Friday, January 8, 2010

Do you know about Gilgamesh the world first Epic??!!

Gilgamesh was an ancient Mesopotamian hero who was the first in the world literature searched for immortality. Is there any chance that he was really lived?

Epic of Gilgamesh is the first epic text in the world. It is very much older than the great Ariyan epic, The Mahabharata or Homer’s Illiad. The first original version of Gilgamesh was written by the Sumerians in the second millennium before Christ. There are so many versions of Gilgamesh appeared and uncountable fragments of this epic were found through out the Middle East.

Fortunately the most complete part of this epic was found in the excavation site Nineveh. Nineveh is the site for famous library of King Assurbanipal, who is the most famous Assyrian King.

This legend was that of Seventh century and was written in 12 clay tablets. This version also contains the story of great flood or other wise Babylonian version of biblical flood. The Sumerian temples have the relief carvings of the heroic deeds of Gilgamesh. Hence the hero of the epic was not just a legend as it appeared, but he has lived around 2700BC. He was ruled over a city of Uruk in Mesopotamia as a powerful king. He may be a most famous ruler by that time. He built beautiful temples and strong city walls. The remains and the traces of those are still being seen today. We are not clear whether his great deed and good deeds made him immortal or his buildings.

Hero of this epic Gilgamesh was a tyrannical ruler and his people groan under the cost of his many wars. In order to get rid of their king they made him to wage a direct one to one fight with Enkidu. Enkidu was a creature, half man and half savage created by the gods of Uruk. Enkidu was a right opponent of Gilgamesh.

Only one combat was take place that too was end in draw. But they both became thick friends. Their combination enabled them to perform great deeds. They together killed the giant Humbala, who was the guardian of the cedar forest of Lebanon and they also killed the Skybull. Since he refused the love of Goddess Ishtar, the goddess ordered him to kill the bull.

All these enraged the gods and they decided to separate the friends by letting Enkidu die of an illness. When Gilgamesh saw his friends corpse he was broken down went down in search of eternal life. His search leads him to the other side of the water of death. There he met a man named Utanpishtim a very wise old man. He was granted immortality by gods because he was the only survivor of the great flood.

Utanpishtim advised him not to sleep for seven days and seven nights which was the basic preparation for the immortality but he failed that. Utanpishtim took pity on him and showed him the plant of external life but that too was stolen by a snake and he was remained mortal and reigned his kingdom for 126 years.

The Epic of Gilgamesh enjoys the wide spread inters through out the world only because it seeks to address mankind’s most important unsolved questions: The human relation ship with good, the power of friend ship, love, death, war, pride, and even the meaning of human life. Because Gilgamesh tried to answer all these external question, He is immortal in legends.


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