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The Epic of Gilgamesh

by Anonymous, Sîn-lēqi-unninni (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,17895722 (3.78)159
Since the discovery over one hundred years ago of a body of Mesopotamian poetry preserved on clay tablets, what has come to be known as the Epic of Gilgamesh has been considered a masterpiece of ancient literature. It recounts the deeds of a hero-king of ancient Mesopotamia, following him through adventures and encounters with men and gods alike. Yet the central concerns of the Epic lie deeper than the lively and exotic storyline: they revolve around a man's eternal struggle with the limitations of human nature, and encompass the basic human feelings of loneliness, friendship, love, loss, revenge, and the fear of the oblivion of death. These themes are developed in a distinctly Mesopotamian idiom, to be sure, but with a sensitivity and intensity that touch the modern reader across the chasm of three thousand years. This translation presents the Epic to the general reader in a clear narrative.… (more)
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» See also 159 mentions

English (90)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
2013 (My review can be found on the LibraryThing page linked)
http://www.librarything.com/topic/147378#3978596
  dchaikin | Sep 24, 2020 |
An interesting tale: deep folklore

This is not what I had in mind...

It's not bad, in fact I like this better than what I thought it would be. The ties with the Jewish story of Noah and the flood were one of the few things I already knew of the Gilgamesh epic... But to find a tale of friendship, love, death and grief... Mind blowing. ( )
  Miguel.Arvelo | Jun 9, 2020 |
Certainly not my first or second time reading this great adventure tale, I just had a hankering to see the stupidity of Enkindu and Gilgamesh, may they always be praised above all mortals, those two stupid louts of the age of Gemini. Still, it was neat to see the mash-up of the tree of life and death inside a tale that predates anything else we've found. I especially loved the baking of bread in the house of Enoch, um, I mean Noah, um, I mean the house of Utnapishtim. Some really great magical symbolism throughout the tale, even if the main characters are caricatures of themselves. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
It is amazing how a story written over 4000 years ago describes pretty much the same struggles faced by modern humans. Maybe because that is the human condition. It's a story about heroism and legacy, it's about the mortality of humans and the grief of losing loved ones, it is about the limits of human ability but also about the persistence required to reach those limits.

I also found the stories similar to Noah's Ark and creation of man from clay to be quite interesting. I was surprised to find such stories there thinking they were unique to religious texts. Also, the story has some other similarities to other myths from other eras. ( )
  AmrAlSayed0 | May 27, 2020 |
This book is a triumph of scholarship that goes unrewarded by society.

Gilgamesh is a story about masculinity, power, the inevitability of death, and coming to terms with that. Gilgamesh/Bilgames is a garbage person from a modern perspective, but his story is an important one: we cannot hide from death.

Also, basically the Hercules myth. Kinda. It's sort of the basis for all myth. So read it. This edition is the best and is probably *half* commentary, which is good as getting into the context of the story and the time periods is tough work. ( )
  jtth | May 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (86 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymousprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sîn-lēqi-unninniEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Burckhardt, GeorgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferry, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feyter, Theo deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
George, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämeen-Anttila, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Henshaw, Richard A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jastrow, MorrisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kantola, TainaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapheim, ThomIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kovacs, Maureen GalleryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maier, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marks, John H.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mason, HerbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maul, Stefan M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muss-Arnolt, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasco, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salonen, ArmasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sandars, N. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schott, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thompson, Reginald CampbellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vanstiphout, HermanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warring, LennartTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Westerman, FrankAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, Thomassecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
I will proclaim to the world the deeds of Gilgamesh. ...

trans. N.K. Sandars (1960)
It is an old story
But one that can still be told
About a man who loved
And lost a friend to death
And learned he lacked the power
To bring him back to life.

trans. Mason (1972)
The Story
of him who knew the most of all men know;
who made the journey; heartbroken; reconciled;

who knew the way things were before the Flood,
the secret things, the mystery; who went

to the end of the earth, and over; who returned,
and wrote the story on a tablet of stone.

trans. Ferry (1992)
He who saw the Deep, the country's foundation,
    (who) knew . . . , was wise in all matters!
(Gilgamesh, who) saw the Deep, the country's foundation
   (who) knew . . . , was wise in all matters!

(He) . . . everywhere . . .
   and (learnt) of everything the sum of wisdom. 
He saw what was secret, discovered what was hidden. 
   he brought back a tale of before the Deluge.

trans. George (1999) 
He had seen everything, had experienced all emotions,
from exaltation to despair, had been granted a vision
into the great mystery, the secret places,
the primeval days before the Flood. ...

trans. Mitchell (2004)
Quotations
Last words
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Disambiguation notice
This work is any complete, unabridged translation of the Standard Version of The Epic of Gilgamesh. To quote the FAQ on combining - "A work brings together all different copies of a book, regardless of edition, title variation, or language." Translations of the Old Babylonian Versions should remain separate, as should translations of the early Sumerian Gilgamesh stories and poems from which the epic came to be.
Based on currently accepted LibraryThing convention, the Norton Critical Edition is treated as a separate work, ostensibly due to the extensive additional, original material included.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Since the discovery over one hundred years ago of a body of Mesopotamian poetry preserved on clay tablets, what has come to be known as the Epic of Gilgamesh has been considered a masterpiece of ancient literature. It recounts the deeds of a hero-king of ancient Mesopotamia, following him through adventures and encounters with men and gods alike. Yet the central concerns of the Epic lie deeper than the lively and exotic storyline: they revolve around a man's eternal struggle with the limitations of human nature, and encompass the basic human feelings of loneliness, friendship, love, loss, revenge, and the fear of the oblivion of death. These themes are developed in a distinctly Mesopotamian idiom, to be sure, but with a sensitivity and intensity that touch the modern reader across the chasm of three thousand years. This translation presents the Epic to the general reader in a clear narrative.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
N. K. Sandars's landmark translation of one of the first and greatest works of Western literature

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 third 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.
N. K. Sandars’s lucid, accessible translation is prefaced by a detailed introduction that examines the narrative and historical context of the work. In addition, there is a glossary of names and a map of the Ancient Orient.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014044100X, 0140449191

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