Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, and his companion Enkidu are the only heroes to have survived from the ancient literature of Babylon, immortalized in this epic poem that dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Together they journey to the Spring of Youth, defeat the Bull of Heaven and slay the monster Humbaba. When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh's grief and fear of death are such that they lead him to undertake a quest for eternal life. A timeless tale of morality, tragedy and pure adventure, The Epic of Gilgamesh is a landmark literary exploration of man's search for immortality.
N K Sandars has worked extensively in the fields of archaeology and prehistory and is a fellow of the British Academy. Her book of poems, Grandmother's Steps & Other Poems, was published in 2000.
Introduction: the history of the epic; the discovery of the tablets; the historical background; the literary background; the hero of the epic; the principal gods of the epic; the story; survival; the diction of the epic; remarks on this version. "The Epic of Gilgamesh": Gilgamesh King in Uruk; the coming of Enkidu; the forest journey; Ishtar and Gilgamesh, and the death of Enkidu; the search for everlasting life; the story of the flood; the return; the death of Gilgamesh.