LS R44 Lecture 9-2-08

LS R44 Lecture 9-2-08 - Tablets VIII-XI describe quest for...

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September 2, 2008 Survival of Near Eastern texts Baked clay does not disintegrate. Western nations have many; keep safe from strife. Why Gilgamesh in Western canon? Belongs to broader cultural heritage including West. Definition of “Western Civilization” can slide. Gilgamesh as (religious) literary narrative Fair to call religious; divine pervades whole work. Humanistic, deals primarily with inevitability and fear of death. Tablets I-VII describe journey to Cedar Forest. Power of human “self” to achieve glory. Only a temporary success; Ishtar situation leads to Enkidu's death.
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Unformatted text preview: Tablets VIII-XI describe quest for immortality. Nature of human condition to suffer loss and die. Ends with image of civilization; celebrates culture and civilization. (ME: That endure despite the loss of any one person.) Gilgamesh as cultural history Text describes aspects of Mesopotamian society. Mesopotamian king has three major jobs: ■ Just ruler, a protector of the people. ■ Builder, maintainer of walls, temple, and irrigation systems. ■ Protector of shrines, shepherding the people for the gods. Possible that Gilgamesh existed around 2600 B.C....
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This note was uploaded on 09/16/2008 for the course R 44 taught by Professor Oliensis during the Fall '07 term at Berkeley.

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