The Epic of Gilgamesh

Ranked #8 in Ancient, Ranked #15 in Antiquessee more rankings.

Andrew George's "masterly new translation" (The Times) of the world's first truly great work of literature

Miraculously preserved on clay tablets dating back as much as four thousand years, the poem of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, is the world’s oldest epic, predating Homer by many centuries. The story tells of Gilgamesh’s adventures with the wild man Enkidu, and of his arduous journey to the ends of the earth in quest of the Babylonian Noah and the secret of immortality. Alongside its themes of family, friendship and the duties of kings, the Epic of Gilgamesh is,...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Epic of Gilgamesh from the world's leading experts.

Ryan Holiday AuthorI read this on my honeymoon (probably the only person on the beach reading it, if I had to guess). Especially when I learned after that a new introduction paragraph had been discovered only recently. His tomb may have been found recently too. Imagine if Homer’s works had only been discovered in the mid 1800’s after being lost to history for thousands of years. How crazy would that be? Reading the classic epics can feel like work but there is value in it. These works are timeless and universal. Such a great line (Source)

Stephen Cave Gilgamesh is a hero in the ancient mould. He’s half-god, enormously strong, a bit randy, a bit dim, and he goes through adventures which embody the human experience writ large. He starts off as the king of a small kingdom, making a nuisance of himself – enforcing droit du seigneur, sleeping with women on their marriage night, pushing other men around, being a bit of an arse. So the gods make a rival to him in strength, a wild man. They fight, realise neither can win, then become best friends and go off on all sorts of adventures. They kill all sorts of ogres and beasts, until the gods think... (Source)

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