The stories translated here all of ancient Mesopotamia, and include not only myths about the Creation and stories of the Flood, but also the longest and greatest literary composition, the Epic of Gilgamesh. This is the story of a heroic quest for fame and immortality, pursued by a man of great strength who loses a unique opportunity through a moment's weakness. So much has been discovered in recent years both by way of new tablets and points of grammar and lexicography that these new translations by Stephanie Dalley supersede all previous versions. -- from back cover.
The ancient civilization of Mesopotamia thrived between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates over 4,000 years ago. The myths collected here, originally written in cuneiform on clay tablets, include parallels with the biblical stories of the Creation and the Flood, and the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, the tale of a man of great strength, whose heroic quest for immortality is dashed through one moment of weakness. Recent developments in Akkadian grammar and lexicography mean that this new translation--complete with notes, a glossary of deities, place-names, and key terms, and illustrations of the mythical monsters featured in the text--will replace all other versions.
These ancient stories from the cradle of civilization--ancient Mesopotamia--stand alongside the Odyssey in their popularity. The collection includes the great literary composition, The Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of a heroic quest for fame and immortality. mortality.
"Identifies and locates one of the Ancient World wonders -- New description of a very early garden and the technology behind its water supply -- Identifies the early occurrence of the "Water-raising Screw" -- Links Assyrian texts and sculpture to later classical sources and explains legends surrounding the characters of Semiramis and Nebuchadnezzar -- Reassesses specific sculpture in the British Museum." --Publisher.
Influence from Mesopotamia on adjacent civilizations has often been proposed on the basis of scattered similarities. For the first time a wide-ranging assessment from 3000 BC to the Middle Ages investigates how similarities arose in Egypt, Palestine, Anatolia, and Greece. The development of writing for accountancy, astronomy, devination, and belles lettres emanated from Mesopotamians who took their academic traditions into countries beyond their political control. Each country soon transformed what it received into its own, individual culture. When cuneiform writing disappeared, Babylonian cults and literature, now in Aramaic and Greek, flourished during the Roman Empire. The Manichaeans adapted the old traditions which then perished under persecution, but traces persist in Hermetic works, court narratives and romances, and in the Arabian Nights. When ancient Mesopotamia was rediscovered in the last century, British scholars were at the forefront of international research. Public excitement has been reflected in pictures and poems, films and fashion.
"This anthology contains all the substantial surviving works from the golden age of Ancient Egyptian fictional literature (c.1940-1640 B.C.). Composed by an anonymous author in the form of a funerary autobiography, the Tale tells how the courtier Sinuhe flees Egypt at the death of his king. His adventures bring wealth and happiness, but his failure to find meaningful life abroad is only redeemed by the new king's sympathy, and he finally returns to the security of his homeland. Other works from the Middle Kingdom include a poetic dialogue between a man and his soul on the problem of suffering and death, a teaching about the nature of wisdom which is bitterly spoken by the ghost of the assassinated King Amenemhat I, and a series of light-hearted tales of wonder from the court of the builder of the Great Pyramid."--BOOK JACKET.
This volume looks at Babylonian Mythology, drawing connections between ancient Babylonian culture and its myths, explaining how the beliefs, values, and experiences of that culture are represented in its treasured stories. Readers are treated to a map of ancient Mesopotamia, a family tree of the major gods, a table of major characters with name pronunciations with brief descriptions, sidebars, and fact boxes.
An accessible introduction to the world of the pharaohs and Alexander the Great
Sabina Franke has gathered the best stories of ancient Near Eastern literature surrounding the Mesopotamian gods, men and kings. This book takes the reader on a journey back to the birth of literature in Mesopotamia, which seems to us so far and yet so near. Fairy tales, myths and epics of ancient Near Eastern literature are still able to charm readers today and allow us to delve into the fascinating life of the ancient Near East. This book includes fables such as the tooth worm which causes tooth pain as well as the great myth of Innanas which describes the transition of the goddess Ishtar into the underworld. There are also daily life stories such as that of a student and the Sumerian incantations against a crying baby.
The scholarly world first became aware of the myth of Adapa and the South Wind when it was discovered on a tablet from the El-Amarna archive in 1887. We now have at our disposal six fragments of the myth. The largest and most important fragment, from Amarna, is dated to the 14th century B.C.E. This fragment of the Adapa myth has red-tinted points applied on the tablet at specific intervals. Izre'el draws attention to a few of these points that were missed in previous publications by Knudtzon and Schroeder. Five other fragments were part of the Assurbanipal library and are representative of this myth as it was known in Assyria about seven centuries later. The discovery of the myth of Adapa and the South Wind immediately attracted wide attention. Its ideology and its correspondence to the intellectual heritage of Western religions precipitated flourishing studies of this myth, both philological and substantive. Many translations have appeared during the past century, shedding light on various aspects of the myth and its characters. Izre'el unveils the myth of Adapa and the South Wind as mythos, as story. To do this, he analyzes the underlying concepts through extensive treatment of form. He offers an edition of the extant fragments of the myth, including the transliterated Akkadian text, a translation, and a philological commentary. The analysis of poetic form that follows leads to understanding the myth as a piece of literature and to uncovering its meanings. This study therefore marks a new phase in the long, extensive research into this Mesopotamian myth.
An authoritative sketch of the great myths of the Sumerians, their myths of origins, of creation, the nether world, and the deluge.
This anthology of Sumerian literature constitutes the most comprehensive collection ever published, and includes examples of most of the different types of composition written in the language, from narrative myths and lyrical hymns to proverbs and love poetry. The translations have benefited both from the work of many scholars and from our ever-increasing understanding of Sumerian. In addition to reflecting the advances made by modern scholarship, the translations are written in clear, accessible English. An extensive introduction discusses the literary qualities of the works, the people who created and copied them in ancient Iraq, and how the study of Sumerian literature has evolved over the last 150 years.
Ancient Mesopotamia was a rich, varied and highly complex culture whose achievements included the invention of writing and the development of sophisticated urban society. This book offers an introductory guide to the beliefs and customs of the ancient Mesopotamians, as revealed in their art and their writings between about 3000 B.C. and the advent of the Christian era. Gods, goddesses, demons, monsters, magic, myths, religious symbolism, ritual, and the spiritual world are all discussed in alphabetical entries ranging from short accounts to extended essays. Names are given in both their Sumerian and Akkadian forms, and all entries are fully cross-referenced. A useful introduction provides historical and geographical background and describes the sources of our knowledge about the religion, mythology and magic of "the cradle of civilisation."
In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of ancient Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements around 5400 BC, to the eclipse of Babylon by the Persians in the sixth century BC. He chronicles the rise and fall of dynastic power during this period; he examines its numerous material, social and cultural innovations and inventions: The wheel, civil, engineering, building bricks, the centralized state, the division of labour, organised religion, sculpture, education, mathematics, law and monumental building. At the heart of Kriwaczek's magisterial account, though, is the glory of Babylon - 'gateway to the gods' - which rose to glorious prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi, who unified Babylonia between 1800 and 1750 BC. While Babylonian power would rise and fall over the ensuing centuries, it retained its importance as a cultural, religious and political centre until its fall to Cyrus the Great of Persia in 539 BC.
Situated in an area roughly corresponding to present-day Iraq, Mesopotamia is one of the great, ancient civilizations, though it is still relatively unknown. Yet, over 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, the very first cities were created. This is the first book to reveal how life was lived in ten Mesopotamian cities: from Eridu, the Mesopotamian Eden, to that potent symbol of decadence, Babylon - the first true metropolis: multicultural, multi-ethnic, the last centre of a dying civilization.
Vivid, enjoyable and comprehensible, the poet and pre-eminent translator Stephen Mitchell makes the oldest epic poem in the world accessible for the first time. Gilgamesh is a born leader, but in an attempt to control his growing arrogance, the Gods create Enkidu, a wild man, his equal in strength and courage. Enkidu is trapped by a temple prostitute, civilised through sexual experience and brought to Gilgamesh. They become best friends and battle evil together. After Enkidu's death the distraught Gilgamesh sets out on a journey to find Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Great Flood, made immortal by the Gods to ask him the secret of life and death. Gilgamesh is the first and remains one of the most important works of world literature. Written in ancient Mesopotamia in the second millennium B.C., it predates the Iliad by roughly 1,000 years. Gilgamesh is extraordinarily modern in its emotional power but also provides an insight into the values of an ancient culture and civilisation.
A well written guide to Mesopotamian religion by one of the world's foremost Assyriologists. Bottero studies the public and private relationships between the people and the divine, their cosmology, hymns and prayers, rituals, myths and magic.
The recent translation of a Babylonian tablet launches a groundbreaking investigation into one of the most famous stories in the world, challenging the way we look at ancient history. Since the Victorian period, it has been understood that the story of Noah, iconic in the Book of Genesis, and a central motif in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, derives from a much older story that existed centuries before in ancient Babylon. But the relationship between the Babylonian and biblical traditions was shrouded in mystery. Then, in 2009, Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum and a world authority on ancient Mesopotamia, found himself playing detective when a member of the public arrived at the museum with an intriguing cuneiform tablet from a family collection. Not only did the tablet reveal a new version of the Babylonian Flood Story; the ancient poet described the size and completely unexpected shape of the ark, and gave detailed boat building specifications. Decoding this ancient message wedge by cuneiform wedge, Dr. Finkel discovered where the Babylonians believed the ark came to rest and developed a new explanation of how the old story ultimately found its way into the Bible. In The Ark Before Noah, Dr. Finkel takes us on an adventurous voyage of discovery, opening the door to an enthralling world of ancient voices and new meanings.