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The Epic of Gilgamesh

Anonymous - Author
Andrew George - Translator
Andrew George - Introduction by
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Book: Paperback | 129 x 198mm | 304 pages | ISBN 9780140449198 | 30 Jan 2003 | Penguin Classics
The Epic of Gilgamesh

Translated with an introduction by Andrew George

‘Surpassing all other kings, heroic in stature,
brave scion of Uruk, wild bull on the rampage!
… Gilgamesh the tall, magnificent and terrible’

Miraculously preserved on clay tablets dating back as much as four thousand years, the poem of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, is the world’s oldest epic, predating Homer by many centuries. The story tells of Gilgamesh’s adventures with the wild man Enkidu, and of his arduous journey to the ends of the earth in quest of the Babylonian Noah and the secret of immortality. Alongside its themes of family, friendship and the duties of kings, the Epic of Gilgamesh is, above all, about mankind’s eternal struggle with the fear of death.

The Babylonian version has been known for over a century, but linguists are still deciphering new fragments in Akkadian and Sumerian. Andrew George’s gripping translation brilliantly combines these into a fluent narrative and will long rank as the definitive English Gilgamesh.


 


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