The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

3.6 36
by Anonymous, Andrew George
     
 

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Translated with an Introduction by Andrew George.

Overview

Translated with an Introduction by Andrew George.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Andrew George has skillfully bridged the chasm between a scholarly re-edition and a popular work”
London Review of Books

“Humankind’s first literary achievement...Gilgamesh should compel us as the well-spring of which we are inheritors...Andrew George provides an excellent critical and historical introduction.”
—Paul Binding, Independent on Sunday

“This volume will endure as one of the milestones markers...[George] expertly and easily conducts his readers on a delightful and moving epic journey.”
—Samuel A. Meier, Times Literary Supplement

“Appealingly presented and very readably translated...it still comes as an exhilarating surprise to find the actions and emotions of the Sumerian superhero coming to us with absolute immediacy over 30-odd centuries.
Scotsman

“Andrew George has formed an English text from the best of the tablets, differentiating his complex sources but allowing the general reader a clear run at one of the first enduring stories ever told.”
—Peter Stothard, The Times

“An exemplary combination of scholarship and lucidity...very impressive...invaluable as a convenient guide to all the different strands which came together to produce the work we now call Gilgamesh.”
—Alan Wall, Literary Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140449198
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/15/2003
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
33,905
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Andrew George has skillfully bridged the chasm between a scholarly re-edition and a popular work”
London Review of Books

“Humankind’s first literary achievement...Gilgamesh should compel us as the well-spring of which we are inheritors...Andrew George provides an excellent critical and historical introduction.”
—Paul Binding, Independent on Sunday

“This volume will endure as one of the milestones markers...[George] expertly and easily conducts his readers on a delightful and moving epic journey.”
—Samuel A. Meier, Times Literary Supplement

“Appealingly presented and very readably translated...it still comes as an exhilarating surprise to find the actions and emotions of the Sumerian superhero coming to us with absolute immediacy over 30-odd centuries.
Scotsman

“Andrew George has formed an English text from the best of the tablets, differentiating his complex sources but allowing the general reader a clear run at one of the first enduring stories ever told.”
—Peter Stothard, The Times

“An exemplary combination of scholarship and lucidity...very impressive...invaluable as a convenient guide to all the different strands which came together to produce the work we now call Gilgamesh.”
—Alan Wall, Literary Review

Meet the Author

Andrew George is Professor of Babylonian in the Department of Languages and Culture of Near and Middle East at University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

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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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