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Myths, Legends, and Tales. Your teacher: Robert Fitzpatrick. Robert B Fitzpatrick, Teacher. Call your teacher: Bob Email address: Class. Class starts at 4:00 pm sharp Room #305 Expected to be in your seats on time. Class Rules . No talking among yourselves - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


The Epic of Gilgamesh

Myths, Legends, and TalesYour teacher: Robert FitzpatrickRobert B Fitzpatrick, TeacherCall your teacher: BobEmail address:

ClassClass starts at 4:00 pm sharpRoom #305Expected to be in your seats on time

Class Rules No talking among yourselvesIf you want to speak, raise your hand, and wait to be called onEveryone has a folder with your name on it- you are to bring this folder to every class- DO NOT LOSE ITIf you need to go to the bathroom- the sign is..This!

Rules Continued..Only one person at a time to go to the bathroomNo food is allowed, except for the school snackNo cell phones, ipods, or other electronicsRespect everyoneNo shoving, pushing, fighting etcRemember, the most important thing is to have fun!

7The Epic of Gilgamesh




The Southernmost part of Mesopotamia Sumerian civilization dominated Mesopotamia from around 5000 B.C.It produced the oldest- known script It also produced the worlds first cities by 3000 B.C.Around 2334 B.C, King Sargon of Akkad in Northern Mesopotamia united both the north and the south.Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent has been described as the cradle of western civilization.Great civilizations arose in the Fertile Crescent, including the Sumerians, The two rivers that fertilize the crescent are the Tigris and Euphrates. When Gilgamesh LivedNow, when Gilgamesh lived, it was thousands of years before the rise of the Greeks, the Roman empire, Alexander The Great and the Persian Empire.

Name of EventDate of EventPersepolis is built5th-6th centuries B.C. (B.C.E.)Greeks defeat Darius at Marathon490 B.C.Persians defeated in a sea battle at Salamis480 B.C.Xerxes assassinated465 B.C.Alexander the Great age 20, becomes king of Macedonia

336 B.C.

Alexander The Great age 32, died in Babylon

323 B.C.

Constantinople declared to be 2nd capital of Roman Empire

330 A.D. (C.E.)

Rome falls to the Visigoths410 A.D.


Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire.

Greeks Defeat Darius at Marathon

The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 B.C. during the first Persian Invasion of Greece.

Persians Defeated in a Sea Battle at SalamisThe Battle of Salamis was fought between an Alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in 480 B.C.

Xerxes is AssassinatedIn 465 B.C. Xerxes of Persia was assassinated by Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

Alexander the GreatAlexander III of Macedon, also known as Alexander the Great, was King of the Greek state of Macedon. Alexander The Great created one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas.

ConstantinopleConstantinople was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europes largest and wealthiest city.

Rome Falls to the VisigothsIn 410 A.D. Rome was conquered for the first time in almost 800 years.

So, Where Did Gilgamesh Live?

In Mesopotamia. What is that? Mesopotamia is a Greek word meaning between the rivers It is that area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.Notice that these rivers are in what is now called the Middle East, and flow through Iraq, emptying into the Persian Gulf.

Discovery of the Epic Before there were word-processors, typewriters, printing presses, papyrus even before there was an alphabet, the Ancients in Mesopotamia wrote on clay tablets made out of mud baked in the sun called Cuneiforms on which they carved pictographs. They had no alphabet. So, they used symbols. To the right, here are some examples.

ArchaeologyArchaeologists have discovered cuneiform tablets all over Mesopotamia.A cuneiform tablet can be seen at the University of Pennsylvania

The Archeological Dig at NinevehIn 1857, an archeologist named Austen Henry Layard had a dig going at Nineveh which is across the Tigris River from the present-day city of Mosul in Iraq. Nineveh was watered by two tributaries of the Tigris, the Great and Little Zab Rivers. It was the seat of power of the Assyrian Empire which ruled over a huge area from North Africa to Persia between the 9th and 7th centuries B.C.E.

Assyrian Empire

The Greatest Assyrian king was Sargon who ruled from 722 B.C. to 705 B.C. For our purposes, The Greatest Assyrian king was Assurbanipal who became king in 669 B.C. This king acquired a huge library of more than 25,000 cuneiforms, which were discovered by the British archeologist Austen Henry Layard. George SmithMost of the cuneiform discovered by Layard were transported to London where they remain to this very day in the British Museum. Now, initially no one knew how to read them, and many tried without success. Then, George Smith, a low-level employee of the museum who had no formal training, deciphered how to read the cuneiforms.

The Twelve Tablets

Once it was discovered how to read the cuneiforms, it was discovered that there were twelve tablets that told the epic of Gilgamesh. The tablets were written around 1100 B.C./B.C.E. by the Babylonian scribe and scholar, Sin-lege-unninni, the Homer of this story.Here is the story that they tell:The Story of a Great King: GilgameshOnce upon a time, long, long ago there lived a great king named GilgameshNow, Gilgamesh was no ordinary king. He was 2/3 immortal god and 1/3 ordinary mortal human.This is his story.He was the son of a semi-divine father, Lugalbanda, and the goddess, Ninsun. As we said, he lived a long, long time ago estimated around 2650 B.C.E. Now, how long ago is that? And, what does B.C.E. mean?

Gilgamesh Was King of ErechIt is said that he reigned for 120 years.He was of super-human size and strength.

Erech ( Uruk)

Gilgamesh and HerculesSome have speculated that the Greek myth of Heracles (Hercules) was derived from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

B.C.E. and B.E. What Do They Stand For?B.C.E stands for Before the Common Era, and C.E. stands for the Common Era. This method is not the exclusive calendaring method.B.C. stands for Before Christ. A.D. stands for Anno Domini, and refers to time after the birth of Christ. Part of the world, countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, use an entirely different calendar called the Hijri.

Above: an Assyrian CalendarAllons Enfants de la PatrieAfter the French Revolution, France, for a time, used the Revolution Calendar. (See slide)

French Revolutionary CalendarName of the MonthDerivationDates on our calendarVendmiareLatin, vindemia - vintageSept 22 - Oct 21BrumaireBrume - mistOct 22 Nov 20Frimairefrimas - frostNov 21- Dec 20NivseLatin, nivosus - snowDec 21 Jan 19PluviseLatin, rainyJan 20 Feb 18VentseLatin, ventosus - windyFeb 19 Mar 20GerminalLatin, germen - budMar 21 Apr 19FloralLatin, florens - floweryApr 20 May 19PrairialPr - meadowMay 20 June 18MessidorLatin, messis - harvestJune 19 July 18ThermidorGreek, therme - heatJuly 19 Aug 17FructidorLatin, fructus - fruitAug 18 Sept 16Sans-CulottidesSept 17 Sept 21B.C.E. ContinuedNow we count B.C.E. from the highest number descending to 1, being the year in which Jesus Christ allegedly was believed to be born. The year zero does not exist.And, from one we count time in ascending dates and it is called A.D.So, the year after 2650 B.C.E. is 2649 B.C.E, and so on until you get to one. Once you get to one B.C.E., the next year is 1 C.E. and so on.

B.C.E. Trivia QuestionSo, 2650 B.C.E. would be a total of how many years ago? 2650 B.C.E./B.C.


2011 C.E./A.D.

DreadsThe Kings of Mesopotamia had square beards woven into dreadlocks.

Sumerian King - ListsOn cuneiforms, there was found the Sumerian King Lists, and Gilgamesh is listed as the fifth king of the first dynasty of Uruk (Erech in Greek; Warka in Arabic).He was an arrogant king who abused the peopleThe people prayed to the gods to create another creature equal in strength to Gilgamesh.

Creation of EnkiduThe goddess Aruru created from a lump of clay, Enkidu.Enkidu, while human, lived like a wild beast and possessed immense strength, just like Gilgamesh.

The Taming of Enkidu Gilgamesh sends a woman to tame Enkidu, and she does.She convinces Enkidu to clean himself up and come live in Uruk. He agrees to come.

The Wrestling MatchWhen Gilgamesh and Enkidu meet, they have a wrestling match as a trial of strength.Neither man can win, neither can best the other it is.. a draw. And, they become great friends.

FriendshipRealizing that they are equals, King Gilgamesh and Enkidu become great friends and boon companions. And, King Gilgamesh stops abusing the people of Uruk.

The Cedar ForestsMesopotamia has virtually no trees and therefore to find wood, one had to travel to the forests closer to the Mediterranean. In the Amanus mountain range, there are cedar forests. Mt. Saphon is there, some 20 miles north of Ras Shamra. The forests are guarded by a monster, Humbaba, sometimes called Huwawa.


Gilgamesh and Enkidu attack and slay the fire-breathing giant, Humbaba. Humbaba, sometimes called Huwawa, guarded the cedar forests.They cut off Humbabas head.The cedar forests were the home of Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven.

Ishtars Revenge

Ishtar falls in love with Gilgamesh, but he rejects her.Ishtar then begs Anu, the sky god for revenge.Anu creates a bull that ravages the kingdom, and eventually Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill the bull.

The Bull of HeavenAnu creates the Bull of Heaven which descends upon Uruk.There is a famine for seven years. Eventually, Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill the Bull.They cut out its heart and offer it to the sun god Shamash.

The Death of EnkiduThe gods then decide