Comparing the Babylonian Flood vs. Biblical Flood

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As early as 1000 B.C.E. tablets were discovered in several different regions as the first piece of literature known as, The Epic of Gilgamesh. This ancient Mesopotamia epic poem was delivered to the public in a theatrical way which was, then, the era’s only form of entertainment. “Around 1200 B.C.E. the epic was revised into its definitive form by a Babylonian priest named Sin-liqe-unninni” (Damrosch 29). Then, there is “the first eleven chapters of The Book of Genesis which was a prologue for the entire Torah, the Hebrew Bible that was written in the 1st millennium B.C.E.” (Damrosch 74). These two literatures demonstrate god(s) powers to punish mankind for sinful behavior by creating a flood that affected all mankind globally.

First, here are some insights about the god(s) and key characters in each story/poem. There are a number of gods in The Epic of Gilgamesh. These gods are immortal and very powerful and demanding over the mortals. “Gilgamesh himself is known as being the earliest Sumerian king of Uruk who is both a god (from mother) and a mortal (from father)” (Mason 15). Although he is not fond of the god’s powers he does, however, envy the fact that they are immortal. Which brings us to quest to find the one who can give him immortality The gods use their power to get back at Gilgamesh for his misconduct of sexuality and power by creating a man named, Enkidu, “a force of nature or wild man” who in turn becomes his best friend (Damrocsh 30). Utnapishtim is the only man (along with his wife) in Gilgamesh chosen by the god Ea to become immortal. It may seem like a favor, but in reality he witnessed many deaths rather than “seeing life” (the meaning of his name). “Gilgamesh sets forth on his venture t...

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Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh. New York: Penguin Group, 1970. Print.

Taylor, Ian. A Comparison of Religious and Secular Texts: The Adaption and Similarities between Noah’s Ark and The Epic of Gilgamesh. East TN State University. December 2011. Web. 06 May 2014.

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Ziolkowski, Theodore. “Gilgamesh Among Us. Modern Encounters with the Ancient Epic.” Cornell University (Year: 2011): Project Muse. Web 07 May 2014.

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