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What is the epic of gilgamesh?

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Answer 1

A poem and among the earth's earliest literary works portraying a mythological Sumerian King from about the 3rd millennium BCE filled with the stories of Spirits, monsters and gods.




Answer 2

There's another really famous story. It's one of my favourites It's a very long story called an epic. It's about a king named Gilgamesh. He's a hero who has a lot of adventures, along with his best friend, whose name is Enkidu. Enkidu is a wild man who runs with the animals. But then he meets Gilgamesh, and they really hit it off.

One day, they were looking for adventure, so they decided to travel west to the mountains, high up into the cedar forest, to bring cedar wood back to the city. Cedar trees are tall and straight, and the wood lasts a long time. It's perfect for building a palace. But there was another reason for going to the cedar forest -- a demon lived there. He was a huge, angry demon named Huwawa. Gilgamesh and Enkidu thought they were strong enough to defeat him in battle, and they wanted to try.

So the two friends set out. They moved so fast, a trip that should have taken six months, they made in just two weeks. Leaving the river valley, they climbed higher and higher. The air became crisp and cool, and they could hear the sounds of rushing streams and the wind blowing in the trees. Soon, they reached the place where the cedar trees grew tallest and straightest. They brought out their axes to start cutting them down. Gilgamesh had just touched the first tree with his axe when they heard an awful roar. It was Huwawa. The demon took a giant leap toward them. "Why are you cutting my trees?" he said. "Leave now, or you'll be sorry!" His face was horrible and twisted with anger.

Well, I would have left right then, but Gilgamesh and Enkidu turned to face the demon. They called on the sun god to protect them. The sun god liked Gilgamesh, so he sent the 13 great winds to wrap themselves around Huwawa and bring him to the ground. The demon promised Gilgamesh all the cedar wood he could carry if only he would set him free. But Enkidu didn't believe a word. "Don't let him go," he warned Gilgamesh. So with one swift stroke, Gilgamesh killed the demon. Then they were free to choose the finest cedar trees. They cut them into logs, lashed the logs together into a raft, and floated back down the Euphrates river to the city.

After that, Gilgamesh was even more famous. Tales of his deeds even reached the ears of the gods. The goddess Inanna heard about Gilgamesh. She was the goddess of love, and she fell in love with him. But Gilgamesh brushed her off and was very rude. Well, Inanna was also the goddess of war, and now she was furious. She sent the giant bull of heaven to trample the city. As the bull charged toward them, Enkidu caught it by the horns, and Gilgamesh struck the beast with his sword and killed it.

The grateful people threw a huge feast to celebrate, but the gods were not pleased. Soon afterwards Enkidu became very sick and died. Gilgamesh was really upset. He started to search for ways to become immortal so he'd never have to die himself. He decided to find Ziusudra, the only man to survive the great flood. Surely, he knew the secret of eternal life. Gilgamesh wandered into the wild lands, and eventually came to a door leading into a mountain. It was the entrance to the land of the gods, guarded by fearsome scorpion-men, who allowed him to enter the dark tunnel where no human had ever set foot. At the end of the tunnel, he found the dazzling garden of the gods, where the bushes were hung with jewels. There he found a woman who asked Gilgamesh why he looked so sad. "I want to be immortal," Gilgamesh said. "Just enjoy your life," the woman replied. "Eat, drink, dance, love. That's what life is for." But Gilgamesh wasn't convinced. So the woman told him how to cross the ocean and find Ziusudra. But when Gilgamesh finally found him, Ziusudra couldn't help. "Immortality is a gift of the gods," he said. "It is their secret, and theirs alone." So Gilgamesh came home empty-handed, but wiser. Now, as he looks at the walls of his city-the city he's spent his whole life building-he realizes how much better it is to do good work in the time that he has, rather than spend time trying to become immortal. So, that is part of the epic of Gilgamesh. His story and my journal are alike in a way. When our stories and thoughts are written down, other people can read and understand them. And that's why I think it's so great that we've learned to write-because now our stories and ideas can be remembered forever.
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