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CLASS 40: Greek Mythology Lecture Notes 4/2/08 Mythology: The Study of Myths Myths: Usually a story Mythology contains sacred myths (Gods) Folk Tale (sleeping beauty) Legend vs. History o History has to have primary sources o Legend does not have primary sources Epic of Gilgamesh: o Likely a Historical figure o The Gods are apart of the sacred myth o Mesopotamia=Modern Day Iraq o Uruk or Sumer: where civilization began o Civilization: Intensive Agricultural Monumnetal Architecture o Writing begins in Southern Iraq (Sumer) about: 4000bc o First Civilization is Ancient Sumer Epic of Gilgamesh found in 19 th Century Text has had a life of almost 3000 years Gilgamesh ruled in a period of Confederacy o Primitive Democracy (People had influence) o Confederacy of States Sumerians lose power at about 2000bc Semetic speakers that overflow Sumerians are called the Akadians (live closer to Arabia) Next power is Babylonians o Then come the Casites o Casites are conquered by Assyrians in about 1200bc They rule until about 600bc Known to be fierce warriors and very cruel o Sumerian language was a dead language but it was still preserved as a sacred language Story of Gilgamesh changed over time Standard version is Assyrian version o What makes a good citizen? NOT what makes a good king Assyrians were interested in finding all known texts of the empire (they had huge Bible) At Assyrians capital the first fragment of Epic of Gilgamesh was found Uruk was city in Sumer of 12 (confederacy) 4000-3000bc the Sumerians tame the rivers with water projects Ancient peoples believed that rivers were Gods An-Upper World (heaven) Ki- Earth
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Kur- Underworld God First among Equals List of Gods in Epic: o Refer to God information sheet. 4/4/08 Epic of Gilgamesh Gilgamesh: son of Ninsun (2/3 God, 1/3 Mortal) The Gods were a religious fact for Ancient Sumerians Stories are Sacred Myth from our stand point Gilgamesh=Leader, Warrior, Administrator People don't like his lustful ways Primanopte <--Gilgamesh practices Noble right to take wife on night of her wedding Anu-God of heavens Inlel-Holds tablets of destiny Shamash-Sun God; God of justice Ishtar Ae-God of Wisdom Enkidu Swift and powerful as lion Trapper warns Gilgamesh of wild man (Enkidu) Gilgamesh learns of him first in a dream Gods communicate to humans through dreams and through signs Gilgamesh sends Temple prostitute (Harlot) to Enkidu Harlot makes love with Enkidu, and Enkidu can not communicate with animals anymore Enkidu represents evolutionary process Hunter-Gatherer Pasturalism Settlement Enkidu learns about primanopte He goes to confront Gilgamesh They fight but Enkidu can not beat him In the process Gilgamesh becomes friends with Enkidu 4/7/08
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