Apr 27, 2009

Celebrate, Epic of Gilgamesh

Hello, on the third day of celebrations, it's time for the audiobook, obviously i can't present a series here, but that's not a problem, because what i have on offer today is one of the greatest stories ever told, the original hero, which all later hero tales shadowed, be them Hercules, Samson, Arthur, down to all our current day fictional heroes like Batman, Superman or Wolverine. The Epic of Gilgamesh

What is remarkable is that this epic playes almost 5,000 years ago and that it survived thanks to it being written down on Cuneiform tablets that withstand the sands of time, though not the willfull destruction by human hand. As such Bush's US army is just one in a long line of army's that rampaged, looted and destroyed what they could get their hands on in Mesopatamia area. Luckily cuneiform tablets call for willfull destruction and thats why a more then decent amount has survived, that and the sands that covered all. As mentioned, this epic plays out (and written down undoubtely, as use of cuneiform script started 6,500 yrs ago) many centuries before the birth of Abraham, who as a young boy would have eagerly listened to or read this hero tale. ( note; when 550 bc the Jews wrote the old testament in Babylon, they paid plenty of hommage to their captors as the Biblical account of the creation of man as well as Noah's flood resemble the Sumerian tales very closely).

Many original and distinct sources exist over a 2,000 year timeframe, but only the oldest and those from a late period have yielded significant enough finds to enable a coherent intro-translation. Therefore, the old Sumerian version, and a later Akkadian version, which is now referred to as the standard edition, are the most frequently referenced. The earliest Sumerian versions of the epic date from as early as the Third Dynasty of Ur (2150-2000 BCE). The earliest Akkadian versions are dated to the early second millennium. The "standard" Akkadian version, consisting of twelve tablets, was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni sometime between 1300 and 1000 BC and was found in the library of Ashurbanipal in Nineveh.

Despite the lack of direct evidence, most scholars do not object to consideration of Gilgamesh as a historical figure, particularly after inscriptions were found confirming the historical existence of other figures associated with him: kings Enmebaragesi and Aga of Kish. If Gilgamesh was a historical king, he probably reigned in about the 27th century BC.

Gilgamesh Epic ( 90mb)

Gilgamesh Epic file contains 

a 30 min introduction commentairy
a 90 min bbc audioplay
the translated cuneiform text, and an abridged summery

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