Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh
   This epic hero of Sumeria, whose adventures are told in the epic bearing his name, appears to have lived at a time when the activities of the Mesopotamian tribes were cohering to a point when the state was beginning to emerge. This period can be set back to the fourth millennium BC, if not earlier. Gilgamesh is recorded as having been the fifth divine King of Erech after the Flood, his immediate predecessor having been Tammuz. The record of his adventures was put into writing at about the same time that Homer was composing the Greek Epics.
   Gilgamesh was the son of Lugalbanda, the third king and Ninsun, a minor goddess of Erech. When he reached manhood he recaptured his native city after a long siege, and his initial period of rule was marked by unwonted severity. To distract his attention the inhabitants brought to him Enkidu, the natural man, with whom Gilgamesh contracted a great friendship. They go together to the mountains to secure cedar wood for the city and its temples and the support of the god Shamash is secured for the venture. The giant Humbaba, guardian of the forests, is subdued only with the help of Shamash.
   But Humbaba is the liege man of Enlil, with unpleasant results later. After victory the triumphant king is desired by Ishtar, and in revenge for the flouting of her wishes she conjures up the Bull of Heaven, which causes a seven years’ drought and which has eventually to be killed. After this decisive victory Humbaba asks for mercy but Enkidu refuses this, and because of this and other offences the gods decide that one of the two must die. The lot falls on Enkidu and Gilgamesh is left alone.
   Gilgamesh then goes to seek the wisdom of his forefathers and has numerous adventures, including the slaying of the lion, whose skin he is frequently depicted as wearing. He then comes to Mount Mashu, where he meets the Scorpion Man, who allows him through the pass. He crosses the ocean and meets Utnapishti, who tells him the story of the Deluge, the same as in the Babylonian Creation Legends and in the Book of Genesis. He then returns home. The conflict with the Bull may refer to the bringing of bull worship into the Fertile Crescent. In general it is clear that all the races in this area shared the same creation and flood legends, although the names of the chief protagonists varied according to the political situation at the time. Gilgamesh seems to have been an actual king to whom were attributed the deeds of earlier generations, a process encountered elsewhere, as with King Arthur of Britain.
   The city of Erech is also known as Uruk.

Who’s Who in non-classical mythology . . 2014.

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  • Gilgamesh — was the son of Lugalbanda and the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), ruling circa 2600 BC, according to the Sumerian king list. He became the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the best known works of… …   Wikipedia

  • GILGAMESH — L’épopée de Gilgamesh fut pour les Mésopotamiens ce que furent pour les Grecs L’Iliade et L’Odyssée , mais on ignore comment l’enseignement qu’elle contient était communiqué et quelles couches sociales il atteignait. Il est certain en tout cas… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gilgamesh — Originaltitel ギルガメッシュ Transkription Gilgamesh …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gilgamesh — Gilgamesh, Gilgamish Gilgamishprop. n. 1. (Sumerian mythology) A legendary king of Sumeria and the hero of famous Sumerian and Babylonian epics. [WordNet 1.5] 2. The {Epic of Gilgamesh}, a long Babylonian epic written in cuneiform in the Sumerian …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gilgamesh — es un personaje legendario de la mitología sumeria. Según el documento llamado Lista de reyes sumerios, fue el cuarto rey de Uruk hacia el año 2750 adC y protagonista de la obra El Poema de Gilgamesh, también llamada La Epopeya de Gilgamesh en la …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gilgamesh — [gil′gəmish΄gil′gə mesh΄] n. [< Bab] Bab. Legend an ancient king and hero of an epic ( Gilgamesh Epic) completed about 2000 B.C. containing an account of a flood like the Biblical Flood: also Gilgamish [gil′gəmish΄] …   English World dictionary

  • Gilgamesh — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gilgamesh (homonymie). Gilgamesh, ou Gilgameš, Bilgamesh dans les textes sumériens anciens (sans doute BÌL.GA.MÈŠ, « l ancêtre est un héros/jeune homme »)[1] est un personnage héroïque de la Mésopotamie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gilgamesh — Para otros usos de este término, véase Gilgamesh el inmortal. Figura de Gilgamesh del palacio de Sargon II (Museo del Louvre). Gilgamesh o Gilgamés, también conocido como Istubar, es un personaje legendario de la mitología sumeria. Según el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gilgamesh — /gil geuh mesh /, n. a legendary Sumerian king, the hero of Sumerian and Babylonian epics. * * * Hero of the ancient Akkadian language Epic of Gilgamesh. The great literary work of ancient Mesopotamia, the epic is known from 12 incomplete tablets …   Universalium

  • GILGAMESH —    1. Sumerian king of the Early Dynastic period who appears in the Sumerian King List as a king of Uruk. There is as yet no contemporary evidence for his reign, but Gilgamesh is mentioned among the deified rulers in the Shuruppak tablets from… …   Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia

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