notes 6 - Themes : • Becoming civilized • Search for...

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Summary : Gilgamesh – built lots of ziggurats / towers, surrounded the city with high walls, established ‘prima nocta’ (first night) Enkidu – wild man, civilized by encounter with a harlot, enraged by Gilgamesh’s corruption, challenges him, is defeated and they become best friends Gilgamesh and Enkidu set out on adventure to the Cyprus forest, guarded by the demon Humbaba, They eventually succeed in killed Humbaba with the help of Shamash Enkidu was killed by an illness – as punishment for killing Humbaba and the Bull of Heaven Gilgamesh was distraught and set out on a quest to find immortality Travels to Mount Mashu, looking for Utnapishtim (Noah) and his wife who were the only ones to obtain immortality Helped across the Waters of Death by Urshanabi, the ferryman Fails the challenge and does not obtain immortality
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Unformatted text preview: Themes : • Becoming civilized • Search for immortality + realization of the knowledge that all men die, God’s Relation : • Sometimes the gods are helpful – such as Shamash helping to protect Gilgamesh • Sometimes they are cruel and vengeful – destroying humanity in a flood, Ishtar + Anu releasing the Bull of Heaven to devastate Uruk and kill people, • People’s fates are dependent on the wills and the whims of the Gods Sir Austen Henry Layard found 25,000 cuneiform tablets (including Epic of Gilgamesh), most are in the British Museum 1888 – American archeologist found oldest version, included a list of kings that ruled over Sumer, Archeologist found that Uruk really was a walled city Cedar forests are in Lebanon – could evidence frequent trips there (no wood or metal in Mesopotamia),...
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2009 for the course HISTORY 09 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Virginia Tech.

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