When we talk about "the first literary work in history", perhaps the image that comes to mind is a very old, boring and inaccessible text that is so It is far from the spirit and concerns of the 21st century that it is unattractive to read except for academic purposes. For example, a text about a war in which both he and his heroes have been forgotten, and the author's attempt to make them look important to us is not empathetic; Or religious/mythological stories that aim to embed ideological cultural values that are beyond our comprehension or that we may even oppose. The Epic of Gilgamesh as the first literary work in history (with the first "great" literary work in history), although several thousand years old, but in terms of theme and mood, it is a work that captures the time and place in terms of charm and Fortunately, we do not need to define it in terms of compliments to human history. (Which may be the name of Iraq) ruled, but over the centuries of exaggeration and myth-making, his story has become the fictional story we read today in Gilgamesh's epic.
At the beginning of the poem, Gilgamesh She is an oppressive and authoritarian ruler who rapes every woman before she marries her husband. The gods, who witnessed his tyranny and heard the protests of the people about him, ordered Aruru, the goddess of creation, to make a man who was equal to Gilgamesh in terms of power and was able to defeat him. With the mud and saliva of his mouth, Arrow creates a man named Enkidu, who is half human and half animal. Enkidu initially lives among animals, but a sacred prostitute (a prostitute who performs sexual services in temples) named Shamhat is commissioned to bring Enkidu to the world of urbanization and civilization by sleeping with him. The interesting thing is that after embracing Shamat, after Enkidu returns to nature, he sees that the animals are strangers to him and no longer see him as a part of him.
Enkidu is aware of the oppression of Gilgamesh, King of Uruk. And his childish instinct for justice persuades him to go to war with Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh and Enkidu wrestle together, and in a close battle, Gilgamesh manages to knock down Enkidu, but this defeat is a prelude to friendship and an inseparable bond between the two men, as they realize during the wrestling that they have finally found an equal.
Image of the ship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu
Gilgamesh and Enkidu have two great adventures together: Kill Humbaba or Humbaba, the monster guarding the cedar forest. 2. The killing of the Bull of Heavens, a creature whom the goddess Ishtar had rejected because of Gilgamesh's refusal to flirt with her, angered the people of Uruk.
After Gilgamesh and Enkidu de They kill the divine creature, the gods decide to kill one of them, and the other is Enkidu, to punish them (or perhaps to conclude that the two are very dangerous together). Enkidu has dreams of the fate that awaits him, and dies after twelve days of illness and deterioration.
Gilgamesh mourns his lost friend in a way that is rarely seen in the literature. He does not allow his body to be buried for a few days (until he sees the date coming out of his nose) and asks everyone and everything - mountains, forests, rivers, animals and all the people of Uruk, of all professions and professions - to mourn his friend. . He is deeply saddened by the grief and prepares all kinds of gifts for the gods of the underworld so that his friend may be well received there. After the burial, Gilgamesh wanders around the world in a state of restlessness, and after a while, the fear of death overcomes him, because he has witnessed the death of his closest person, so he seeks to attain immortality.
Image of the battle of Gilgamesh and Enkidu with Homababa>
Thematic or thematic, Gilgamesh can be divided into two main parts: Friendship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu 2. Gilgamesh's Effort to Achieve Immortality
In the first part, one of the best descriptions is given by Herbert Mason, the man who rewrote Gilgamesh into English poetry: "Gilgamesh is a combination It was from God and man; Enkidu is a combination of animal and human. Gilgamesh's Epic is the story of how they became human together. Because throughout the text it is mentioned that Gilgamesh loved Enkidu "like a bride" and it is also mentioned that they kiss and hug. There is no exact answer to this question, because the perceptions we have of romantic relationships are different from the perceptions of people thousands of years ago. For example, the phrase "loving Enkidu like a bride" can be interpreted in such a way that Gilgamesh loved Enkidu so much that he equated the man's love for his wife, not that he saw her as his wife.
Image of the battle between Gilgamesh and Enkidu with Nargav Aseman
in general Throughout the history of literature, there have always been such debates about male characters who are close friends: from Achilles and Patroclus to Hamlet and Horicius and even Frodo and Sam. The truth is that we can never be sure whether close friendships between men are supposed to promote homuarotic themes, because it is ultimately an emotional issue, not a cultural one, and the characters' emotions are what the author refers to in the text. Given that there is no direct reference to the romantic relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the text of Gilgamesh's epic, and we do not have precise information about the attitude of the people of Mesopotamia to such a relationship, we can assume that Gilgamesh's Epic is merely an ideal friendship. And illustrates the emotional potential of such a relationship.
In the second part, the message of the story of immortality is surprisingly consistent with our modern worldview on the subject. In a way, the final message of the story is that it is impossible and undesirable to achieve immortality or even rejuvenation, and ultimately the best alternative to immortality is to give ourselves a good name and have a valuable and meaningful life. There is even a character in the Epic named Siduri who tells Gilgamesh to be content with the simple pleasures of life (such as spending time with his wife and children).
Image of Gilgamesh's meeting with Otnapishtim
This is the conclusion that Gilgamesh himself made at the poetic end of the story. arrives. After Gilgamesh fails a quest for immortality - which was not sleeping for seven days - and a snake steals the magic plant to rejuvenate him, Gilgamesh returns to his home in Uruk with a longer leg, but in lines. The end of the Epic for his companion Urshanabi proudly describes the city of Uruk and its great walls, as if he sees his immortality there, because it was the city he built. In other words, he has learned how to enjoy the smaller things in life and see immortality in the legacy he leaves, not just his physical presence in this world.
The final message of the Epic is especially important to contemporary man. Because contemporary man is sometimes so engrossed in ambition and progress that all his achievements seem futile to him, and this is very depressing, because man feels that no matter how hard he tries, it will never be enough. Sometimes it is not bad for us to have a look at the things we have succeeded in creating in life and to enjoy and be proud of them like Gilgamesh.
" [In the second half of the nineteenth century] there were ninety thousand Mesopotamian tablets in the British Museum, but there were only two people in the museum who They were able to read. Nothing has changed yet. The academic field of Assyria faces two problems: the sheer number of tablets available - some half a million in all the world's museums - and the very small number of people who can read them. In this way we have ensured that Assyrian studies will continue forever! "Because we are not done with the initial ten percent of these half a million tablets yet." Andrew George, translator and researcher of the Gilgamesh EpicIn an episode about immortality, something happens that Gilgamesh's great fame, especially in the Western world, owes much to, and that is the retelling of the story of Noah, but under a different name. It is another ventricle. In this episode, Gilgamesh goes to Utnapishtim or Utnapishtim to seek the path of immortality. Otnapishtim explains to Gilgamesh that the gods decided to slap the earth to destroy humans. One of the gods, Enki, orders Otnapishtim to build a large boat and enter it with his family and "all the animals" to end the flood. Even according to biblical descriptions, Enki gives Otnapishtim the coordinates for building a boat. Then comes the great flood and storm that lasts for six days and nights, after which all human beings turn to mud. The ship of Otnapishtim also heads to the top of the mountain.
By now you have probably realized how similar the story of Otnapishtim is to the story of Noah's ark. The discovery of such a text and such a story in the nineteenth century was certainly a great event, as it opened a new window for looking at biblical stories. Many Christians believed that the Bible was the word of God, but now evidence was found that the story of Noah's Flood goes back to an older culture that was not monotheistic and had different details and changed over time, just like a story. Standard folklore.
For example, in Jewish/Christian narratives the reason for this flood was the punishment of humans for sinning too much, but in the mythology of the Mesopotamian civilizations (Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian), at least according to the legend of Gilgamesh It is mentioned that the cause of the flood of anger of a god called Enlil (Enlil) from humans is due to their large population and high noise that does not allow him to sleep. After the flood, he becomes angry that Utnapishtim and his family are still alive, but his son Ninurta defends humans and tells his father that instead of extinct humans, it is better to use wildlife and prevent further disease. Catch them from the crowd. Enlil is convinced and gives him immortality as a reward for his loyalty to the gods.
What would Enlil do if he really existed and saw the 7.7 billion people on Earth?
In general, the experience of reading the Gilgamesh Epic to anyone in the Jewish cultural tradition/Christian/The enlarged Middle East is impressive, because if you look closely, you can see small traces of the culture you see around you in Gilgamesh. The idea of making man out of mud, the story of Noah, the burning mourning of Gilgamesh for Enkidu, in which I saw a reflection of the Middle Eastern mourning culture, the name Shamash for the sun god, and how close the name is to the Arabic word "Shams" Going to the underworld, which is reminiscent of similar episodes in Homer and Virgil, promoting moral values such as persuasion, enjoying the small and emotional aspects of life, and as an Iranian, when I was reading the epic, I did not feel that this work to another world. It belongs, and I could identify the cultural chain that connects me to this work - both Middle Eastern and Western.
However, one thing to keep in mind about Gilgamesh's Epic is that perhaps when Reading the text The characters and events seem a bit flat and soulless, because Gilgamesh was supposed to be read orally, and this is why many lines are repeated in the original text. For example, if you read Gilgamesh's mourning for Enkidu in the text, you are unlikely to be able to feel it, but just watch Peter Pringle's performance in Old Babylonian language with music to see the difference.
In addition, the original text of the poem is severely damaged and there are many gaps in the middle of the text that may impair the reading experience. The Epic of Gilgamesh remains in its original form: the Standard Babylonian Version, which is the most complete version, and most of the published translations of the Epic are taken from this version. However, since Gilgamesh was written in the context of an ancient literary tradition and many copies of it have been rewritten over time, a number of other tablets (such as the Pennsylvania Tablet, the Yale Tablet, the Nippor School Tablet, etc.) remain, which is an alternative version of Events provide the original version. Given that the standard Babylonian version has many gaps (either in a few words or in a few lines), these tablets have helped us to fill in some gaps in the narrative, but unfortunately if you want to read a faithful version of the existing text , You will probably encounter many such scenes:
This photo, taken by Andrew George Shows well how damaged the original text is. Not only are the initial parts of the sentences not available, but sometimes there are empty words in the middle, so that the translator could not even guess their meaning. Of course, reading a book in this way can not achieve the ideal of "book reading pleasure". Apparently, Ahmad Shamloo's translation is a rewrite of Monshizadeh's translation in his own poetic language. When Shamlou was working on the book of the week, he published his transcript, but was strongly protested by the secretary, as if he had even been threatened with death. In the introduction of his translation, it is stated:
In comparison, a part of the translation of Andrew George, Davood Manshizadeh and Ahmad Shamloo is given from the beginning of the eighth tablet:
English translation by Andrew George
Translated by Davood Manshizadeh
Translated by Ahmad Shamloo
As it is clear from these pictures, the first part of Manshizadeh's translation by Andrew George is very different, and Shamloo's translation is clearly a rewrite of the secretary's translation. Given that he translated the poem from a German translation into Persian, I can not investigate the reason for this difference, but given that Andrew George's translation is known for its fidelity, it can be assumed that the secretary's translation, and subsequently Shamloo, It is not very faithful to the original structure of the poem (at least the standard Babylonian version). However, Gilgamesh's Epic is not a book that we are too obsessed with textual fidelity, because, as you can see, the original text is the same as Zuigher's liver, and it is unclear whether it will ever be fully recovered. If you find the secretary or inclusive translation interesting, read it safely. But be aware that what you are reading is an experience of Gilgamesh's story, not its text.Buy Gilgamesh's book from BingMag
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