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Notes on video lecture:
Themes from the Epic of Gilgamesh
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
medium, poems, final, texts, writing, scribe, flood, longer, city, competition, gods, historical, shorter, servant, literature, economically, repetitive, Ashurbanipal, 2000, Uruk, Shulgi, Old, Homeric, brother, intestines, intimate, memory, forms, awkward, 1200
how does Gilgamesh have such an                  sense to it
it is the first              literature text
you would expect as a first literary text
an               , first attempt at literary excellence
the scribes would have tried a lot of things and not really understood what is required to create a successful literary text
the history of the text
dates from around          BCE
attributed to a              name Sin-leqi-unninni
he is working in a long tradition that goes back at least 800 years written tradition and 500 years oral tradition
back to the                      Gilgamesh in 2500-2600 BCE
historical Gilgamesh
his city          is a major center
very likely the place where full-blown literary                first developed
so you luck out if you're the king of that town where they start to write
older Sumerian literature
goes back to around          BCE
King              of Ur (reigned 2029–1982 BCE)
first known patron of                     
lived not that far away from Gilgamesh's city of Uruk
Shulgi starts to commission            about Gilgamesh
identifies him as a kind of                figure
Enkidu is just a                who goes down to the underworld, Gilgamesh brings him back
there is an early form of the epic in what is called the        Babylonian Period
around 1600 BCE
fragments survive of this
more straight-forward
more of a rock-'em, sock-'em tale
400 years later we get this            version
it takes a tradition to raise a masterpiece
Gilgamesh masterpiece
one thing that is striking is that it is much                than the Odyssey or the Iliad
it's very                          constructed, very dramatic
one difference from the epics we know from the Greek tradition that are much more
Gilgamesh was 3,000 lines long
we have 2,000 lines surviving
relatively short, e.g. 50 pages as opposed to 300 pages for the                epics
and the Sanskrit epics are vastly larger than the Homeric epics
Gilgamesh has all the epic qualities
a quest
a foundation of a         
relation between          and humans
it's the longest story in the Ancient Near East that we know about
earlier traditions were all shorter poems
300-500 lines
earlier stories are reincorporated
different cultures emphasize different           
what mattered in the Near East were lyric poems and omen texts
interpreting dreams
interpreting what you find when you slaughter a sheep and read the signs in its                     
                        's library had many of these
for Homer, there was little                        of a written sort
it was elaborated much by             
if you are in the Assyrian or Babylonian court, you have masses of            to draw from
the              to some degree shapes the form
Goethe and Eckermann
Goethe's Corpus and World Literature
The 19th Century Recovery of the Library of Ashurbanipal from 650 BC
Gilgamesh as World Literature
Themes from the Epic of Gilgamesh
Enkidu Introduced to Culture Via Shamhat
Gilgamesh, Enkidu, Humbaba and the Country
Gilgamesh and the Story of the Flood