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Gilgamesh the King

by Ludmila Zeman

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738831,012 (4.39)11
Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, in his loneliness and isolation becomes a cruel tyrant over the citizens of Uruk. To impress them forever he orders a great wall to be built, driving his people to exhaustion and despair so that they cry to the Sun God for help. In answer, another kind of man, Enkidu, is sent to earth to live among the animals and learn kindness from them. He falls in love with Shamhat, a singer from the temple, and he follows her back to Uruk. There, Enkidu, the "uncivilized" beast from the forest, shows the evil Gilgamesh through friendship what it means to be human.… (more)
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    D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d'Aulaire (alcedonium)
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    The Hero King Gilgamesh by Irving L. Finkel (themulhern)
    themulhern: The "Gilgamesh the King" series is a fun retelling of the myth. "The Hero King Gilgamesh" is less of an exciting tale and has more of an analytical or historical viewpoint. But both are good.
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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
An age-appropriate introduction to the oldest work of fiction we have. First in a trilogy.
  sloth852 | Mar 6, 2024 |
The first book in a Gilgamesh trilogy. A particularly charming illustration shows the two heroes fixing to fight and yelling cuneiform threats or insults at each other. After the celebrations, the heroes kick back with an enormous pipe. What are they smoking? Generally the illustrations seem to mix up Assyrian and Sumerian art, we see the standard of Ur, and what looks like a Sumerian battle wagon, but also some Assyrian bulls and armor. The effect is pleasant. The story seems rather freely adapted, almost too much so. ( )
  themulhern | Oct 24, 2022 |
The Gilgamesh epic is one of the world's oldest and most important legends.
Synopsis:
Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, in his loneliness and isolation becomes a cruel tyrant over the citizens of Uruk. To impress them forever he orders a great wall to be built, driving his people to exhaustion and despair so that they cry to the Sun God for help. In answer, another kind of man, Enkidu, is sent to earth to live among the animals and learn kindness from them. He falls in love with Shamhat, a singer from the temple, and he follows her back to Uruk. There, Enkidu, the “uncivilized” beast from the forest, shows the evil Gilgamesh through friendship what it means to be human.
  riselibrary_CSUC | Jun 5, 2020 |
Gilgamesh the King is a simplified version of the world’s oldest story, The Epic of Gilgamesh. In this retelling, Ludmila Zeman takes on the daunting task of condensing a very complex story into a readable version for young readers. She has broken it into three books and this is the first section. Zeman writes about Gilgamesh and Enkidu in terms that capture the feelings evoked in the Epic itself while making it a manageable story. In this first story, Enkidu, who has been sent by the gods, confronts Gilgamesh. After fighting atop the walls of the city of Uruk, Gilgamesh is saved by Enkidu and they become friends. Zeman writes, “Gilgamesh and Enkidu, now brothers, watched and waved from atop the great wall”. Through his friendship with Enkidu, Gilgamesh has become a better king. Zeman is also the illustrator of this work, and the images she uses are pretty amazing. The end papers are maps of the ancient Middle East and the color palate she chose is mainly soft yellows, oranges, and greens. The story unfolds in horizontal images across each page, with a border along the top and bottom. On some pages it is made up of cuneiform and other times it is made up of motifs from ancient Mesopotamia. One of my favorite scenes in the book shows Enkidu and Gilgamesh screaming at each other; instead of yelling insults in English, cuneiform is seen in almost dagger-like form. Zeman adds an Author’s Note at the end, which details the story of Gilgamesh and the contributions of the ancient Mesopotamians in general. She also discusses the influence on later cultures and works such as the Old Testament. Zeman is a writer, illustrator and author. Though I could not find specific credentials listed, she did consult several museums, including the British Museum, while writing the book. I highly recommend Gilgamesh the King. ( )
1 vote jennyirwin | Mar 1, 2016 |
This is and excellent book to accompany the seventh grade curriculum when they study gods and Mesopotamia. ( )
  LRodger530 | Nov 24, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Long ago in the land of Mesopotamia, a king by the name of Gilgamesh was sent by the Sun God to rule over the city of Uruk.
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For an artist there is no more serious, and at the same time, more joyous task than to create through art, a new aesthetic, and ultimately, a new way of being.

-- Karel Zeman
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Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, in his loneliness and isolation becomes a cruel tyrant over the citizens of Uruk. To impress them forever he orders a great wall to be built, driving his people to exhaustion and despair so that they cry to the Sun God for help. In answer, another kind of man, Enkidu, is sent to earth to live among the animals and learn kindness from them. He falls in love with Shamhat, a singer from the temple, and he follows her back to Uruk. There, Enkidu, the "uncivilized" beast from the forest, shows the evil Gilgamesh through friendship what it means to be human.

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The Gilgamesh epic, humankind's first written story, inscribed on tablets over 5,000 years ago, permeates our religious traditions, our myths and fairy tales. Here retold and magnificently illustrated, human civilization's first written story still delights with adventure and romance, and provides insight into the human values we cherish most. Nick of Time Lesson packet available for this book.
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