Gilgamesh – Quick OverviewGilgamesh Epic – Quick Overview The Gilgamesh Epic, an important Middle Eastern literary work, was originally written in Sumerian in cuneiform on 12 clay tablets about 2,000 BC. The so-called “Standard Version” we read was written in Akkadian and dates from c.1,200 BC. The poem is named for its hero, Gilgamesh, a despotic Sumerian king who ruled the city of Uruk, known in the Bible as Erech (now the village of Warkā in Southern Iraq). According to the myth recorded in the epic, the gods respond to the prayers of the oppressed citizenry of Uruk and send a wild, brutish man, Enkidu, to challenge Gilgamesh to a wrestling match. When the contest ends with Gilgamesh as predominant, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become close friends. They journey together and share many adventures, and their fame for heroism and bravery spreads.When the two travelers return to Uruk, Ishtar (guardian deity of the city) proclaims her love for Gilgamesh. When he rejects her, she sends the Bull of Heaven to destroy the city. Gilgamesh and
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