The Epic of Gilgamesh

Penguin UK
99
Free sample

Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and his companion Enkidu are the only heroes to have survived from the ancient literature of Babylon, immortalized in this epic poem that dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Together they journey to the Spring of Youth, defeat the Bull of Heaven and slay the monster Humbaba. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh's grief and fear of death are such that they lead him to undertake a quest for eternal life. A timeless tale of morality, tragedy and pure adventure, The Epic of Gilgamesh is a landmark literary exploration of man's search for immortality.
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About the author

N K Sandars has worked extensively in the fields of archaeology and prehistory and is a fellow of the British Academy. Her book of poems, Grandmother's Steps & Other Poems, was published in 2000.
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4.3
99 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin UK
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Published on
Oct 25, 1973
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9780141907185
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / Ancient & Classical
Poetry / Epic
Poetry / General
Poetry / Middle Eastern
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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 Regarded by many as the oldest major work of literature, the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ is an ancient Mesopotamian text recorded on stone tablets in the Akkadian language, concerning the adventures of Gilgamesh, King of Uruk. The first surviving version of this combined epic, known as the Old Babylonian version, dates to the 18th century BC, while the later and much longer Standard version dates from the 13th to the 10th centuries BC. The Delphi Poets Series offers readers the works of literature's finest poets, with superior formatting. This volume presents both versions of the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’, with multiple translations, related illustrations and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)


* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to the epic saga

* Concise introduction to the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’

* Images of how the epic was first written, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts

* Excellent formatting of the texts

* OLD BABYLONIAN VERSION translated by Albert Tobias Clay and Morris Jastrow

* STANDARD VERSION translated by R. Campbell Thompson

* Also includes the first ever English translation of the epic by George Smith, appearing in THE CHALDAEAN ACCOUNT OF GENESIS

* Features Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton’s poetic translation ISHTAR AND IZDUBAR

* Easily locate the sections and tablets you want to read with individual contents tables

* Three contextual books to aid your study of Assyrian and Babylonian literature, including Sayce’s seminal work BABYLONIANS AND ASSYRIANS, LIFE AND CUSTOMS

* Scholarly ordering of texts


Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to see our wide range of poet titles


CONTENTS:


The Epic of Gilgamesh

BRIEF INTRODUCTION: EPIC OF GILGAMESH

OLD BABYLONIAN VERSION

STANDARD VERSION

THE CHALDAEAN ACCOUNT OF GENESIS

ISHTAR AND IZDUBAR


The Contextual Works

BABYLONIANS AND ASSYRIANS, LIFE AND CUSTOMS by A. H. Sayce

BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN LAWS, CONTRACTS AND LETTERS by C. H. W. Johns

ASSYRIAN HISTORIOGRAPHY: A SOURCE STUDY by A. T. Olmstead


Please visit www.delphiclassics.com to browse through our range of poetry titles or buy the entire Delphi Poets Series as a Super Set



Gilgamesh is considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, and although previously there have been competent scholarly translations of it, until now there has not been a version that is a superlative literary text in its own right. Acclaimed translator Stephen Mitchell's lithe, muscular rendering allows us to enter an ancient masterpiece as if for the first time, to see how startlingly beautiful, intelligent, and alive it is. His insightful introduction provides a historical, spiritual, and cultural context for this ancient epic, showing that Gilgamesh is more potent and fascinating than ever.

Gilgamesh dates from as early as 1700 BCE -- a thousand years before the Iliad. Lost for almost two millennia, the eleven clay tablets on which the epic was inscribed were discovered in 1853 in the ruins of Nineveh, and the text was not deciphered and fully translated until the end of the century. When the great poet Rainer Maria Rilke first read Gilgamesh in 1916, he was awestruck. "Gilgamesh is stupendous," he wrote. "I consider it to be among the greatest things that can happen to a person."

The epic is the story of literature's first hero -- the king of Uruk in what is present-day Iraq -- and his journey of self-discovery. Along the way, Gilgamesh discovers that friendship can bring peace to a whole city, that a preemptive attack on a monster can have dire consequences, and that wisdom can be found only when the quest for it is abandoned. In giving voice to grief and the fear of death -- perhaps more powerfully than any book written after it -- in portraying love and vulnerability and the ego's hopeless striving for immortality, the epic has become a personal testimony for millions of readers in dozens of languages.
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