The Epic of Gilgamesh
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One part comic book; one part Gilgamesh; one part modern scholar. It's impossible to explain. Just check it out already!
But not more than Shmoop! Muhahahaha! No, j/k. We totally want you to know more than us. This website is from The Annenberg Foundation, which seeks to encourage the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge. In other words: they are in the business of making better teachers.
Here's an easy-to-understand comparison of the similarities and differences, as well as the varied interpretations, of the two accounts of a worldwide flood.
Great info on Uruk, which shows the layout of the city. Also super neat description of the development of writing.
This website briefly tells how the Gilgamesh epic was rediscovered, and then provides a summary of its story. The footnotes draw connections between Gilgamesh and works from other religious and philosophical traditions, if you're feeling New Age-y.
(No, not the kind you play Angry Birds on.) This website shows how ancient civilizations developed cuneiform, the writing system to record the epic of Gilgamesh. Although the Sumerians were probably the inventors of this writing system, their language was completely different from Akkadian, the language of the epic in written in.
Movie or TV Productions
But still pretty sweet: The Epic of Gilgamesh, a short film (2009) based on the epic.
Science fiction story partly inspired by the ancient epic.
Coming in 2014: a sci-fi version. (It sounds pretty B-Movie, if you ask us.)
Articles and Interviews
Archaeologists in Iraq believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Gilgamesh. Is that goosebumps we feel?
Here, Stephen Mitchell he talks about "the tale's moral sophistication, 16-foot-tall winged bulls, and how it compares to Beowulf."
This is a great animated version of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
A clip from Star Trek: The Next Generation features Patrick Stewart reciting an abbreviated version of The Epic of Gilgamesh to a weird-looking alien dude.
Check out this short passage recited in Babylonian.
Recordings of scholars reading selections from Tablet 2 of the Epic of Gilgamesh in the original language.
A performance of part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. This piece uses the newly-reconstructed and completed Lyre of Ur, which was found in a grave in ancient Mesopotamia. Weird, but cool—in a weird way.
Stephen Mitchell's New English Version for your listening pleasure.
This episode from the recent BBC radio series, A History of the World in 100 Objects, focuses on the ancient tablet containing the Flood story from Gilgamesh. Click on the "Listen to this programme" button on the right side of the page to hear this concise explanation.
This was the tablet that first sparked interest in the epic of Gilgamesh. Victorian archaeologists (like many other people after them) were fascinated by its parallels with the Biblical account of Noah and the Flood.
This Babylonian seal shows Gilgamesh and Enkidu killing the Bull of Heaven.
And in this Babylonian seal we see Gilgamesh and Enkidu killing Humbaba.