The Babylonian Story of the Deluge and the Epic of Gilgamesh

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A book which attempts to reconstruct two ancient Sumerican stories from photographs of the stone tablets on which they were originally written: one story concerns an ancient account of a deluge (or flood) which destroyed much of civilization); the other concerns the exploits of the mythical Gilgamesh who takes a stand against Agga, the king of Kish. The epic also presents a striking portrayal of human limitations. Gilgamesh becomes arrogant with his success, and the people of Uruk call on the gods to deliver them from this tyrant. In response, the gods make Enkidu, the wild man, who is Gilgamesh’s equal in strength. Gilgamesh’s battle with Enkidu tempers his character, and the two embark on a series of adventures, leaving Uruk in peace. Some readers have interpreted this as an early recognition of the need to use power to limit power.

The Babylonian Story of the Deluge and the Epic of Gilgamesh, with an Account of the Royal Libraries of Ninevah (London: Harrison and Sons, 1920).

The text is in the public domain.

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The text is in the public domain.

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Facsimile PDF This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book. 3.7 MB