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The Epic of Gilgamish

The Gilgamesh Epic Video

Cover Photo Credit: "Chaos Monster and Sun God" by Georgelazenby - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

The Epic of Gilgamish

University of Pennsylvania
The University Museum
Publications of the Babylonian Section
Vol. X No. 3


In the year 1914 the University Museum secured by purchase a large six column tablet nearly complete, carrying originally, according to the scribal note, 240 lines of text. The contents supply the South Babylonian version of the second book of the epic ša nagba imuru, “He who has seen all things,” commonly referred to as the Epic of Gilgamish. The tablet is said to have been found at Senkere, ancient Larsa near Warka, modern Arabic name for and vulgar descendant of the ancient name Uruk, the Biblical Erech mentioned in Genesis X. 10. This fact makes the new text the more interesting since the legend of Gilgamish is said to have originated at Erech and the hero in fact figures as one of the prehistoric Sumerian rulers of that ancient city. The dynastic list preserved on a Nippur tablet1 mentions him as the fifth king of a legendary line of rulers at Erech, who succeeded the dynasty of Kish, a city in North Babylonia near the more famous but more recent city Babylon. The list at Erech contains the names of two well known Sumerian deities, Lugalbanda2 and Tammuz. The reign of the former is given at 1,200 years and that of Tammuz at 100 years. Gilgamish ruled 126 years. We have to do here with a confusion of myth and history in which the real facts are disengaged only by conjecture.

The prehistoric Sumerian dynasties were all transformed [208]into the realm of myth and legend. Nevertheless these rulers, although appearing in the pretentious nomenclature as gods, appear to have been real historic personages.3 The name Gilgamish was originally written dGi-bil-aga-miš, and means “The fire god (Gibil) is a commander,” abbreviated to dGi-bil-ga-miš, and dGi(š)-bil-ga-miš, a form which by full labialization of b to was finally contracted to dGi-il-ga-miš.4 Throughout the new text the name is written with the abbreviation dGi(š),5 whereas the standard Assyrian text has consistently the writing dGIŠ-ṬU6-BAR. The latter method of writing the name is apparently cryptographic for dGiš-bar-aga-(miš); the fire god Gibil has also the title Giš-bar.

A fragment of the South Babylonian version of the tenth book was published in 1902, a text from the period of Hammurapi, which showed that the Babylonian epic differed very much from the Assyrian in diction, but not in content. The new tablet, which belongs to the same period, also differs radically from the diction of the Ninevite text in the few lines where they duplicate each other. The first line of the new tablet corresponds to Tablet I, Col. V 25 of the Assyrian text,7 where Gilgamish begins to relate his dreams to his mother Ninsun.8 [209]

The last line of Col. I corresponds to the Assyrian version Book I, Col. VI 29. From this point onward the new tablet takes up a hitherto unknown portion of the epic, henceforth to be assigned to the second book.9

At the end of Book I in the Assyrian text and at the end of Col. I of Book II in the new text, the situation in the legend is as follows. The harlot halts outside the city of Erech with the enamoured Enkidu, while she relates to him the two dreams of the king, Gilgamish. In these dreams which he has told to his mother he receives premonition concerning the advent of the satyr Enkidu, destined to join with him in the conquest of Elam.

Now the harlot urges Enkidu to enter the beautiful city, to clothe himself like other men and to learn the ways of civilization. When he enters he sees someone, whose name is broken away, eating bread and drinking milk, but the beautiful barbarian understands not. The harlot commands him to eat and drink also:

“It is the conformity of life,

Of the conditions and fate of the Land.”

He rapidly learns the customs of men, becomes a shepherd and a mighty hunter. At last he comes to the notice of Gilgamish himself, who is shocked by the newly acquired manner of Enkidu.

“Oh harlot, take away the man,” says the lord of Erech. Once again the faithful woman instructs her heroic lover in the conventions of society, this time teaching him the importance of the family in Babylonian life, and obedience to the ruler. Now the people of Erech assemble about him admiring his [210]godlike appearance. Gilgamish receives him and they dedicate their arms to heroic endeavor. At this point the epic brings in a new and powerful motif, the renunciation of woman’s love in the presence of a great undertaking. Gilgamish is enamoured of the beautiful virgin goddess Išhara, and Enkidu, fearing the effeminate effects of his friend’s attachment, prevents him forcibly from entering a house. A terrific combat between these heroes ensues,10 in which Enkidu conquers, and in a magnanimous speech he reminds Gilgamish of his higher destiny.

In another unplaced fragment of the Assyrian text11 Enkidu rejects his mistress also, apparently on his own initiative and for ascetic reasons. This fragment, heretofore assigned to the second book, probably belongs to Book III. The tablet of the Assyrian version which carries the portion related on the new tablet has not been found. Man redeemed from barbarism is the major theme of Book II.

The newly recovered section of the epic contains two legends which supplied the glyptic artists of Sumer and Accad with subjects for seals. Obverse III 28–32 describes Enkidu the slayer of lions and panthers. Seals in all periods frequently represent Enkidu in combat with a lion. The struggle between the two heroes, where Enkidu strives to rescue his friend from the fatal charms of Išhara, is probably depicted on seals also. On one of the seals published by Ward, Seal Cylinders of Western Asia, No. 459, a nude female stands beside the struggling heroes.12 This scene not improbably illustrates the effort of Enkidu to rescue his friend from the goddess. In fact the satyr stands between Gilgamish and Išhara(?) on the seal. [211]

1 Ni. 13981, published by Dr. Poebel in PBS. V, No. 2.

2 The local Bêl of Erech and a bye-form of Enlil, the earth god. Here he is the consort of the mother goddess Ninsun.

3 Tammuz is probably a real personage, although Dumu-zi, his original name, is certainly later than the title Ab-ú, probably the oldest epithet of this deity, see Tammuz and Ishtar, p. 8. Dumu-zi I take to have been originally the name of a prehistoric ruler of Erech, identified with the primitive deity Abu.

4 See ibid., page 40.

5 Also Meissner’s early Babylonian duplicate of Book X has invariably the same writing, see Dhorme, Choix de Textes Religieux, 298–303.

6 Sign whose gunufied form is read aga.

7 The standard text of the Assyrian version is by Professor Paul Haupt, Das Babylonische Nimrodepos, Leipzig, 1884.

8 The name of the mother of Gilgamish has been erroneously read ri-mat ilatNin-lil, or Rimat-Bêlit, see Dhorme 202, 37; 204, 30, etc. But Dr. Poebel, who also copied this text, has shown that Nin-lil is an erroneous reading for Nin-sun. For Ninsun as mother of Gilgamish see SBP. 153 n. 19 and R.A., IX 113 III 2. Ri-mat ilatNin-sun should be rendered “The wild cow Ninsun.”

9 The fragments which have been assigned to Book II in the British Museum collections by Haupt, Jensen, Dhorme and others belong to later tablets, probably III or IV.

10 Rm. 289, latter part of Col. II (part of the Assyrian version) published in HAUPT, ibid., 81–4 preserves a defective text of this part of the epic. This tablet has been erroneously assigned to Book IV, but it appears to be Book III.

11 K. 2589 and duplicate (unnumbered) in Haupt, ibid., 16–19.

12 See also Ward, No. 199.


1it-bi-e-ma iluGilgamiš šu-na-tam i-pa-aš-šar.

2iz-za-kar-am1 a-na um-mi-šu

3um-mi i-na ša-a-at mu-ši-ti-i̭a

4ša-am-ḫa-ku-ma at-ta-na-al-la-ak

5i-na bi-ri-it id-da-tim

6ib-ba-šu-nim-ma ka-ka-’a2 ša-ma-i

7ki-?-?-rum3 ša a-nim im-ku-ut a-na ṣi-ri-i̭a

8áš-ši-šu-ma ik-ta-bi-it4 e-li-i̭a

9ilam5 iš-šu-ma nu-uš-ša-šu6 u-ul el-ti-’i̭

10ad-ki ma-tum pa-ḫi-ir7 e-li-šu

11id-lu-tum ú-na-ša-ku ši-pi-šu

12ú-um-mi-id-ma     pu-ti

13i-mi- du         i̭a-ti

14aš-ši-a-šu-ma at-ba-la-áš-šu a-na ṣi-ri-ki

15um-mi iluGilgamiš mu-u-da-a-at ka-la-ma

16iz-za-kar-am a-na iluGilgamiš [212]

17mi-in-di iluGilgamish ša ki-ma ka-ti

18i-na ṣi-ri   i-wa-li-id-ma

19ú-ra-ab-bi-šu   ša-du-ú

20ta-mar-šu-ma [sa(?)]-ap-ḫa-ta at-ta

21id-lu-tum ú-na-ša-ku ši-pi-šu8

22te-iṭ-ṭi-ra-šu(?) … šu-ú-zu

23ta-tar-ra-[’a]-šu a-na ṣi-[ri-i̭]a

24[iš-(?)] ti-lam-ma9 i-ta-mar ša-ni-tam

25[šu-na-]ta i-ta-wa-a-am a-na um-mi-šu

26[um-m]i a-ta-mar ša-ni-tam

27[šu-na-ta a-ta]mar e-mi-a i-na zu-ki-im

28[i-na?] Unuk-(ki) ri-bi-tim10

29ḫa-aṣ-ṣi-nu   na-di-i-ma

30e-li-šu   pa-aḫ- ru

31ḫa-aṣ-ṣi-nu-um-ma ša-ni bu-nu-šu

32a-mur-šu-ma aḫ-ta-ta a-na-ku

33a-ra-am-šu-ma ki-ma áš-ša-tim

34a-ḫa-ap-pu-up   el-šu

35el-ki-šu-ma áš-ta-ka-an-šu

36a-na     a-ḫi-i̭a

37um-mi iluGilgamish mu-da-at ka-la-ma

38[iz-za-kar-am a-na iluGilgamish]




1aš-šum uš-[ta-] ma-ḫa-ru it-ti-ka.

2iluGilgamish šu-na-tam i-pa-šar

3iluEn-ki-[dû w]a?-ši-ib ma-ḫar ḫa-ri-im-tim

4UR [ ]-ḫa-mu DI-?-al-lu-un

5[ ] im-ta-ši a-šar i-wa-al-du

6ûmê 611 ù 7 mu-ši- a-tim

7iluEn-ki-dû te-bi-   i-ma

8ša-[am-ka-ta]   ir- ḫi

9ḫa-[ri-im-tu pa-a]-ša i-pu-ša-am-ma

10iz-za-[kar-am] a-na iluEn-ki-dû12

11a-na-ṭal-ka dEn-ki-dû ki-ma ili ta-ba-áš-ši

12am-mi-nim it-ti na-ma-áš-te-e13

13ta-at-ta-[na-al-]la -ak ṣi-ra-am

14al-kam   lu-ùr-di-   ka

15a-na libbi Uruk-(ki) ri-bi-tim

16a-na biti [el-]lim mu-ša-bi ša A-nim

17dEn-ki-dû ti-bi lu-ru-ka

18a-na É-[an-n]a mu-ša-bi ša A-nim

19a-šar [iluGilgamiš] it-[.........] ne-pi-ši-tim(?)

20ù at-[   ]-di [   -] ma

21ta-[   ] ra-ma-an-   ka [214]

22al-ka ti-ba i-[na] ga-ag-ga-ri

23ma-a-a?14 -ak ri-i-im

24iš-me a-wa-az-za im-ta-gár ga-ba-ša

25mi-il-kum ša sinništi

26im-ta-[ku]-ut a-na libbi-šu

27iš-ḫu-uṭ li-ib-ša-am

28iš-ti-nam [ú]-la-ab-bi-iš-šu

29li-ib- [ša-am] ša-ni-a-am

30ši-i it-ta-al-ba- áš

31ṣa-ab-ta-at ga-az- zu

32ki-ma ? i-ri-id-di-šu

33a-na gu-up-ri ša ri-i-im

34a-š[ar   ] tar-ba-ṣi-im

35i-na [   ]-ḫu-ru ri-i̭a-ú15


(About two lines broken away.)


1ši-iz-ba ša na-ma-áš-te-e

2i-te-en-   ni-   iḳ

3a-ka-lam iš-ku-nu ma-ḫar-šu

4ip-te-iḳ-ma i-na -aṭ-ṭal16

5ù ip-pa-al-la-   as

6u-ul i-di dEn-ki- dû

7aklam a-na a-ka-lim

8šikaram   a-na ša-te-e-im

9la-a   lum-mu-   ud [215]

10ḫa-ri-im-lum pi-ša i-pu-ša-am- ma

11iz-za-kar-am a-na iluEn-ki-dû

12a-ku-ul ak-lam dEn-ki-dû

13zi-ma-at ba-la-ṭi-im

14bi-ši-ti ši-im-ti ma-ti

15i-ku-ul a-ak-lam iluEn-ki-dû

16a-di ši-bi-e-šu

17šikaram iš-ti-a-am

187 aṣ-ṣa-am-mi-im17

19it-tap-šar kab-ta-tum i-na-an-gu

20i-li-iṣ libba- šu- ma

21pa-nu-šu [it-]ta(?)-bir -ru18

22ul-tap-pi-it [............]-i

23šu-ḫu-ra-am pa-ga-ar-šu

24ša-am-nam ip-ta-ša-áš-ma

25a-we-li-iš i-mē

26il-ba- áš li-ib-ša-am

27ki-ma mu-ti i-ba-áš-ši

28il-ki ka-ak-ka-šu

29la-bi ú gi-ir- ri

30iš-sa-ak-pu šab-[ši]-eš mu-ši-a-ti

31ut- tap -pi-iš šib-ba-ri19

32la-bi uk-t[a ]-ši-id

33it-ti immer na-ki-[e?] ra-bu-tum

34iluEn-ki-dû ma-aṣ-ṣa-ar-šu-nu

35a-we-lum wa-ru-um

36iš-[te]-en id-lum

37a-na[ ........ u]-za-ak-ki-ir


(About five lines broken away.) [216]



1i-ip-pu-uš     ul-ṣa-am

2iš-ši-ma   i-ni-i-šu

3i-ta-mar   a-we-lam

4iz20-za-kar-am   a-na ḫarimti

5ša-am-ka-at uk-ki-ši21 a-we-lam

6a-na mi-nim    il-li-kam

7zi-ki-ir-šu   lu-uš-šu22

8ḫa-ri-im-tum iš-ta-si a-we-lam

9i-ba-uš-šu-um-ma i-ta-mar-šu

10e-di-il23 e-eš-ta-ḫi-[ṭa-am]

11mi-nu   a-la-ku-zu na-aḫ-24 [     -]ma

12e pi-šu    i-pu-ša-am-[ma]

13iz-za-kar-am a-na iluEn-[ki-dû]

14bi-ti-iš e-mu-tim [                ]

15ši-ma-a-at    ni-ši-i-   ma

16tu-ṣa25-ar pa-a-ta-tim26

17a-na âli dup-šak-ki-i e ṣi-en

18UG-AD-AD-LIL e-mi ṣa-a-a-ḫa-tim [217]

19a-na šarri Unuk-(ki) ri-bi-tim

20pi-ti pu-uk epši27 a-na ḫa-a-a-ri

21a-na iluGilgamiš šarri ša Unuk-(ki) ri-bi-tim

22pi-ti pu-uk epši28

23a-na ha-a-a-ri

24áš-ša-at ši-ma-tim i-ra-aḫ-ḫi

25šu-u pa-na-nu-um-ma

26mu-uk wa-ar-ka-nu

27i-na mi-il-ki ša ili ga-bi-ma

28i-na bi-ti-iḳ a-pu-un-na-ti-šu29

29ši- ma- az- zum

30a-na zi-ik-ri id-li-im

31i-ri-ku pa-nu-šu



(About five lines broken away.)

1i-il-la-ak- ..........

2ù ša-am-ka-at[     ]ar-ki-šu

3i- ru- ub-ma30 a-na31 libbi Uruk-(ki) ri-bi-tim

4ip-ḫur um-ma-nu-um i-na ṣi-ri-šu

5iz-zi-za-am-ma i-na zu-ki-im

6ša Unuk-(ki) ri-bi-tim

7pa-aḫ-ra-a-ma ni-šu [218]

8i-ta-mē-a   i-na ṣi-ri-šu pi(?)-it-tam32

9a-na mi-[ni]33 iluGilgamiš ma-ši-il

10la-nam   ša- pi-  il

11e-ṣi[   pu]-uk-ku-ul

12    i ? -ak-ta

13i[-    -]di   i-ši?

14ši-iz-ba ša[na-ma-]áš-[te]-e

15i-te-  en-  ni-   iḳ

16ka-i̭ā-na i-na [libbi] Uruk-(ki) kak-ki-a-tum34

17id-lu-tum u-te-el-li-   lu

18ša-ki-in  ip-ša-   nu35

19a-na idli ša i-tu-ru   zi-mu-šu

20a-na iluGilgamiš ki-ma i-li-im

21ša-ki-iš-šum36 me-iḫ-rum

22a-na ilatIš-ḫa-ra ma-i̭ā-lum

23na-   [di]-i-   ma

24iluGilgamish id-[   ]na-an(?)...

25i-na mu-ši in-ni-[    -]id

26i-na-ak37-ša-am- ma

27it-ta-[    ]i-na zûki

28ip-ta-ra-[ku   ]-ak-tām

29ša   iluGilgamish

30........... da-na(?) ni-iš-šu


1ur-(?)ḫa .....................

2iluGilgamiš ................

3i-na ṣi-ri .................... [219]

4i-ḫa-an-ni-ib [pi-ir-ta-šu?]

5it-bi-ma ...

6a-na pa-ni- šu

7it-tam-ḫa-ru i-na ri-bi-tu ma-ti

8iluEn-ki-dû ba-ba-am ip-ta-ri-ik

9i-na ši-pi-šu

10iluGilgamiš e-ri-ba-am u-ul id-di-in

11iṣ-ṣa-ab-tu-ma ki-ma li-i-im

12i- lu- du38

13zi-ip-pa-am ’i-bu- tu

14i-ga-rum ir-tu-tū39

15iluGilgamiš ù iluEn-ki- dû

16iṣ-ṣa-ab-tu-ù- ma

17ki-ma li-i-im i-lu-du

18zi-ip-pa-am ’i-bu- tu

19i-ga-rum ir-tu-tū

20ik-mi-is-ma iluGilgamiš

21i-na ga-ga-ag-ga-ri ši-ip-šu

22ip-ši-iḫ40 uṣ-ṣa-šu- ma

23i-ni-’i i-ra-az-zu

24iš-tu i-ra-zu i-ni-ḫu41

25iluEn-ki-dû a-na ša-ši-im

26iz-za-kar-am a-na iluGilgamiš

27ki-ma iš-te-en-ma um-ma-ka

28ú- li- id- ka

29ri-im-tum ša zu- pu-ri

30ilat-Nin- sun- na

31ul-lu e-li mu-ti ri-eš-su [220]

32šar-ru-tam ša ni-ši

33i-ši-im-kum iluEn-lil

duppu 2 kam-ma

šu-tu-ur e-li …

4 šu-ši42

1 Here this late text includes both variants pašāru and zakāru. The earlier texts have only the one or the other.

2 For kakabê; b becomes and then is reduced to the breathing.

3 The variants have kima kiṣri; ki-[ma]?-rum is a possible reading. The standard Assyrian texts regard Enkidu as the subject.

4 Var. da-an

5 ŠAM-KAK = ilu, net. The variant has ultaprid ki-is-su-šu, “he shook his murderous weapon.” For kissu see ZA. 9,220,4 = CT. 12,14b 36, giš-kud = ki-is-su.

6 Var. nussu for nuš-šu = nušša-šu. The previous translations of this passage are erroneous.

7 This is to my knowledge the first occurence of the infinitive of this verb, paḫēru, not paḫāru.

8 Text ma?

9 ištanamma > ištilamma.

10 Cf. Code of Hammurapi IV 52 and Streck in Babyloniaca II 177.

11 Restored from Tab. I Col. IV 21.

12 Cf. Dhorme Choix de Textes Religieux 198, 33.

13 namaštû a late form which has followed the analogy of reštû in assuming the feminine t as part of the root. The long û is due to analogy with namaššû a Sumerian loan-word with nisbe ending.

14 Room for a small sign only, perhaps A; māi̭āk? For mâka, there, see BEHRENS, LSS. II page 1 and index.

15 Infinitive “to shepherd”; see also Poebel, PBS. V 106 I, ri-i̭a-ú, ri-te-i̭a-ú.

16 The text has clearly AD-RI.

17 Or azzammim? The word is probably an adverb; hardly a word for cup, mug (??).

18 it is uncertain and ta more likely than . One expects ittabriru. Cf. muttabrirru, CT. 17, 15, 2; littatabrar, EBELING, KTA. 69, 4.

19 For šapparu. Text and interpretation uncertain. uttappiš II² from tapāšu, Hebrew tāpaś, seize.

20 Text ta!

21 On ekēšu, drive away, see Zimmern, Shurpu, p. 56. Cf. uk-kiš Myhrman, PBS. I 14, 17; uk-ki-ši, King, Cr. App. V 55; etc., etc.

22 The Hebrew cognate of mašû, to forget, is našâ, Arabic nasijia, and occurs here in Babylonian for the first time. See also Brockelman, Vergleichende Grammatik 160 a.

23 Probably phonetic variant of edir. The preterite of edēru, to be in misery, has not been found. If this interpretation be correct the preterite edir is established. For the change r > l note also attalaḫ < attaraḫ, Harper, Letters 88, 10, bilku < birku, RA. 9, 77 II 13; uttakkalu < uttakkaru, Ebeling, KTA. 49 IV 10.

24 Also na-’-[     -]ma is possible.

25 The text cannot be correct since it has no intelligible sign. My reading is uncertain.

26 Text uncertain, kal-lu-tim is possible.

27 KAK-ši.

28 KAK-ši.

29 Literally nostrils. pitik apunnati-šu, work done in his presence(?). The meaning of the idiom is uncertain.

30 Text ZU!

31 Text has erroneous form.

32 Text PA-it-tam clearly!

33 Omitted by the scribe.

34 Sic! The plural of kakku, kakkîtu(?).

35 Cf. e-pi-ša-an-šu-nu libâru, “May they see their doings,” Maḳlu VII 17.

36 For šakin-šum.

37 On the verb nâku see the Babylonian Book of Proverbs § 27.

38 The verb la’āṭu, to pierce, devour, forms its preterite iluṭ; see VAB. IV 216, 1. The present tense which occurs here as iluṭ also.

39 Note BUL(tu-ku) = ratātu (falsely entered in Meissner, SAI. 7993), and irattutu in Zimmern, Shurpu, Index.

40 “For ipšaḫ.”

41 Sic! ḫu reduced to the breathing ’u; read i-ni-’u.

42 The tablet is reckoned at forty lines in each column,


1Gilgamish arose interpreting dreams,

2addressing his mother.

3“My mother! during my night

4I, having become lusty, wandered about

5in the midst of omens.

6And there came out stars in the heavens,

7Like a … of heaven he fell upon me.

8I bore him but he was too heavy for me.

9He bore a net but I was not able to bear it.

10I summoned the land to assemble unto him,

11that heroes might kiss his feet.

12He stood up before me1

13and they stood over against me.

14I lifted him and carried him away unto thee.”

15The mother of Gilgamish she that knows all things,

16said unto Gilgamish:— [212]

17“Truly oh Gilgamish he is

18born2 in the fields like thee.

19The mountains have reared him.

20Thou beholdest him and art distracted(?)

21Heroes kiss his feet.

22Thou shalt spare him….

23Thou shalt lead him to me.”

24Again he dreamed and saw another dream

25and reported it unto his mother.

26“My mother, I have seen another

27[dream. I beheld] my likeness in the street.

28In Erech of the wide spaces3

29he hurled the axe,

30and they assembled about him.

31Another axe seemed his visage.

32I saw him and was astounded.

33I loved him as a woman,

34falling upon him in embrace.

35I took him and made him

36my brother.”

37The mother of Gilgamish she that knows all things

38[said unto Gilgamish:—]




1that he may join with thee in endeavor.”

2(Thus) Gilgamish solves (his) dream.

3Enkidu sitting before the hierodule


5[   ] forgot where he was born.

6Six days and seven nights

7came forth Enkidu

8and cohabited with the courtesan.

9The hierodule opened her mouth

10speaking unto Enkidu.

11“I behold thee Enkidu; like a god thou art.

12Why with the animals

13wanderest thou on the plain?

14Come! I will lead thee

15into the midst of Erech of the wide places,

16even unto the holy house, dwelling place of Anu.

17Oh Enkidu, arise, I will conduct thee

18unto Eanna dwelling place of Anu,

19where Gilgamish [oppresses] the souls of men(?)

20And as I ............

21thou shalt ........ thyself. [214]

22Come thou, arise from the ground

23unto the place yonder (?) of the shepherd.”

24He heard her speak and accepted her words with favor.

25The advice of the woman

26fell upon his heart.

27She tore off one garment

28and clothed him with it.

29With a second garment

30she clothed herself.

31She clasped his hand,

32guiding him like ..............

33unto the mighty presence of the shepherd,

34unto the place of the ... of the sheepfolds.

35In ......... to shepherd


(About two lines broken away.)


1Milk of the cattle

2he drank.

3Food they placed before him.

4He broke bread4

5gazing and looking.

6But Enkidu understood not.

7Bread to eat,

8beer to drink,

9he had not been taught. [215]

10The hierodule opened her mouth

11and said unto Enkidu:—

12“Eat bread, oh Enkidu!

13It is the conformity of life,

14of the conditions and the fate of the land.”

15Enkidu ate bread,

16until he was satiated.

17Beer he drank

18seven times(?).

19His thoughts became unbounded and he shouted loudly.

20His heart became joyful,

21and his face glowed.

22He stroked.................

23the hair of the head.5 His body

24with oil he anointed.

25He became like a man.

26He attired himself with clothes

27even as does a husband.

28He seized his weapon,

29which the panther and lion

30fells in the night time cruelly.

31He captured the wild mountain goats.

32The panther he conquered.

33Among the great sheep for sacrifice

34Enkidu was their guard.

35A man, a leader,

36A hero.

37Unto .......... he elevated


(About five lines broken away.) [216]



1And he made glad.

2He lifted up his eyes,

3and beheld the man,

4and said unto the hierodule:—

5“Oh harlot, take away the man.

6Wherefore did he come to me?

7I would forget the memory of him.”

8The hierodule called unto the man

9and came unto him beholding him.

10She sorrowed and was astonished

11how his ways were ............

12Behold she opened her mouth

13saying unto Enkidu:—

14“At home with a family [to dwell??]

15is the fate of mankind.

16Thou shouldest design boundaries(??)

17for a city. The trencher-basket put (upon thy head).

18.... abode of comfort. [217]

19For the king of Erech of the wide places

20open, addressing thy speech as unto a husband.

21Unto Gilgamish king of Erech of the wide places

22open, addressing thy speech

23as unto a husband.

24He cohabits with the wife decreed for him,

25even he formerly.

26But henceforth

27in the counsel which god has spoken,

28in the work of his presence

29shall be his fate.”

30At the mention of the hero

31his face became pale.



(About five lines broken away.)

1going .......................

2and the harlot ..... after him.

3He entered into the midst of Erech of the wide places.

4The artisans gathered about him.

5And as he stood in the street

6of Erech of the wide places,

7the people assembled [218]

8disputing round about him:—

9“How is he become like Gilgamish suddenly?

10In form he is shorter.

11In ........ he is made powerful.



14Milk of the cattle

15he drank.

16Continually in the midst of Erech weapons

17the heroes purified.

18A project was instituted.

19Unto the hero whose countenance was turned away,

20unto Gilgamish like a god

21he became for him a fellow.

22For Išhara a couch

23was laid.

24Gilgamish ...................

25In the night he ..............

26embracing her in sleep.

27They ........ in the street

28halting at the ................

29of Gilgamish.

30.......... mightily(?)


1A road(?) ....................

2Gilgamish ...................

3in the plain .................. [219]

4his hair growing thickly like the corn.

5He came forth ...

6into his presence.

7They met in the wide park of the land.

8Enkidu held fast the door

9with his foot,

10and permitted not Gilgamish to enter.

11They grappled with each other

12goring like an ox.

13The threshold they destroyed.

14The wall they demolished.

15Gilgamish and Enkidu

16grappled with each other,

17goring like an ox.

18The threshold they destroyed.

19The wall they demolished.

20Gilgamish bowed

21to the ground at his feet

22and his javelin reposed.

23He turned back his breast.

24After he had turned back his breast,

25Enkidu unto that one

26spoke, even unto Gilgamish.

27“Even as one6 did thy mother

28bear thee,

29she the wild cow of the cattle stalls,


31whose head she exalted more than a husband. [220]

32Royal power over the people

33Enlil has decreed for thee.”

Second tablet.

Written upon ...

240 (lines).


1 Literally “he attained my front.”

2 IV¹ of walādu.

3 I.e., in the suburb of Erech.

4 patāḳu has apparently the same sense originally as batāḳu, although the one forms its preterite iptiḳ, and the other ibtuḳ. Cf. also maḫāṣu break, hammer and construct.

5 The passage is obscure. Here šuḫuru is taken as a loan-word from suģur = ḳimmatu, hair of the head. The infinitive II¹ of saḫāru is philologically possible.

6 I.e., an ordinary man.

Index to Parts 2 and 3


Adab, city, 123, 23.

addi, wailing, 117, 31; 137, 22; 161, 12.

aḫu, brother, 212, 36.

Aja, goddess, 198, 9.

al (giš), al-gar (giš), a musical instrument, 187–191. See also No. 20 Rev. 7–12. al-bi, compound verb, 189 n. 6. In Ni. 8164 (unpublished) al-gar, al-gar-balag in list with (giš)-á-lá, also an instrument of music.

alad, protecting genius, 154, 18.

ameliš, like a man, 215, 25.

Amurrû, god. Psalm to, 118; 119.

angubba, sentinel, 180, 14.

Anu, god. 116, 18:26 ff. 131, 8; 165, 9; 180, 20.

Anunnaki, gods, 114, 17:21; 116, 25; 116 n. 7; 128, 13; 135, 31; 189, 21.

Anunit, goddess, 158, 12; 166, 2.

apunnatu, nostrils, pitiḳ, apunnāti, 217, 28.

aṣṣammim (?), 215, 18.

Arallû, 132, 26; 134, 7.

arāmu, cover, 198 n. 2.

arāḳu, be pale, Prt. iriku, 217, 31.

arḫiš, quickly, 199, 28.

Aruru, goddess. Lamentation to, 115. Sister of Enlil, 115, 2; 171, 29; 190, 25. Other references, 116, 13:15:18; 117, 34 f.

Asarludug, god, 163, 8; 170, 4.

Aš-im-ur, title of Moon-god, 136, 12. áš omitted, No. 19, 2.

aš-me, disk, 133, 38.

Ašširgi, god, No. 22, Rev. 7.

Azagsud, goddess, 196, 30:33; 197, 38.


Babbar, god, 116, 24; 139, 43; 147, 21; 148, 3; 152.

Babylon, city, 158, 14; 160, 6; 163, 8; 166, 4:11.

badara, see 200 n. 2. badarani, a weapon, 133, 36.

balag, lyre, 138, 52.

bansur, table; title of a goddess, 175, 3.

Bau, goddess, 179, 2; 181, 30; 182, 32; 141, 7:10.

bišîtu, condition, 215, 14.

bi’u, cavern, 196, 29.

bulukku, crab, 174, 5.

burgul, engraver, 185, 8.


Cutha, city. Center of the cult of Nergal, 167, 15.


Dada, god, 192, 6.

Dagan, West Semitic god, 149, 21.

Damu, title of Tammuz, 176, 7.

Deification of kings, 106–9; 127 n. 1.

dêpu, shatter, 195 n. 16. [222]

DI-BAL, ideogram in incantations, 194, 10.

Dilbat, city, 167, 16.

Dilmun, land and city, 112, 2:4.

dimgul, dimdul, master workman, 150.

dingir-gal-gal-e-ne, the great gods, the Anunnaki, 114, 21:125; 149, 19.

dumu-anna, daughter of heaven, title of Bau, 179, 5; 181, 28; 184, 28.

dumu-sag, title of Tašmet, 163, 12.

Dungi, king of Ur, liturgy to, 136.

dupšakku, trencher basket, 216, 17.

Duranki, epithet for Nippur, 122, 18; 180, 11.


E-anna, temple in Erech, 123, 30; 125; 148, 12; 213, 18.

E-babbar, temple of the sun god, 152; 158, 11; 166, 1. Perhaps read E-barra.

E-daranna, temple of Enki in Babylon, 169, 25; 170, 29. See BL. 133.

edēlu = edēru, be gloomy, 216, 10.

é-dub, house of learning, 117, 39.

é-gal, palace, No. 19, Rev. 3; 115, 11; 131, 7; 134, 22; 158, 9.

é-gig = ḳiṣṣu, 191, 11.

E-ibe-Anu, temple in Dilbat, 167, 16.

E-kinammaka, temple, 115, 10.

E-kišibba, temple in Kish, 166, 13.

E-kur, temple, 180, 12; 183, 23; 190, 7; 146, 9; 147, 17; 158, 8; 160, 4; 166, 17; 169, 23.

Emaḫ, Ešmaḫ, ritual house of the water cult of Marduk, 163, 7; 115, 4.

E-malga-sud, temple, 181, 24; 141, 3.

E-meteg, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

E-mete-ursag, temple in Kish, 166, 13.

E-namtila, temple, 160, 4; 169, 24.

en-a-nu-un, en-á-nun, title of Innini and Gula, 173, 2.

Enbilulu, title of Marduk, 170, 5.

E-ninnû, temple, 181, 22.

EN-ḪUL-tim-mu, 194 n. 2.

EN-KA-KA, bêl dabābi, 194, 2.

Enki, god. Hymn to, No. 20, 113, 7; 114, 10; 116, 21; 122, 7; 149, 16.

Enkidu, satyr, 213, 3:7:10:11; 214, 6; 215, 11:12:15:34; 216, 13; 219, 8:15:25; 131, 11; 134, 16; 178, 13.

Enlil, god. Liturgy to, 155–184. Regarded as god of light, 157, 1 ff. 158, 3 f. Other references, 114, 19; 115, 2; 116, 19; 131, 6; 136, 5; 139, 40; 149, 22; 146, 3:7:14; 189, 11:19; 220, 33.

Enul, god, 149, 16.

Enzu, god, 139, 41; 146, 3.

epšānu, deeds, 218, 18.

epû, be dark, I² itêpû, 196, 29.

Erech, city, 125; 149, 13. Erech ribîtim, 212, 28; 213, 15; 217, 19:21; 217, 3:6.

eri-azag, holy city, Isin, 141, 8.

erida, title, 175, 1.

Eridu, city, 113, 20; 136, 13.

Erishkigal, goddess, 131, 10; 134, 11.

eršagtugmal, penitential psalm, 118.

E-sagila, temple, 152.

E-sakudkalamma, temple, 166, 10; 169 n. 4.

ešendili, a title, 177, 10. [223]

eškar, fixed tax, 188, 9.

eš-lal, a sacred place, 161, 14.

E-temen-anki, temple, 169, 25.

E-turkalamma, temple, 166, 14.

Euphrates, river, 183, 12; 183, 20.

E-zida, temple, 166, 12.

Ezina, grain goddess, 174, 9.

Ezira, reading of the divine name KA-DI, 177, 11.


Fara, modern Arabic name for the site of Isin (?), 177 n. 4.


GAB, baked bread, 200, 33.

GAB-LAL, a cake made with honey, 195, 22; 200, 35.

GAR-šunnu = epišan-šunu, 198, 13.

gašan-gula, title of Ninâ, 119 n. 2.

gepar, dark chamber, 123, 30 f., 148, 10; 161, 18.

Gibil, god, 197, 3.

gi-gál(giš),interlude, 151 n. 1; 182, 33.

gigunna, 114, 23.

Gilgamish, king of Erech, 207; 211, 1:115 f. 212, 17:37; 213, 2; 217, 21; 218, 9:20:24:29 and below 2; 219, 10;15:20:26. Derivation of name, 208. See also No. 16 Rev. II 15; 197, 42; 124 f.

gilsa, a sacred relic, 132, 22.

Girra, Irra, god, 174, 7; 177, 12.

girru, lion, 215, 29.

Girsu, city, 181, 23.

Guanna, deity, No. 16 Rev. II 18.

Guedin, province, 129, 28.

Gunura, goddess of healing, 176, 6.

gupru, mighty, 214, 33.

Gutium, land, 120 ff.


Hallab, city, 125; 141.

ḫanābu, grow thickly, Prs. ibannib, 219, 4.

ḫapāpu, embrace, 212, 34.

ḫaṣṣinu, axe, 212, 29:31.

ḫarbatu, waste place, 200, 39.

Harsagkalamma, temple, 166, 14.

Hubur, mythical river, 197, 42.

ḫûlu, a bird, 199, 31.

ḫûḳu, a bird, 199, 31.


Ibi-Sin, king of Ur, 151 n. 2.

ibsi, liturgical expression, 120, 5.

Igigi, heaven spirits, 116 n. 6.

IGI-NAGIN-NA, 194, 11.

imib, weapon, 131, 8. mi-ib, ibid. n.3.

imin, seven. Seven lands, 130, 35; seventh day, 134, 18.

Immer, god, 177, 8.

Indag, god, consort of Gula, 173, 3.

Innini, goddess, 123. Liturgy to, 184; 123, 29. Consort of Shamash, 148, 4. Other references, 154, 21.

iṣṣur šamê, unclean birds, 195 n. 10.

Išhara, goddess, 218, 22.

Isin, city, 122, 15; 176, 4.

Ishme-Dagan, 178 ff. Son of Enlil, 181, 29; 182, 32. Liturgy to, 143.


KA-DIB-BI, sibit pî, 194, 10.

KAK-DIG, a weapon, 130, 4.

kakkitu (?), weapon. Pl. kakkiatum, 218, 16.

KAK-SIR, a weapon (?), 130, 4. [121]

kalama, the Land, Sumer, 138, 25; 141, 5; 147, 22; 150, 4; 154, 17; 177, 9.

kanami=kalama, land, 120, 8.

KA-NE, a new ideograph, 153 n. 10.

kasû, bind. I² liktisu, 198, 20.

Kenurra, chapel of Ninlil, 114, 22; 123, 20; 160, 4; 166, 18; 166, 8; 169, 24.

Keš, city, 115, 11; 123, 22.

kešda-azag, a relic, 132, 27.

ki, kin for gim = kima, 120, 6.

KI-AG-MAL, râmu, 194 n. 4.

Kidurkazal, daughter of Ninkasi, 145.

ki-malla, to bend. tig-zu ki-ma-al-la nu-gí-gí, “Thy neck wearies not in bending,” 168, 2. [Correct the translation.]

ki-in-gin, ki-en-gin, Sumer, 115, 24; 134, 19; 189, 17.

KI-SAR, ḳaḳḳara tašabbiṭ, 199, 29.

Kish, city, 129, 30; 166, 12. é kiš-(ki)-šú, so read, No. 5 Obv. 8.

Kullab, city, 149, 14; 173, 1.

kunin, gunin, reed basket, 150 n. 3.

kurgal, “great mountain,” title of Sumer, 114, 11. Of Enlil, 114, 19; 182, 5.

KURUN-NA, (amelu), 196, 34.

KUŠ-KU-MAL, 194, 11.


la’aṭu, gore. Prt. ilûdu, 219, 12:17.

labu, panther, 215, 29:32.

Lagash, city, 181, 23:26.

Laḫama, goddess of Chaos, 113, 5.

Laws, promulgated by Dungi, 138, 31.

Libit-Ishtar, king, 141.

libšu, garment, 214, 27:29; 215, 26.

Ligirsig, a god, 113, 3.

lilazag, epithet of a deified king, 141, 1.

Lillaenna, goddess, 192, 5.

limēnu, be evil. II¹ ulammenu-inni, 197, 7.

Lugal-dīg, god, 197, 5.

lu’ûtu, pollution, 195, 19.


Magan, land, 112, 2:5.

mai̭ālu, couch, 218, 22.

malāšu, shear, 195, 20.

Mamit, 200, 41.

mandatu, form, 195, 21.

mal-gar (gi), a musical instrument, 191, 10.

mangu, disease, 195, 19.

Marduk, god, 151.

markasu, leader, 150.

masû, seize, 195 n. 5.

mašû, to forget, 216, 7.

Me-azag, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

meḫru, fellow, 218, 21.

Meḫuš, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

Meluḫḫa, land, 112, 6.

Meslam, temple in Cutha, 167, 15.

mesû, a tree, 159, 23.

muk, now, but now, 217, 26.

Mulgenna, Saturn, 137, 18.

Mulmul, gods, 142.


nâdu, water bottle, 198, 17.

nadîtu, temple devotee, 188, 7.

nagû, shout. Prs. inangu, 215, 19.

nâku, embrace, 218, 26.

namaštû, cattle, etc., 213, 12:17; 214, 1; 219, 14.

Namtar, god, 197, 3; 132, 24.

Nangt, goddess, 192, 7. [225]

Nannar, god, 115, 12; 116, 23; 133, 38; 137, 11; 150, 2.

Nergal, god, 131, 6.

Nidaba, goddess, 191.

ni-gál, cattle, 121, 6.

nimir = ligir, 174, 4.

ninda, linear measure, 133, 41.

Ningal, goddess, No. 19, 5; 148, 3; 151, 3.

Ningišzida, god, 133, 34.

Nin-isinna, goddess, 122, 16; 191, 15.

Ninkasi, goddess, 144.

Ninki, goddess, 149, 16.

Ninlil, goddess, 116, 20; 123, 20; 137, 12; 146, 14.

Ninmada, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

Ninmaḫ, goddess, 116, 22.

Ninmenna, epithet of Damgalnunna, 190, 27.

Ninsun, goddess, 219, 30; 208 n. 6; 129; 131, 16 (?).

Nintudri, goddess, 123, 26. Nintudra, 137, 16. Creatress of man and woman, 192.

Ninul, goddess, 149, 16.

Ninurašâ, god, 191, 12; 146, 12.

Ninzuanna, goddess, 122, 13.

Nippur, city, 112, 8; 122, 18:19; 160, 3; 169, 21; 180, 11; 149, 18; 158, 7; 165, 16.

NI-SUR (amelu), 196, 35.

Nudimmud, god, 199, 25. No. 20, 10.

nugiganna, epithet of Innini, 185, 2.

nûn apsi, unclean fish, 195 n. 11.

Nunamnirri, god, 190, 28; 146, 13; 180, 10:13:17.

nun-ùr, epithet of Amurrû, 119, 3.

Nusiligga, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

Nusku, god, 146, 7; 163, 13.


Pabilsag, god. Son and consort of Gula, 173 n. 3; 176, 5. A form of Tammuz.

pananumma, formerly, 217, 25.

Panunnaki, goddess, consort of Marduk, 163, 9.

patāḳu, fashion, break, 214, 4.

paturru, a weapon, 200, 37.

Pleiades, 142.


ratātu, demolish, 219, 19.

Rimat ilatNinsun, 208 n. 6; 219, 29.

Ruškišag, goddess, 132, 28.

RU-TIG, an epithet, 141, 2.


sa-bar; sa-sud-da, liturgical note, 182, 31.

šabšiš, cruelly, 215, 30.

Sagilla, temple, 158, 15. E-sagila, 160, 5; 166, 5; 166, 11.

šaḫātu, be astounded, 216, 10. Arabic saḫiṭa.

ṣai̭āḫatu, desire, comfort, 216, 18.

šakāpu, fell. I² išsakpu, 215, 30.

ṣalûtu, enmity, 199, 27.

Šamaš, god, 197, 4:8; 198, 10:13; 199, 25:31.

Šamaš-šum-ukin, king. Incantations for, 193–200; 199, 23.

Samsuiluna, king, 151.

SAR-DI-DA, a relic, 133, 37.

Serpent adversary, 183, 21; 148, 12.

Seven, sacred number. Seven gods, 196, 30.

Ship, in legend, 113, 2.

Silsirsir, a chapel.

Sin, god. Hymn to, No. 19.

sippu, threshold, 219, 13:18. [226]

Sippar, city, 158, 10; 160, 5; 166, 19.

sirgidda, long song, 140, 54.

Siriš, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

Siriškaš, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

Siriškašgig, daughter of Ninkasi, 144.

sirsagga, first melody, 117, 28; 139, 48.

ŠU-AN = kat ili, 194, 12. See also ŠU-dINNINI, 194, 12.

ŠU-NAM-ERIM-MA, 194, 13.

ŠU-NAM-LU-GAL-LU, 194, 13.

subura, earth, 175, 3.

su-ud, sú-ud-ám, epithet of goddess of Šuruppak, 177, 10 and note 4.

šuḫuru, hair (?), 215, 23.

sukkal-zid, title of Nebo, 163, 10.

Šulpae, god, No. 16 II 22.

Sumer, land, 113, 21; 114, 11; 136, 2.

sumugan, title of Girra, 177, 12 and note; 179, 3.


Tablet of fates, 132 n. 3.

Tammuz, ancient ruler, 208. Liturgy to, 191. Other references, 126; 208; 131, 20.

tapāšu, seize, capture, II² uttappiš, 215, 31.

temēru, cook, 196, 35.

Tigris, river, 183, 12.

Tummal, land, 190, 9; 191, 10.


ud, spirit, word, 150, 1:4; 158, 16; 159, 17:24.

ul-al-tar, 191 n. 6.

ulinnu, girdle cord, 195, 20.

Ulmaš, temple of Anunit, 158, 13; 166, 3.

Ur, city, 134, 21; 137, 6. Lamentation for, 150. Other references, No. 19, 4:7:8:16:28: Rev. 5; 151, 3.

Ur-azag, king of Isin (?), 140 n. 2.

Ur-Engur, king of Ur, 126 ff.

urinu, spear (?), 173, 3.

ursaggal, epithet for Ninurašā, 165, 11. For Enbilulu, 170, 5.

ušumgal, 117, 33.


zâbu, flow. li-zu-bu, 198, 16. Cf. gàm = za’ibu, miṭirtu, words for canal, SAI. 691–3.

zag-sal, liturgical note, 103 f. No. 21 end.

za-am, 138, 34; 139, 38; 140, 56.

zênu, be enraged, II¹ uzinu-inni, 197, 6.

ZI-TAR-RU-DA = nikis napišti, 194 n. 6. [124]

Description of Tablets

Number in this volume. 1

Museum number. 7771


Dark brown unbaked tablet. Three columns. Lower edge slightly broken. Knobs at left upper and left lower corners to facilitate the holding of the tablet. H. 7 inches: W. 6½; T. 1½. Second tablet of the Epic of Gilgamish. [125]

Autograph Plates

Plate LXIII.

Plate LXIV.

Plate LXV.

Plate LXVI.

Plate LXVII.


Plate LXIX.

Tablet of the Gilgamish Epic (Obverse)

Tablet of the Gilgamish Epic (Obverse)

Plate LXX.

Tablet of the Gilgamish Epic (Reverse)

Tablet of the Gilgamish Epic (Reverse)


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