Rollins. It's a fun read and he is covering everyone from the Egyptians in the ancient Near East to everyone else. Has anyone read his works?


Margaret (MargyW) | 6 comments Where on earth did you find that, Nick?


message 11: by Dan (new)

Dan Trudeau | 1 comments There is, literally, zero chance the Israelites had no exposure to these stories before the Babylonian captivity. All Semitic cultures, including the Assyrians who had conquered them long before the Babylonians, had roots back to Mesopotamia. Semitic words even show up in Sumerian texts.


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