The Epic of Gilgamesh: An English Verison with an Introduction

The Epic of Gilgamesh: An English Verison with an Introduction

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N. K. Sandars's landmark translation of one of the first and greatest works of Western literature

Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and his companion Enkidu are the only heroes to have survived from the ancient literature of Babylon, immortalized in this epic poem that dates back to the third millennium BC. Together they journey to the Spring of Youth, defeat the

Overview

N. K. Sandars's landmark translation of one of the first and greatest works of Western literature

Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and his companion Enkidu are the only heroes to have survived from the ancient literature of Babylon, immortalized in this epic poem that dates back to the third millennium BC. Together they journey to the Spring of Youth, defeat the Bull of Heaven and slay the monster Humbaba. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh’s grief and fear of death are such that they lead him to undertake a quest for eternal life. A timeless tale of morality, tragedy and pure adventure, The Epic of Gilgamesh is a landmark literary exploration of man’s search for immortality.
N. K. Sandars’s lucid, accessible translation is prefaced by a detailed introduction that examines the narrative and historical context of the work. In addition, there is a glossary of names and a map of the Ancient Orient.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The work of synthesis has been accomplished, and with a remarkable degree of tact and imagination."
--Times Literary Supplement

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140441000
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1960
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
81,659
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
"The work of synthesis has been accomplished, and with a remarkable degree of tact and imagination."
—Times Literary Supplement

Meet the Author

N. K. Sandars studied, soon after the war, with Professor Gordon Childe at the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, and took the diploma of the Institute. She continued to work at Oxford, taking a B.Litt. degree in the prehistory of Europe, and thereafter she worked on the prehistory of the Aegean, receiving a studentship at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, a scholarship from Oxford University and a travelling prize from the University of Liverpool. She has travelled extensively in Europe and in the Near and Middle East, and has taken part in excavations in the British Isles and overseas. She has contributed article to various journals and is the author of Bronze Age Cultures in FrancePrehistoric Art in EuropePoems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia, and The Sea Peoples. She is a fellow the British Academy and of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute.

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The Epic of Gilgamesh 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don¿t listen to these other reviews posted here. The Epic of Gilgamesh is a classic of mythology and literature and one of the best and most meaningful tales ever told. It is also one of the key foundations for western culture, civilization and religion. I read it while I was a teenager and fell in love with it. I can understand, however, why the some of the other reviewers may have been confused. This particular edition is intended for scholars and researchers NOT laypeople just looking for a good read. It contains the original translated text with all the gaps and bumps and has not been smoothed out for easy reading. Penguin Books however does carry a ¿normal¿ edition of this story and I suggest that those not seeking a degree in mythology or religion pick up that one instead. Again this is a GREAT story, a true classic that has stood the test of time.
mschmidt62 More than 1 year ago
Please note: if you click on the nook-book "Buy Now" button on the page for the 2003 Andrew George translation, you will be charged $9.99 and be sent a copy of the 1959 Sandars translation. If you want the Andrew George translation, I think you need to buy the paper version.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This epic manages to keep interest, especially because of its short length and quick pace. The hero is shown as more of a desperate man searching to be a god than it does a godly man in his quest for glory.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The earliest quest for immortality. This epic from the Assyro-Babylonian culture (parts of which were probably written as early as 3000 B.C.) contains perhaps the earliest known example of man's quest for immortality. According to Samuel Kramer, the prologue has the oldest known reference to Lilith, who is an important female demon in Jewish legend. Apparently, a historical Gilgamesh actually existed and ruled Uruk in Mesopotamia in the first half of the third millennium B. C. (probably in the first dynasty of Uruk). In the epic, the god Anu attempts to curb the harsh rule of Gilgamesh by the creation of a strong and wild man (many scholars regard this character as a symbol of primitive man). After a fight between the two, they become friends and have a number of adventures. In one tale, Gilgamesh is wooed by a goddess. But she is rejected by Gilgamesh and the bull sent by her father to destroy him is killed (some regard this story as a nature myth in which Gilgamesh represents the solar god of the spring season and the goddess is the goddess of love and fertility). Later in the epic Gilgamesh's friend is stricken with disease and dies. Gilgamesh is devastated and wishes to avoid a similar fate. He goes in search of eternal youth and immortality (perhaps the earliest example of such a quest in literature). After more adventures, which includes him learning the Babylonian story of the great flood, he finds the answer to his quest; but, it is quickly lost. Even though this is probably the earliest epic, it has considerable allegorical significance. It is perhaps the earliest known description of man¿s quest for the meaning of life and the struggle to avoid death. What is learned is that death is inevitable and man should enjoy the life he has.
johnnyA411 More than 1 year ago
This is a very good translation of a great piece of mythology. I'm always amazed how most religious people are unwilling to acknowledge the obvious precursor this story is to the Bible's great flood story. Clearly this book/story was being read/told in the times leading up to the writing of the Bible. It only makes sense they'd co-opt the story and make it their own, that's how all good myths evolve. Beyond that, if you want to avoid all that controversy, this is a great adventure/hero story which stands alone regardless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
               The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem, which correlates with the life of Mesopotamian society, is an excellent poem to read. I would definitely recommend this writing for AP World History students. Starting off with an elaborate introduction, the book sets the place's background information as well as historical events that are occurring. Furthermore, the prologue is a shortened summary of the whole epic, in general. The prologue helps a lot in deciphering the happenings in the long epic poem. Evermore, the poem itself is very interesting, in which it relates the story of Gilgamesh and his epiphany of immortality's reality.  All the chronological occurrences that happen all play a significant role in the meaning behind Gilgamesh's learned lesson. The lesson that he acknowledges is the truth that the closest concept to immortality is indeed the love and care of other people. Furthermore, without the characters, such as Enkidu and the Gods, the epic would not have been as successful. Throughout Gilgamesh's adventures, he learns how Enkidu, in the form of a companion, keeps him company and keeps him alive and jubilant. After Enkidu's death, Gilgamesh goes into deep mourning and sorrow prevails him. Also, the Gods, such as Shamash, aid Gilgamesh in his various adventures to show himself as supreme. Thus, the plot and the characters in the epic poem enable the audience to enjoy the writing.                 Additionally, the author's usage of the events and people's relationships accomplish a major goal: teaching Mesopotamian social behaviors. The Epic of Gilgamesh is written so that human beings can understand how Mesopotamian culture was like and how the people lived back then. This epic poem accomplishes that very well. For example, religious aspects were examined, since people prayed to the Gods for strength and for redemption from misery. Evermore, it can be seen that there were social classes in the Mesopotamian era. In that time period, women were not respected as much. Therefore, they were often bossed by men off all places. This can be seen from Gilgamesh's acts with newly-wed brides. Thus, knowledge of certain aspects of the Mesopotamian culture can be learned through this epic poem. This poem has been an opportunity for the knowledge of Mesopotamia to grow. It is quick read, so the reader does not meander off into other thoughts. Evermore, there is a lot of repetition, which allows for the major concepts to seep into one's brain. Likewise, the context is also easy to understand. There may be some confusing aspects of the poem, in which the reader does not know what is happening. Though, when one looks at the prologue, the scenes become more evident and self-explanatory. Conclusively, since the plot is interesting, more knowledge about Mesopotamia can be gained, and the poem is understandable, The Epic of Gilgamesh should be read by all people. 
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Not the Andrew George version (2003).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not listen to the last review, this version is terrible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was cool and fun. Good read.
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RichieTwo More than 1 year ago
If you are intersted in reading one of the most important early works of mankind, this is the book. If you need something for a high school book report, find a fictional version of Gilgamesh. This is an accurate translation of a very important work.
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