Epic of Gilgamesh Page 1 of 2 - Epic of...Epic of Gilgamesh Page 1 of 2 ... The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. ... Epic of Gilgamesh Page 2 of 2

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  • Epic of Gilgamesh Page 1 of 2

    Name __________________________ Primary Source Analysis

    Mark up the text as you read and analyze.

    Paragraph 1: State the type of source and its purpose. State who the audience was and reflect on how they were expected to react.

    Paragraph 2: Describe the historical events and related information that you already knew before you read this and that help you understand this source.

    Paragraph 3: Compose an abstract of the most important points of the source.

    Paragraph 4: Comment on any bias you detect in the source. Comment on how reliable you think the source is as an historical document.

    Cite line numbers from text supporting your analysis where possible.

    Background: The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. Dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (circa 2100 BC), it is often regarded as the first great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about 'Bilgamesh' (Sumerian for 'Gilgamesh'), king of Uruk. Theseindependent stories were later used as source material for a combined epic.

    The Huluppu-Tree Translation of a Gilgamesh Prologue-------------------------After heaven and earth had been separated and mankind had been created, after Anum, Enlil and Ereskigal had taken posesssion of heaven, earth and the underworld; after Enki had set sailfor the underworld and the sea ebbed and flowed in honor of its lord; on this day, a huluppu tree which had been planted on the banks of the Euphrates and nourished by its waters was uprooted by the south wind and carried away by the Euphrates. A goddess who was wandering among the banks seized the swaying tree And -- at the behest of Anu and Enlil -- brought it to Inanna's garden in Uruk.Inanna tended the tree carefully and lovingly she hoped to have a throne and a bed made for herself from its wood.

    After ten years, the tree had matured.But in the meantime, she found to her dismay that her hopes could not be fulfilled because during that time a dragon had built its nest at

    the foot of the tree the Zu-bird was raising its young in the crown, and the demon Lilith had built her house in the middle.But Gilgamesh, who had heard of Inanna's plight, came to her rescue.He took his heavy shield killed the dragon with his heavy bronze axe, which weighed seven talents and seven minas.Then the Zu-bird flew into the mountains with its young, while Lilith, petrified with fear, tore down her house and fled into the wilderness

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    (In his quest to avoid the death that consumed Enkidu, Gilgamesh seeks out Ut-napishtim to find the secret of his immortality. At first glance, Ut-napishtim seems no different than Gilgamesh.) ---------------------------------------------Gilgamesh spoke to him, to Ut-napishtim the far-distant,

    Background Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh Text Source: Excerpted from S. Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 109-16.

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh

  • Epic of Gilgamesh Page 2 of 2

    'I look at you, Ut-napishtim And your limbs are no different-you are just like me. Indeed, you are not at all different-you are just like me. I feel the urge to prove myself against you, to pick a fight ... you lie on your back. ... how you came to stand in the gods' assemblyand sought eternal life?'

    Ut-napishtim spoke to him, to Gilgamesh, 'Let me reveal to you a closely guarded matter, Gilgamesh, And let me tell you the secret of the gods. Shuruppak is a city that you yourself know, Situated on the bank of the Euphrates. That city was already old when the gods within it Decided that the great gods should make a flood. There was Anu their father, Warrior Ellil their counsellor, Ninurta was their chamberlain, Ennugi their canal-controller. Far-sighted Ea swore the oath of secrecy with them, So he repeated their speech to a reed hut, "Reed hut, reed hut, brick wall, brick wall, Listen, reed hut, and pay attention, brick wall: (This is the message:)

    Man of Shuruppak, son of Ubara-Tutu, Dismantle your house, build a boat. Leave possessions, search out living things. Reject chattels and save lives! Put aboard the seed of all living things, into the boat. The boat that you are to build Shall have her dimensions in proportion, Her width and length shall be in harmony, Roof her like the Apsu."

    Background Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh Text Source: Excerpted from S. Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 109-16.

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_of_Gilgamesh

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