With evidence of its existence dating back nearly 4,000 years, The Epic of Gilgamesh is without question the world's oldest known epic, predating the works of Homer and Vergil by many centuries.
The work is not only a historical landmark, but a literary and philosophical one as well. A great flood, paradise lost and a quest for immortality figure prominently in the text, marking it as the first of the mythological parallels to the Bible. Versions of the story made their way into many cultures throughout the ancient world and its universal themes are issues which continue to preoccupy you and me.
The tale follows Gilgamesh the king as he is transformed from a powerful and arrogant ruler to a man who has been forced by the realities of life to confront and accept his own mortality. It is a compelling tale, filled with drama, passion and pathos.
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This Deluxe Paperback edition aims to reanimate the story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu for modern readers. The poetic rendition brings words to life in indelible images. A historical and cultural introduction provides the context for the narrative. The result is a new edition that delights, informs and stimulates readers to a new appreciation of this age-old tale. This edition contains extensive resources for the first-time reader: - Introduction by Dr. Robert D. Biggs of The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago - Highly engaging text that is both lusty and tender - Historical and literary overview - 18 ancient world illustrations and 15 original, 4-color woodcut prints - Glossary with pronunciation key.From the Author:
In his Introduction, Robert D. Briggs, The Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago, stated: "I welcome this edition of The Epic of Gilgamesh for making accessible to modern readers the poetry and the drama, presented in heroic terms, of life, love, friendship, and finally, the recognition of the ultimate reality of human existence. It is one the great epic tales surviving from the ancient world of The-Land-Between-The-Two-Rivers, Mesopotamia, and though incomplete, reflects an ancient range of human experience and emotion not so far removed from our own."
Of his work in illustrating classical works of literature, Thom Kapheim (Illustrator) said: "I have tried to create, from this rich source of literary art, new visions that in turn might cause one to contemplate and reflect. In this way I pay homage to those who go before me."
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