In the middle of the nineteenth century, archaeologists unearthed twelve clay tablets. Around the turn of the twentieth century, archaeologists finally managed to decipher the tablets written in Akkadian, the language of ancient royalty and diplomacy. The tablets tell of the story of Gilgamesh. (1)
The eleventh tablet tells that Gilgamesh, in his quest for immortality set out on a long journey to look for his ancestor, Utnapishtim. Utnapishtim was already bestowed with eternal life by the gods. Upon reaching the island of Utnapishtim's abode, Gilgamesh was told a story by his ancestor of a great flood that once swept the world. (2) The similarity between this story and that of Genesis is astounding. The table below gives a comparison of both these stories.
The Epic of Gilgamesh
The Book of Genesis
(Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh that he was a true worshipper of the god Ea. When the gods decided to destroy mankind by a flood, Ea warned his devotee and told him): “O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubar-Tutu, tear down your house and built a ship; abandon wealth seek after life; scorn possessions save your life. Bring up the seed of all kinds of living things into the ship; the ship which you shall built. Let its dimensions be well measured.”
And God said to Noah “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them...Make yourself an ark...”
Genesis 6: 17-19
“For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh...but...you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and you sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring...
... middle of paper ...
... M. Readings in Ancient History: Thought and Experience from Gilganesh to St. Augustine. Third edition. Lexington, MA: D.C.Heath and Co., 1987.
Budge, E. A. Babylonian Story of the Deluge and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Montana, USA: Kessinger Publishing Co., n.d.
Gardner, John and John Maier. Gilgamesh: Translated from the Sin-leqi-unninni version. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Harris, Stephen L. “Gilgamesh.” The Humanist Tradition in World Literature. Ed. Stephen Harris. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Co., 1970.
Heidel, Alexander. The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949.
Ignatius Holy Bible. Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1966.
Sandars. N. K. The Epic of Gilgamesh. New York: Penguin Books, 1972.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Flood stories have been a common thread in many religions across the globe. One of the stories we are most familiar with in our culture, the story of Noah’s Ark, is a well-known segment of the old testament, and an interesting story of how God punished the world for how corrupt it had become. God accomplished this by flooding the world, and annihilating all the creatures upon it, save for Noah and his family and a pair of each type of creature on the earth . This story, however, has roots deep in the past, some of which have only come to light with the development of new archeological techniques and technology.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
1416 words (4 pages)
- The Flood of the Bible and the Flood of Gilgamesh The story of Noah’s Ark, as told in the old testament, tells how God punished the world because it had become corrupt. God accomplished this by flooding the world, and annihilating all the creatures upon it, except for Noah and his family and a pair of each type of creature on the earth. Each decade, more insight is gained into the origin of the flood story. Based on the information available at the present time, one could argue that the story of Noah’s Ark was based on the Epic of Gilgamesh.... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
574 words (1.6 pages)
- Comparing the Great Flood in Epic of Gilgamesh and the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark Many of the same ancient stories can be found in different cultures. Each story differs in a small way, but the general idea remains synonymous. One story that is paralleled in several cultures is the legend of a great flood. The epic of Gilgamesh resembles the Bible’s story of Noah’s Ark, but specific details differ in several aspects. The story of Gilgamesh originates from twelve fire-hardened, mud tablets, written in cuneiform, in the Mesopotamian culture from around 2500 B.C.E.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Holy Bible]
1165 words (3.3 pages)
- The Epic of Gilgamesh, a masterpiece of world literature, is considered to be one of the oldest epics in the world. It is called an epic, but it is really a myth. In order to be able to understand a myth, it is necessary to have an historical point of view from two perspectives, so to speak, an outer and an inner one. The outer one concerns the necessity to understand the historical form in which the archetypes appear, the historical background to which the myth is related - in our case, the Babylonian culture and religion.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh Essays]
1936 words (5.5 pages)
- Ancient works of literature often depict community in different ways depending on their surrounding culture and belief systems. The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps begun as an oral tradition, is a work centered on the god-king of Uruk, Gilgamesh. Mortality of humankind quickly becomes the texts central focus as Gilgamesh struggles with the death of his companion Enkidu, the implications of which foreshadow Gilgamesh’s own impending doom. Throughout the epic we learn that society is ever changing, searching, fighting, and dying.... [tags: Genesis, Epic of Gilgamesh]
1215 words (3.5 pages)
- Images of biblical women have been used for centuries but some are much more controversial than others. One of the most infamous women associated with the bible is only directly mentioned in the bible once. Lilith is a woman whose story stems from Babylonian myths, demonology, and was the answer to a conflict in the Jewish creation story. She first appears in the folklore and more importantly the story of Gilgamesh, her story has grown into a femme fatale. The effect of social constructs on the interpretation of femme fatale archetypes such as Lilith are evident in the comparison of Lilith’s mythological beginnings to sexualized representation in Gabriel Rossetti’s painting L... [tags: bible, gilgamesh]
922 words (2.6 pages)
- At an early point in history, The Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Genesis were two texts that set the framework of the entire world. They were two epics that established the foundations of religion, literature, and all other standards that were followed by every category of people. Both texts entice the audience through antique language, and the stories of epic heroes and immortal gods. Sin-Leqi-Unninni and the many writers of the Bible use love as their central theme, yet it unfolds as having distinguishing effects on all characters throughout both texts.... [tags: Epic of Gilgamesh, Genesis ]
982 words (2.8 pages)
- The floods in Genesis and The Epic of Gilgamesh are in no doubt different but in so many ways similar. The two men are given a task to save humankind from a flood and succeed and are rewarded. The major basic events that take place in the stories a similar however the smaller details of them and how they are carried you are different. They two also tells us a lot about the relationship between humans to Divinity. The floods in The Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis 6-9 are very similar. In both the flood were sent to wipe out all humankind.... [tags: Genesis, Epic of Gilgamesh]
596 words (1.7 pages)
- Is the Gilgamesh Flood the Basis of the Biblical Flood? Genesis of the Old Testament records a worldwide Flood early on in the history of human civilization. Tablet 11of the Sumero-Babylonian version of the epic of Gilgamesh also records a total Flood of the entire earth very early in mankind’s development. Let’s examine the two to determine if one could be the basis for the other. Nels M. Bailkey in Readings in Ancient History: Thought and Experience from Gilganesh to St. Augustine, comments on the likenesses and lack thereof between the two versions: The striking similarities with the later Hebrew story are quite evident, but the great gulf between them needs to be e... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
1979 words (5.7 pages)
- The Flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Flood of Genesis The Biblical book, Genesis, of the Old Testament contains an account of an historic Flood which has never been equaled in intensity. Tablet 11of the Sumero-Babylonian version of the epic of Gilgamesh also records a Flood quite expansive and quite devastating. Are they a record of the same event. E.A. Budge states in Babylonian Story of the Deluge and the Epic of Gilgamesh that the narration of the Flood in Sumero-Babylonian records may simply be related to a local flood instead of a worldwide Flood such as the Bible narrates: It is not too much to assume that the original event commemorated in the Legend of the De... [tags: Epic Gilgamesh essays]
2118 words (6.1 pages)