J. Selzer Climate and Geography of Mesopotamia



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CC12 – Selzer


Comparative Civilizations 12

Ancient Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations

Unit Package

Ms. J. Selzer



Climate and Geography of Mesopotamia

The geographical area for Mesopotamia is located in modern day Iraq and South Western Iran. The word Mesopotamia means “the land between two rivers”. These two rivers are the Tigris and the Euphrates. They carry fertile sediment onto the usually desert-like land. This sediments means along the riverbanks there is a thin band of fertile land, which allows for irrigation and agriculture. Without this sediment the area would be desert-like, this area goes 8 months without any rainfall. Logically, trade routes tended to follow the Euphrates river, because it was a slower moving river, and the Tigris runs through a mountainous region and is too dangerous for trade ships. The two mountain ranges in Mesopotamia are the Zagros Mountains, and the Taurus Mountains, which go up to Southern Turkey.


ASSIGNMENT #1
Historical and Modern Map of the Middle East

/15



Colour in and label each civilization’s borders

  1. Sumer (red)

  2. Babylon (blue)

  3. Assyria (green)


Label and mark the location of the following historical cities

  1. Babylon

  2. Ashur

  3. Akkad

  4. Ur

  5. Nineveh

  6. Lagash

  7. Kish

  8. Eridu

  9. Damascus

  10. Jerusalem

  11. Alexandria




Label, and draw the borders of the following historical states/countries in black

  1. Palestine

  2. Phoenicia

  3. Syria

  4. Arabia

  5. Asia Minor

  6. Egypt

  7. Mesopotamia


Label and draw in the following historical physical locations

  1. Tigris River

  2. Euphrates River

  3. Red Sea

  4. Dead Sea

  5. Mediterranean Sea

  6. Caspian Sea

  7. Persian Gulf

  8. Arabian Desert

  9. Syrian Desert

  10. Sinai Desert

  11. Caucasus Mountains

  12. Zagros Mountains

  13. Taurus Mountains






SUMER (c.4500 BCE – 1940 BCE)
Sumerians settled in Mesopotamia around 4500 BCE. Sumerian material culture is characterized fine quality painted pottery, such as the Samarra bowl, produced on fast wheels. The volume of trade goods transported along the rivers and canals facilitated the rise of many large, social stratified, temple-centred cities, with specialized workers and use of slave labour. Sumerian cities were theocratic, and were headed by an ensi, a priest-king, assisted by a council of elders. From archaeological remains, we can see that Sumer traded extensively from Anatolia (turkey) across to India, and north to Afghanistan. Three main cities during Sumer are Ur, Uruk, and Akkad.
One of the most notable archaeological sites for Sumer are the Royal Tombs of Ur, found at the great city of Ur. They date to the Uruk Period around 2600 BCE. They were excavated by archaeologist Leonard Wooley between 1922 – 1934. This tomb was for Queen Pu’abi. She was laid out on a wooden bier, and surrounded by gold and lapis jewelry, bowls, sledges, and cylinder seals, as well as bones oxen. She wore a large gold crown styled with leaves and flowers. Near her tomb, is a room called “the great death pit”, where 74 bodies were found, 68 of them being women. The 6 men have weapons and are located near the entrances, suggesting they were there to keep people inside the room. The women were adorned with jewelry and headdresses, and lined up in rows. The dress and position of the bodies suggest that these were servants to the queen who went willingly to die, perhaps to serve the queen in the afterlife. In the many other rooms of the Royal Tombs, there are many beautiful artifacts of pure gold, silver, and lapis Lazuli. One of the most interesting artifacts found is the Standard of Ur, which is covered in thousands of inlaid lapis lazuli stones, and has figures carved in shell or alabaster. It is to be read like a story. The first side is a military scene with chariots, the second side is a scene of socialization and feasting, which shows that this is about a great military victory.
The Sumerian Civilization, especially during the Uruk period, invented many things, and was fairly advanced for its time. Many things which we take for granted such as the 360 lunar calendar, and the wheel were invented here. Sumer also had the first cities built with baked clay brings, and the centre of the city was marked with a large Ziggurat, a religious temple.
The language of Mesopotamia was Semitic in nature, and the writing they used was cuneiform. It was based on picture signs and appeared in Sumer around 3000 BCE alongside the development of trade. It was deciphered by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1835 using the Behistun Monument. The Behistun Monument was a 120m high cliff that contained writings in three languages praising the greatness of Persian King Darius I (450 BCE). Those three languages were Old Persian, which Rawlinson could read, Elamite, and Babylonian (cuneiform). This inscription is what the Rosetta Stone was to Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs. People wrote cuneiform in wet clay tablets, inscribing the signs by jamming the end of a reed cut in the shape of a triangle into the clay. Then the tablet was baked.
SUMER Primary Sources: (Legend of Sargon of Akkad, Proverbs from Sumer, Hymn to the Gods)

- What is each source about? What values can you see in these sources? Can you relate them to anything / other culture?


The Legend of Sargon of Akkadê, c. 2300 BCE

1. Sargon, the mighty king, king of Akkadê am I,

2. My mother was lowly; my father I did not know;

3. The brother of my father dwelt in the mountain.

4. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the bank of the Purattu [Euphrates],

5. My lowly mother conceived me, in secret she brought me forth.

6. She placed me in a basket of reeds, she closed my entrance with bitumen,

7. She cast me upon the rivers which did not overflow me.

8. The river carried me, it brought me to Akki, the irrigator.

9. Akki, the irrigator, in the goodness of his heart lifted me out,

10. Akki, the irrigator, as his own son brought me up;

11. Akki, the irrigator, as his gardener appointed me.

12. When I was a gardener the goddess Ishtar loved me,

13. And for four years I ruled the kingdom.

14. The black-headed peoples I ruled, I governed;

15. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze I destroyed (?).

16. I ascended the upper mountains;

17. I burst through the lower mountains.

18. The country of the sea I besieged three times;

19. Dilmun I captured (?).

20. Unto the great Dur-ilu I went up, I . . . . . . . . .

21 . . . . . . . . . .I altered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22. Whatsoever king shall be exalted after me,

23. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

24. Let him rule, let him govern the black-headed peoples;

25. Mighty mountains with axes of bronze let him destroy;

26. Let him ascend the upper mountains,

27. Let him break through the lower mountains;

28. The country of the sea let him besiege three times;

29. Dilmun let him capture;

30. To great Dur-ilu let him go up.

Internet History Source Book (1999), “The Legend of Sargon of Akkad”, Fordham University: New York

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/2300sargon1.asp


Proverbs from Ki-en-gir (Sumer), c. 2000 BCE

1. Whoever has walked with truth generates life.

2. Do not cut off the neck of that which has had its neck cut off.

3. That which is given in submission becomes a medium of defiance.

4. The destruction is from his own personal god; he knows no savior.

5. Wealth is hard to come by, but poverty is always at hand.

6. He acquires many things, he must keep close watch over them.

7. A boat bent on honest pursuits sailed downstream with the wind; Utu has sought out honest ports for it.

8. He who drinks too much beer must drink water.

9. He who eats too much will not be able to sleep.

10. Since my wife is at the outdoor shrine, and furthermore since my mother is at the river, I shall die of hunger, he says.

11. May the goddess Inanna cause a hot-limited wife to lie down for you; May she bestow upon you broad-armed sons; May she seek out for you a place of Happiness.

12. The fox could not build his own house, and so he came to the house of his friend as a conqueror.

13. The fox, having urinated into the sea, said The whole of the sea is my urine.

14. The poor man nibbles at his silver.

15. The poor are the silent ones of the land.

16. All the households of the poor are not equally submissive.

17. A poor man does not strike his son a single blow; he treasures him forever.
Internet History Source Book (1999), “The Legend of Sargon of Akkad”, Fordham University: New York

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/2000sumer-proverbs.asp
To Every God”

A Hymn
May the fury of my lord's heart be quieted toward me.

May the god who is not known be quieted toward me;

May the goddess who is not known be quieted toward me.

May the god whom I know or do not know be quieted toward me;

May the goddess whom I know or do not know be quieted toward me,

May the heart of my god be quieted toward me;

May the heart of my goddess be quieted toward me.

May my god and goddess be quieted toward me.

May the god who has become angry with me be quieted toward me,

May the goddess who has become angry with me be quieted toward me.



(lines I 1- 1 8 cannot be restored)

In ignorance I have eaten that forbidden by my god;

In ignorance I have set foot on that prohibited by my goddess.

0 Lord, my transgressions are many; great are my sins.

0 my god, (my) transgressions are many; great are (my) sins.

My goddess, (my) transgressions are many; great are (my) sins.

O god whom I know or do not know, (my) transgressions are many; great are (my) sins,

O goddess whom I know or do not know, (my) transgressions are many; great are (my) sins;

The transgression which I have committed, indeed I do not know;

The sin which I have done, indeed I do not know.

The forbidden thing which I have eaten, indeed I do not know;

The prohibited (place) on which I have set foot, indeed I do not know;

The lord in the anger of his heart looked at me;

The god in the rage of his heart confronted me;

When the goddess was angry with me, she made me become ill.

The god whom I know or do not know has oppressed me;

The goddess whom I know or do not know has placed suffering upon me.

Although I am constantly looking for help, no one takes me by the hand;

When I weep they do not come to my side.

I utter laments, but no one hears me;

I am troubled; I am overwhelmed, I can not see.

O my god, merciful one, I address to thee the prayer, 'Ever incline to me';

I kiss the feet of my goddess, I crawl before thee.

(lines 41-9 are mostly broken)

How long, 0 my goddess, whom I know or do not know, eye thy hostile heart will be quieted?

Man is dumb; he knows nothing;

Mankind, everyone that exists-what does he know?

Whether he is committing sin or doing good, he does not even know.

0 my lord, do not cast thy servant down;

He is plunged into the waters of a swamp, take him by the hand.

The sin which I have done, turn into goodness;

The transgression which I have committed, let the wind carry away;

My many misdeeds strip off like a garment.

0 my god, (my) transgressions are seven times seven; remove my transgressions,

O my goddess, (my)transgressions are seven times seven; remove my transgressions;

O god whom I know or do not know, (my) transgressions are seven times seven; remove my transgressions;

O goddess whom I know or do not know, (my) transgressions are seven times seven; remove my transgressions.

Remove my transgressions (and) I will sing thy praise.

May thy heart, like the heart of a real mother, be quieted toward me;

Like a real mother (and) a real father may it be quieted toward me.


Epic of Gilgamesh

The following story is one of the earliest surviving works of literature, and dates to at least the 21th Century BCE. You will notice that many themes, plot elements, and characters have counterparts in the book of Genesis, notably stories of the Garden of Eden, and Noah’s Flood.



1. Characters and places

*Uruk: a main setting

*Gilgamesh: main character

*Enkidu: main character

*Humbaba: a star of chapter 2, also a fun name to say aloud

*Ishtar: star of chapter 3, and an interesting goddess in any case (goddess of love / desire, here --interestingly-- always negative)

*Bull of Heaven: important supporting role in chap. 3, seems to symbolize drought (sort of)

*Anu: king of gods, thus too important to omit (not really a very prominent character though)

*Utnapishtim-'The Faraway'; given immortality by the gods

*Siduri-'maker of wine'

*Urshanabi-the ferryman of Utnapishtim

*Dilmum - the faraway land in the garden of the sun, where Utnapishtim lives



Many gods are mentioned just in passing, and thus don't seem worth memorizing in relation to these particular tales: such as Adad, Aruru, Ninurta, Nisaba, Sumaqan, or even Enlil (who, despite being an important god, is not prominent in this reading). A couple of gods are somewhat minor figures, probably not worth actively memorizing, but should be recognized in the context of the tale:

Shamash: god of sun, helps Gilg. & Enkidu in the forest

Ninsun: Gilgamesh's mother

2. Principal stories

Story of the civilizing of Enkidu and how Enkidu and Gilgamesh became friends (chap. 1)

Story of the journey to the forest and the killing of Humbaba (chap. 2)

Story of Ishtar and Gilgamesh, and the Bull of Heaven (chap. 3

Story of the death of Enkidu (chap. 3)

Story of Gilgamesh's journey to Utnapishtim (chaps. 4-6)

Story of the flood (chap. 5)

The Archetypal Hero

1. Unusual circumstances of birth; sometimes in danger or born into royalty

2. An event, sometimes traumatic, leads to adventure or quest

3. Hero has supernatural help

4. The Hero must prove himself many times while on adventure

5. When the hero dies, he is rewarded spiritually

These characteristics are not unlike modern heroes in movies and in popular culture. Having these characteristics allows students to read literature and look for these elements to determine whether or not a character or "hero" fits into the mold of the epic hero.
The Archetypal Journey of the Hero:
1. the hero must possess supernatural abilities or powers. These can often be magnified qualities we all possess (for example, strength we all possess but the hero's is superhuman).

2. the hero is charged with a quest that will test his abilities. This will test his worthiness to be a leader.

3. Then is the presence of helpers and companions as well as mythical animals or creatures during his journey.

4. The travels of the hero will take him to a supernatural world that ordinary humans are barred.

5. The cycle reaches a low point when we think the hero has been defeated but in the end, the hero resurrects himself and regains his rightful place.

ASSIGNMENT #2: /6

Put the basic plot of Gilgamesh into Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey.



Other Questions to answer when reading Gilgamesh...

  1. What is the status / role of women?

  2. Why is Gilgamesh considered an archetypal hero?

  3. What is the nature of man according to the Sumerians?

  4. What is the meaning of life according to this myth?

  5. Why is it so important for Gilgamesh and Enkidu to kill the great Humbaba?

  6. Why does the flood happen? Why is Utnapishtim singled out to be saved?

The Epic of Gilgamesh, Standard Akkadian Version

Tablet I
He who has seen everything, I will make known (?) to the lands.

I will teach (?) about him who experienced all things,

... alike,

Anu granted him the totality of knowledge of all.

He saw the Secret, discovered the Hidden,

he brought information of (the time) before the Flood.

He went on a distant journey, pushing himself to exhaustion,

but then was brought to peace.

He carved on a stone stela all of his toils,

and built the wall of Uruk-Haven,

the wall of the sacred Eanna Temple, the holy sanctuary.

Look at its wall which gleams like copper(?),

inspect its inner wall, the likes of which no one can equal!

Take hold of the threshold stone--it dates from ancient times!

Go close to the Eanna Temple, the residence of Ishtar,

such as no later king or man ever equaled!

Go up on the wall of Uruk and walk around,

examine its foundation, inspect its brickwork thoroughly.

Is not (even the core of) the brick structure made of kiln-fired brick,

and did not the Seven Sages themselves lay out its plans?

One league city, one league palm gardens, one league lowlands, the open area(?) of the Ishtar Temple,

three leagues and the open area(?) of Uruk it (the wall) encloses.

Find the copper tablet box,

open the ... of its lock of bronze,

undo the fastening of its secret opening.

Take and read out from the lapis lazuli tablet

how Gilgamesh went through every hardship.

Supreme over other kings, lordly in appearance,

he is the hero, born of Uruk, the goring wild bull.

He walks out in front, the leader,

and walks at the rear, trusted by his companions.

Mighty net, protector of his people,

raging flood-wave who destroys even walls of stone!

Offspring of Lugalbanda, Gilgamesh is strong to perfection,

son of the august cow, Rimat-Ninsun;... Gilgamesh is awesome to perfection.

It was he who opened the mountain passes,

who dug wells on the flank of the mountain.

It was he who crossed the ocean, the vast seas, to the rising sun,

who explored the world regions, seeking life.

It was he who reached by his own sheer strength Utanapishtim, the Faraway,

who restored the sanctuaries (or: cities) that the Flood had destroyed!

... for teeming mankind.

Who can compare with him in kingliness?

Who can say like Gilgamesh: "I am King!"?

Whose name, from the day of his birth, was called "Gilgamesh"?

Two-thirds of him is god, one-third of him is human.

The Great Goddess [Aruru] designed(?) the model for his body,

she prepared his form ...

... beautiful, handsomest of men, ... perfect

He walks around in the enclosure of Uruk,

Like a wild bull he makes himself mighty, head raised (over others).

There is no rival who can raise his weapon against him.

His fellows stand (at the alert), attentive to his (orders ?),

and the men of Uruk become anxious in ...

Gilgamesh does not leave a son to his father,

day and night he arrogant[y(?) ...

[The following lines are interpreted as rhetorical, perhaps spoken by the oppressed citizens of Uruk.]

Is Gilgamesh the shepherd of Uruk-Haven,

is he the shepherd. ...

bold, eminent, knowing, and wise!

Gilgamesh does not leave a girl to her mother(?)

The daughter of the warrior, the bride of the young man,

the gods kept hearing their complaints, so

the gods of the heavens implored the Lord of Uruk [Anu]

       "You have indeed brought into being a mighty wild bull, head raised!

       "There is no rival who can raise a weapon against him.

       "His fellows stand (at the alert), attentive to his (orders !),

       "Gilgamesh does not leave a son to his father,

       "day and night he arrogantly ...

       "Is he the shepherd of Uruk-Haven,

       "is he their shepherd...

       "bold, eminent, knowing, and wise,

       "Gilgamesh does not leave a girl to her mother(?)!"


The daughter of the warrior, the bride of the young man,

Anu listened to their complaints,

and (the gods) called out to Aruru:

      "it was you, Aruru, who created mankind(?),

      now create a zikru to it/him.

      Let him be equal to his (Gilgamesh's) stormy heart,

      let them be a match for each other so that Uruk may find peace!"

When Aruru heard this she created within herself the zikrtt of Anu.

Aruru washed her hands, she pinched off some clay, and threw it into the wilderness.

In the wildness(?) she created valiant Enkidu,

born of Silence, endowed with strength by Ninurta.

His whole body was shaggy with hair,

he had a full head of hair like a woman,

his locks billowed in profusion like Ashnan.

He knew neither people nor settled living,

but wore a garment like Sumukan."

He ate grasses with the gazelles,

and jostled at the watering hole with the animals;

as with animals, his thirst was slaked with (mere) water.
A notorious trapper came face-to-face with him opposite the watering hole.

A first, a second, and a third day

he came face-to-face with him opposite the watering hole.

On seeing him the trapper's face went stark with fear,

and he (Enkidu?) and his animals drew back home.

He was rigid with fear; though stock-still

his heart pounded and his face drained of color.

He was miserable to the core,

and his face looked like one who had made a long journey.

The trapper addressed his father saying:"

      "Father, a certain fellow has come from the mountains.

      He is the mightiest in the land,

      his strength is as mighty as the meteorite(?) of Anu!

      He continually goes over the mountains,

      he continually jostles at the watering place with the animals,

      he continually plants his feet opposite the watering place.

      I was afraid, so I did not go up to him.

      He filled in the pits that I had dug,

      wrenched out my traps that I had spread,

      released from my grasp the wild animals.

      He does not let me make my rounds in the wilderness!"
The trapper's father spoke to him saying:

      "My son, there lives in Uruk a certain Gilgamesh.

      There is no one stronger than he,

      he is as strong as the meteorite(?) of Anu.

      Go, set off to Uruk,

      tell Gilgamesh of this Man of Might.

      He will give you the harlot Shamhat, take her with you.

      The woman will overcome the fellow (?) as if she were strong.

      When the animals are drinking at the watering place

      have her take off her robe and expose her sex.

      When he sees her he will draw near to her,

      and his animals, who grew up in his wilderness, will be alien to him."

He heeded his father's advice.

The trapper went off to Uruk,

he made the journey, stood inside of Uruk,

and declared to ... Gilgamesh:

      "There is a certain fellow who has come from the mountains--

      he is the mightiest in the land,

      his strength is as mighty as the meteorite(?) of Anu!

      He continually goes over the mountains,

      he continually jostles at the watering place with the animals,

      he continually plants his feet opposite the watering place.

      I was afraid, so I did not go up to him.

      He filled in the pits that I had dug,

      wrenched out my traps that I had spread,

      released from my grasp the wild animals.

      He does not let me make my rounds in the wilderness!"

Gilgamesh said to the trapper:

      "Go, trapper, bring the harlot, Shamhat, with you.

      When the animals are drinking at the watering place

      have her take off her robe and expose her sex.

      When he sees her he will draw near to her,

      and his animals, who grew up in his wilderness, will be alien to him."

The trapper went, bringing the harlot, Shamhat, with him.

They set off on the journey, making direct way.

On the third day they arrived at the appointed place,

and the trapper and the harlot sat down at their posts(?).

A first day and a second they sat opposite the watering hole.

The animals arrived and drank at the watering hole,

the wild beasts arrived and slaked their thirst with water.

Then he, Enkidu, offspring of the mountains,

who eats grasses with the gazelles,

came to drink at the watering hole with the animals,

with the wild beasts he slaked his thirst with water.

Then Shamhat saw him--a primitive,

a savage fellow from the depths of the wilderness!

      "That is he, Shamhat! Release your clenched arms,

      expose your sex so he can take in your voluptuousness.

      Do not be restrained--take his energy!

      When he sees you he will draw near to you.

      Spread out your robe so he can lie upon you,

      and perform for this primitive the task of womankind!

      His animals, who grew up in his wilderness, will become alien to him,

      and his lust will groan over you."

Shamhat unclutched her bosom, exposed her sex, and he took in her voluptuousness.

She was not restrained, but took his energy.

She spread out her robe and he lay upon her,

she performed for the primitive the task of womankind.

His lust groaned over her;

for six days and seven nights Enkidu stayed aroused,

and had intercourse with the harlot

until he was sated with her charms.

But when he turned his attention to his animals,

the gazelles saw Enkidu and darted off,

the wild animals distanced themselves from his body.

Enkidu ... his utterly depleted(?) body,

his knees that wanted to go off with his animals went rigid;

Enkidu was diminished, his running was not as before.

But then he drew himself up, for his understanding had broadened.

Turning around, he sat down at the harlot's feet,

gazing into her face, his ears attentive as the harlot spoke.

The harlot said to Enkidu:

      "You are beautiful," Enkidu, you are become like a god.

      Why do you gallop around the wilderness with the wild beasts?

      Come, let me bring you into Uruk-Haven,

      to the Holy Temple, the residence of Anu and Ishtar,

      the place of Gilgamesh, who is wise to perfection,

      but who struts his power over the people like a wild bull."

What she kept saying found favor with him.

Becoming aware of himself, he sought a friend.

Enkidu spoke to the harlot:

      "Come, Shamhat, take me away with you

      to the sacred Holy Temple, the residence of Anu and Ishtar,

      the place of Gilgamesh, who is wise to perfection,

      but who struts his power over the people like a wild bull.

      I will challenge him ...

      Let me shout out in Uruk: I am the mighty one!'

      Lead me in and I will change the order of things;

      he whose strength is mightiest is the one born in the wilderness!"

[Shamhat to Enkidu:]

      "Come, let us go, so he may see your face.

      I will lead you to Gilgamesh--I know where he will be.

      Look about, Enkidu, inside Uruk-Haven,

      where the people show off in skirted finery,

      where every day is a day for some festival,

      where the lyre(?) and drum play continually,

      where harlots stand about prettily,

      exuding voluptuousness, full of laughter

      and on the couch of night the sheets are spread (!)."

      Enkidu, you who do not know, how to live,

      I will show you Gilgamesh, a man of extreme feelings (!).

      Look at him, gaze at his face--

      he is a handsome youth, with freshness(!),

      his entire body exudes voluptuousness

      He has mightier strength than you,

      without sleeping day or night!

      Enkidu, it is your wrong thoughts you must change!

      It is Gilgamesh whom Shamhat loves,

      and Anu, Enlil, and La have enlarged his mind."

      Even before you came from the mountain

      Gilgamesh in Uruk had dreams about you.""

Gilgamesh got up and revealed the dream, saying to his mother:

      "Mother, I had a dream last night.

      Stars of the sky appeared,

      and some kind of meteorite(?) of Anu fell next to me.

      I tried to lift it but it was too mighty for me,

      I tried to turn it over but I could not budge it.

      The Land of Uruk was standing around it,

      the whole land had assembled about it,

      the populace was thronging around it,

      the Men clustered about it,

      and kissed its feet as if it were a little baby (!).

      I loved it and embraced it as a wife.

      I laid it down at your feet,

      and you made it compete with me."

The mother of Gilgamesh, the wise, all-knowing, said to her Lord;

Rimat-Ninsun, the wise, all-knowing, said to Gilgamesh:

      "As for the stars of the sky that appeared

      and the meteorite(?) of Anu which fell next to you,

      you tried to lift but it was too mighty for you,

      you tried to turn it over but were unable to budge it,

      you laid it down at my feet,

      and I made it compete with you,

      and you loved and embraced it as a wife."

      "There will come to you a mighty man, a comrade who saves his friend--

      he is the mightiest in the land, he is strongest,

      his strength is mighty as the meteorite(!) of Anu!

      You loved him and embraced him as a wife;

      and it is he who will repeatedly save you.

      Your dream is good and propitious!"

A second time Gilgamesh said to his mother:       "Mother, I have had another dream:

      "At the gate of my marital chamber there lay an axe,

      "and people had collected about it.

      "The Land of Uruk was standing around it,

      "the whole land had assembled about it,

      "the populace was thronging around it.

      "I laid it down at your feet,

      "I loved it and embraced it as a wife,

      "and you made it compete with me."

The mother of Gilgamesh, the wise, all-knowing, said to her son;

Rimat-Ninsun, the wise, all-knowing, said to Gilgamesh:

      ""The axe that you saw (is) a man.

      "... (that) you love him and embrace as a wife,

      "but (that) I have compete with you."

      "" There will come to you a mighty man,

      "" a comrade who saves his friend--

      "he is the mightiest in the land, he is strongest,

      "he is as mighty as the meteorite(!) of Anu!"

Gilgamesh spoke to his mother saying:

      ""By the command of Enlil, the Great Counselor, so may it to pass!

      "May I have a friend and adviser, a friend and adviser may I have!

      "You have interpreted for me the dreams about him!"

After the harlot recounted the dreams of Gilgamesh to Enkidu

the two of them made love.


Tablet II

Enkidu sits in front of her.


[The next 30 lines are missing; some of the fragmentary lines from 35 on are restored

from parallels in the Old Babylonian.]


"Why ..."(?)

His own counsel ... At his instruction ... Who knows his heart...

Shamhat pulled off her clothing,

and clothed him with one piece

while she clothed herself with a second.

She took hold of him as the gods do'

and brought him to the hut of the shepherds.

The shepherds gathered all around about him,

they marveled to themselves:

"How the youth resembles Gilgamesh--

tall in stature, towering up to the battlements over the wall!

Surely he was born in the mountains;

his strength is as mighty as the meteorite(!) of Anu!"

They placed food in front of him,

they placed beer in front of him;

Enkidu knew nothing about eating bread for food,

and of drinking beer he had not been taught.

The harlot spoke to Enkidu, saying:

"Eat the food, Enkidu, it is the way one lives.

Drink the beer, as is the custom of the land."

Enkidu ate the food until he was sated,

he drank the beer-seven jugs!-- and became expansive and sang with joy!

He was elated and his face glowed.

He splashed his shaggy body with water,

and rubbed himself with oil, and turned into a human.

He put on some clothing and became like a warrior(!).

He took up his weapon and chased lions so that the shepherds could eat

He routed the wolves, and chased the lions.

With Enkidu as their guard, the herders could lie down.

A wakeful man, a singular youth, he was twice as tall (?) (as normal men


[The next 33 lines are missing in the Standard Version; lines 57-86 are taken from the

Old Babylonian.]


Then he raised his eyes and saw a man.

He said to the harlot:

"Shamhat, have that man go away!

Why has he come'? I will call out his name!"

The harlot called out to the man

and went over to him and spoke with him.

"Young man, where are you hurrying!

Why this arduous pace!"

The young man spoke, saying to Enkidu:

"They have invited me to a wedding, as is the custom of the people.

... the selection(!) of brides(!) ..

I have heaped up tasty delights for the wedding on the ceremonial(!) platter.

For the King of Broad-Marted Uruk,

open is the veil(!) of the people for choosing (a girl).

For Gilgamesh, the King of Broad-Marted Uruk,

open is the veil(?) of the people for choosing.

He will have intercourse with the 'destined wife,' he first, the husband afterward.

This is ordered by the counsel of Anu,

from the severing of his umbilical cord it has been destined for him."

At the young man's speech his (Enkidu's) face flushed (with anger).

[Several lines are missing.]

Enkidu walked in front, and Shamhat after him.

[The Standard Version resumes.]

He (Enkidu) walked down the street of Uruk-Haven,

... mighty...

He blocked the way through Uruk the Sheepfold.

The land of Uruk stood around him,

the whole land assembled about him,

the populace was thronging around him,

the men were clustered about him,

and kissed his feet as if he were a little baby(!).

Suddenly a handsome young man ...

For Ishara the bed of night(?)/marriage(?) is ready,

for Gilgamesh as for a god a counterpart(!) is set up.

Enkidu blocked the entry to the marital chamber,

and would not allow Gilgamreh to be brought in.

They grappled with each other at the entry to the marital chamber,

in the street they attacked each other, the public square of the land.

The doorposts trembled and the wall shook,
[About 42 lines are missing from the Standard Version; lines 103-129 are taken from

the Old Babylonian version.]


Gilgamesh bent his knees, with his other foot on the ground,

his anger abated and he turned his chest away.

After he turned his chest Enkidu said to Gilgamesh:

"Your mother bore you ever unique(!),

the Wild Cow of the Enclosure, Ninsun,

your head is elevated over (other) men,

Enlil has destined for you the kingship over the people."

[19 lines are missing here.]


They kissed each other and became friends.

[The Old Babylonian becomes fragmentary. The Standard Version resumes]

"His strength is the mightiest in the land!

His strength is as mighty as the meteorite(?) of Anu,

The mother of Gilgamesh spoke to Gilgamesh, saying;

Rimat-Ninsun said to her son:

"(I!), Rimar-Ninsun...

My son...

Plaintively ...

She went up into his (Shamash's) gateway,

plaintively she implored ...:

"Enkidu has no father or mother,

his shaggy hair no one cuts.

He was born in the wilderness, no one raised him."

Enkidu was standing there, and heard the speech.

He ... and sat down and wept, his eyes filled with tears,

his arms felt limp, his strength weakened.

They took each other by the hand,

Enkidu made a declaration to (Gilgamesh').

[32 lines are missing here.]

"in order to protect the Cedar Forest

Enlil assigned (Humbaba) as a terror to human beings,

Humbaba's roar is a Flood, his mouth is Fire, and his breath is Death!

He can hear 100 leagues away any rustling(?) in his forest!

Who would go down into his forest!

Enlil assigned him as a terror to human beings,

and whoever goes down into his forest paralysis(?) will strike!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Enkidu saying:

"What you say .. ."

[About 42 lines are missing here in the Standard Version; lines 228-249 are taken from

the Old Babylonian.]

"Who, my Friend, can ascend to the heavens!"

(Only) the gods can dwell forever with Shamash.

As for human beings, their days are numbered,

and whatever they keep trying to achieve is but wind!

Now you are afraid of death--

what has become of your bold strength!

I will go in front of you,

and your mouth can call out: 'Go on closer, do not be afraid!'

Should I fall, I will have established my fame.

(They will say:)'It was Gilgamesh who locked in battle with Humbaba the Terrible!'

You were born and raised in the wilderness,

a lion leaped up on you, so you have experienced it all!'

[5 lines are fragmentary]

I will undertake it and I will cut down the Cedar.

It is I who will establish fame for eternity!

Come, my friend, I will go over to the forge

and have them cast the weapons in our presence!"

Holding each other by the hand they went over to the forge.

[The Standard Version resumes at this point.]

The craftsmen sat and discussed with one another.

"We should fashion the axe...

The hatchet should he one talent in weight ...

Their swords should be one talent...

Their armor one talent, their armor ..."

Gilgamesh said to the men of Uruk:

"Listen to me, men...

[5 lines are missing here.

You, men of Uruk, who know ...

I want to make myself more mighty, and will go on a distant(!) journey!

I will face fighting such as I have never known,

I will set out on a road I have never traveled!

Give me your blessings! ...

I will enter the city gate of Uruk ...

I will devote(?) myself to the New Year's Festival.

I will perform the New Year's (ceremonies) in...

The New Year's Festival will take place, celebrations ...

They will keep shouting 'Hurrah!' in...""

Enkidu spoke to the Elders:

"What the men of Uruk...

Say to him that he must not go to the Cedar Forest--the journey is not to be made!

The Guardian of the Cedar Forest ...

The Noble Counselors of Uruk arose and delivered their advice to Gilgamesh:

"You are young, Gilgamesh, your heart carries you off you do not know what you are talking about!

Humbaba's roar is a Flood, his mouth is Fire, his breath Death!

He can hear any rustling(!) in his forest 100 leagues away!

Who would go down into his forest!

Who among (even!) the Igigi gods can confront him?

In order to keep the Cedar safe, Enlil assigned him as a terror to human beings."

Gilgamesh listened to the statement of his Noble Counselors.

[About 5 lines are missing to the end of Tablet II.]
Tablet III
The Elders spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Gilgamesh, do not put your trust in (just) your vast strength,

but keep a sharp eye out, make each blow strike in mark!

'The one who goes on ahead saves the comrade."

'The one who knows the route protects his friend.'

Let Enkidu go ahead of you;

he knows the road to the Cedar Forest,

he has seen fighting, has experienced battle.

Enkidu will protect the friend, will keep the comrade safe.

Let his body urge him back to the wives ())."

"in our Assembly we have entrusted the King to you (Enkidu),

and on your return you must entrust the King back to us!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Enkidu, saying:

"Come on, my friend, let us go to the Egalmah Temple,

to Ninsun, the Great Queen;

Ninsun is wise, all-knowing.

She will put the advisable path at our feet."

Taking each other by the hand,

Gilgamesh and Enkidu walked to the Egalmah ("Great Palace"),

to Ninsun, the Great Queen.

Gilgamesh arose and went to her.

"Ninsun, (even though) I am extraordinarily strong (!)...

I must now travel a long way to where Humbaba is,

I must face fighting such as I have not known,

and I must travel on a road that I do not know!

Until the time that I go and return,

until I reach the Cedar Forest,

until I kill Humbaba the Terrible,

and eradicate from the land something baneful that Shamash hates,

intercede with Shamash on my behalf' (!)

If I kill Humbaba and cut his Cedar

let there be rejoicing all over the land ,

and I will erect a monument of the victory (?) before you!"

The... words of Gilgamesh, her son,

grieving, Queen Ninsun heard over and over.

Ninsun went into her living quarters.

She washed herself with the purity plant,

she donned a robe worthy of her body,

she donned jewels worthy of her chest,

she donned her sash, and put on her crown.

She sprinkled water from a bowl onto the ground.

She... and went up to the roof.

She went up to the roof and set incense in front of Shamash,

.I she offered fragrant cuttings, and raised her arms to Shamash.

"Why have you imposed--nay, inflicted!--a restless heart on

my son, Gilgamesh!

Now you have touched him so that he wants to travel

a long way to where Humbaba is!

He will face fighting such as he has not known,

and will travel on a road that he does not know!

Until he goes away and returns,

until he reaches the Cedar Forest,

until he kills Humbaba the Terrible,

and eradicates from the land something baneful that you hate,

on the day that you see him on the road(?)

may Aja, the Bride, without fear remind you,

and command also the Watchmen of the Night,

the stars, and at night your father, Sin."

_________________

She banked up the incense and uttered the ritual words.'

She called to Enkidu and would give him instructions:

"Enkidu the Mighty, you are not of my womb,

but now I speak to you along with the sacred votaries of Gilgamesh,

the high priestesses, the holy women, the temple servers."

She laid a pendant(?) on Enkidu's neck,

the high-priestesses took...

and the "daughters-of-the-gods" ...

"I have taken ... Enkidu...

Enkidu to... Gilgamesh I have taken."

"Until he goes and returns,

until he reaches the Cedar Forest,

be it a month ... be it a year.. ."

[About 11 lines are missing here, and the placement of the following fragment is uncertain.]

... the gate of cedar...

Enkidu ... in the Temple of Shamash,

(and) Gilgamesh in the Egalmah.

He made an offering of cuttings ...

... the sons of the king(!) ...

[Perhaps some 60 lines are missing here.]

"Enkidu will protect the friend, will keep the comrade safe,

Let his body urge him back to the wives (?).

In our Assembly we have entrusted the King to you,

and on your return you must entrust the King back to us!"

Enkidu spoke to Gilgamesh saying:

"My Friend, turn back!...

[The last lines are missing.]



Tablet IV
At twenty leagues they broke for some food,

at thirty leagues they stopped for the night,

walking Fifty leagues in a whole day,

a walk of a month and a half.

On the third day they drew near to the Lebanon.

They dug a well facing Shamash (the setting sun),

Gilgamesh climbed up a mountain peak,

made a libation of flour, and said:

"Mountain, bring me a dream, a favorable message from Shamash."

Enkidu prepared a sleeping place for him for the night;

a violent wind passed through so he attached a covering.

He made him lie down, and... in a circle.

they... like grain from the mountain...

While Gilgamesh rested his chin on his knees,

sleep that pours over mankind overtook him.

in the middle of the night his sleep came to an end,

so he got up and said to his friend:

"My friend, did you not call out to me? Why did I wake up?

Did you not touch me? Why am I so disturbed?

Did a god pass by? Why are my muscles trembling?

Enkidu, my friend, I have had a dream--

and the dream I had was deeply disturbing(?)

in the mountain gorges...

the mountain fell down on me (us?) ...

Wet(?)... like flies(?)...

He who was born in the wilderness,


Enkidu, interpreted the dream for his friend:

"My friend, your dream is favorable.

The dream is extremely important.

My friend, the mountain which you saw in the dream is Humbaba.

"It means we will capture Humbaba, and kill him

and throw his corpse into the wasteland.

In the morning there will be a favorable message from Shamash.

At twenty leagues they broke for some food,

at thirty leagues they stopped for the night,

walking fifty leagues in a whole day, a walk of a month and a half.

They dug a well facing Shamash

Gilgamesh climbed up a mountain peak,

made a libation of flour, and said,

"Mountain, bring me a dream, a favorable message from

Shamash."

Enkidu prepared a sleeping place for him for the night;

a violent wind passed through so he attached a covering.

He made him lie down, and... in a circle.

They ... like grain from the mountain...

While Gilgamesh rested his chin on his knees,

sleep that pours over mankind overtook him.

,, in the middle of the night his sleep came to an end,

so he got up and said to his friend:

My friend, did you not call out to me? Why did I wake up?

Did you not touch me? Why am I so disturbed?

Did a god pass by? Why are my muscles trembling?

Enkidu, my friend, I have had a dream,

besides my first dream, a second.

And the dream I had--so striking, so...,so disturbing!' I was grappling with a wild bull of the wilderness,

with his bellow he split the ground, a cloud of dust...to the sky.

I sank to my knees in front of him.

He holds... that encircled(?) my arm.

(My?) tongue(?) hung out(?) ...

My temples throbbed(?) ...

He gave me water to drink from his waterskin."

"My friend, the god to whom we go

is not the wild bull? He is totally different?

The wild bull that you saw is Shamash, the protector,

in difficulties he holds our hand.

The one who gave you water to drink from his waterskin

is your personal) god, who brings honor to you, Lugalbanda.

We should join together and do one thing,

a deed such as has never (before) been done in the land."

At twenty leagues they broke for some food,

at thirty leagues they stopped for the night,

walking fifty leagues in a whole day,

a walk of a month and a half.

They dug a well facing Shamash,

Gilgamesh climbed up a mountain peak,

made a libation of flour, and said:

"Mountain, bring me a dream, a favorable message from Shamash."

Enkidu prepared a sleeping place for him for the night;

a violent wind passed through so he attached a covering.

He made him lie down, and... in a circle.

They... like grain from the mountain...

While Gilgamesh rested his chin on his knees,

sleep that pours over mankind overtook him.

In the middle of the night his sleep came to an end,

so he got up and said to his friend:

"My friend, did you nor call out to me? Why did I wake up?

Did you not touch me? Why am I so disturbed?

Did a god pass by) Why are my muscles trembling?

Enkidu, my friend, I have had a third dream,

and the dream I had was deeply disturbing.

,, The heavens roared and the earth rumbled;

(then) it became deathly still, and darkness loomed.

A bolt of lightning cracked and a fire broke out,

and where(?) it kept thickening, there rained death.

Then the white-hot name dimmed, and the fire went out,

and everything that had been falling around turned to ash.

Let us go down into the plain so we can talk it over."

,,, Enkidu heard the dream that he had presented and said to Gilgamesh

(About 40 lines are missing here.)

At twenty leagues they broke for some food, at thirty leagues they stopped for the night,

walking fifty leagues in a whole day, a walk of a month and a half.

They dug a well facing Shamash,

Gilgamesh climbed up a mountain peak, made a libation of flour, and said:

"Mountain, bring me a dream, a favorable message from Shamash."

Enkidu prepared a sleeping place for him for the night;

a violent wind passed through so he attached a covering.

He made him lie down, and... in a circle.

They... like grain from the mountain...

While Gilgamesh rested his chin on his knees,

sleep that pours over mankind overtook him.

in the middle of the night his sleep came to an end, so he got up and said to his friend:

"My friend, did you not call out to me? Why did I wake up?

Did you nor touch me? Why am I so disturbed?

Did a god pass by? Why are my muscles trembling)

Enkidu, my friend, I have had a fourth dream,

and the dream I had was deeply disturbing (?).

(About 11 lines are missing)

"He was... cubits tall...

... Gilgamesh

Enkidu listened to his dream

"The dream that you had is favorable, it is extremely important? My friend, this...

Humbaba Eke...

Before it becomes light...

We will achieve (victory?) over him,

Humbaba, against whom we rage,

we will.., and triumph over him.

In the morning there will be a favorable message from Shamash.

At twenty leagues they broke for some food, at thirty leagues they stopped for the night,

walking fifty leagues in a whole day, a walk of a month and a half.

They dug a well facing Shamash,

Gilgamesh climbed up a mountain peak, made a libation of flour, and said:

"Mountain, bring me a dream, a favorable message from Shamash."

Enkidu prepared a sleeping place for him for the night;

a violent wind passed through so he attached a covering.

He made him lie down, and... in a circle. They... like grain from the mountain ...

While Gilgamerh rested his chin on his knees,

sleep that pours over mankind overtook him.

,, in the middle of the night his sleep came to an end,

so he got up and said to his friend:

"My friend, did you not call out to me? Why did I wake up? Did you not touch me? Why am I so disturbed?

Did a god pass by? Why are my muscles trembling?

Enkidu, my friend, I had a fifth(?) dream, and the dream I had was deeply disturbing (?).

...His tears were running in the presence of Shamash. 'What you said in Uruk...,

be mindful of it, stand by me... ?"

Gilgamesh, the offspring of Uruk-Haven,

Shamash heard what issued from his mouth,

and suddenly there resounded a warning sound from the sky.

"Hurry, stand by him so that he (Humbaba) does nor enter the forest,

and does not go down into the thickets and hide (?)

He has not put on his seven coats of armor(?)

he is wearing only one, but has taken off six."

They lunge at each other like raging wild bulls...

One name he bellowed full of...

The Guardian of the Forest bellowed ...Humbaba like...

..."'One alone cannot...

'A slippery path is not feared by two people who help each other.'

'Twice three times...

'A three-ply rope cannot be cut.'

'The mighty lioness cubs can roll him over."'

Enkidu spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"As soon as we have gone down into the Cedar Forest,

let us split open the tree (?) and strip off its branches(?)."

Gilgamesh spoke to Enkidu, saying:

"Why, my friend, we...so wretchedly (?)

We have crossed over all the mountans together,

in front of us, before we have cut down the Cedar.

My friend, you who are so experienced in battle,

you...' and (need) not fear death.

Let your voice bellow forth like the kettledrum, let the stiffness in your arms depart,

let the paralysis in your legs go away.

Take my hand, my friend, we will go on together.

Your heart should burn to do battle

--pay no heed to death, do not lose heart!

The one who watches from the side is a careful man,

but the one who walks in front protects himself and saves his comrade,

and through their fighting they establish fame'"

As the two of them reached the evergreen forest

they cut off their talk, and stood still.


Tablet V
... They stood at the forest's edge,

gazing at the top of the Cedar Tree,

gazing at the entrance to the forest.

Where Humbaba would walk there was a trail,

the roads led straight on, the path was excellent.

Then they saw the Cedar Mountain, the Dwelling of the Gods, the throne dais of Imini.

Across the face of the mountain the Cedar brought forth luxurious

foliage, its shade was good, extremely pleasant.

The thornbushes were matted together, the woods(?) were a thicket

... among the Cedars,... the boxwood,

the forest was surrounded by a ravine two leagues long,

... and again for two-thirds (of that distance),

...Suddenly the swords...,

and after the sheaths ...,

the axes were smeared...

dagger and sword...alone ...

Humbaba spoke to Gilgamesh saying:"He does not come (?) ...

... Enlil.. ."

Enkidu spoke to Humbaba, saying:

"Humbaba...'One alone..

'Strangers ...

'A slippery path is not feared by two people who help each other.

'Twice three times...

'A three-ply rope cannot be cut.

'The mighty lion--two cubs can roll him over."'

...


Humbaba spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

..An idiot' and a moron should give advice to each other,

but you, Gilgamesh, why have you come to me!

Give advice, Enkidu, you 'son of a fish,' who does not even

know his own father,

to the large and small turtles which do not suck their mother's milk!

When you were still young I saw you but did not go over to you;

... you,... in my belly.

...,you have brought Gilgamesh into my presence,

... you stand.., an enemy, a stranger.

... Gilgamesh, throat and neck,

I would feed your flesh to the screeching vulture, the eagle, and the vulture!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Enkidu, saying: "My Friend, Humbaba's face keeps changing!·

Enkidu spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:'

"Why, my friend, are you whining so pitiably, hiding behind your whimpering?

Now there, my friend,... in the coppersmith's channel ...,

again to blow (the bellows) for an hour, the glowing (metal)(?)...for an hour.

To send the Flood, to crack the Whip."

Do not snatch your feet away, do not turn your back,

... strike even harder!"

... may they be expelled.... head fell ... and it/he confronted him...

The ground split open with the heels of their feet,

as they whirled around in circles Mt. Hermon and Lebanon split.

The white clouds darkened,

death rained down on them like fog.

Shamash raised up against Humbaba mighty tempests'--

Southwind, Northwind, Eastwind, Westwind, Whistling Wind, Piercing Wind, Blizzard, Bad Wind, Wind of Simurru,

Demon Wind, Ice Wind, Storm, Sandstorm--

thirteen winds rose up against him and covered Humbaba's face.

He could nor butt through the front, and could not scramble out

the back,

so that Gilgamesh'a weapons were in reach of Humbaba.

Humbaba begged for his life, saying to Gilgamesh:

"You are young yet, Gilgamesh, your mother gave birth to you,

and you are the offspring of Rimnt-Nlnsun (?) ...

(It was) at the word of Shamash, Lord of the Mountain,

that you were roused (to this expedition).

O scion of the heart of Uruk, King Gilgamesh!

... Gilgamesh...

Gilgamesh, let me go (?), I will dwell with you as your servant (?)

As many trees as you command me I will cut down for you,

I will guard for you myrtle wood...,

wood fine enough for your palace!"

Enkidu addressed Gilgamesh, saying:

"My friend, do not listen to Humbaba,

[io lines are misring Apparently Humbaba sees thar Gilgamrsh is influenced by Enkidu, and moves to dissuade Enkidu.]

"You understand the rules of my forest, the rules...,

further, you are aware of all the things so ordered (by Enlil)."

I should have carried you up, and killed you

at the very entrance to the branches of my forest.

I should have fed your flesh to the screeching vulture, the eagle,

and the vulture.

So now, Enkidu, clemency is up to you.

Speak to Gilgamesh to spare my life!"

Enkidu addressed Gilgamesh, saying:

My friend, Humbaba, Guardian of the Cedar Forest,

grind up, kill, pulverize(?), and destroy him!

Humbaba, Guardian of the Forest, grind up, kill, pulverize(?),

and destroy him!

Before the Preeminent God Enlil hears...

and the ...gods be filled with rage against us.

Enlil is in Nippur, Shamash is in Sippar.

Erect an eternal monument proclaiming...

how Gilgamesh killed(?) Humbaba."

When Humbaba heard...

[Abour l0 lines are misiing.]

... the forest.

and denunciations(?) have been made.

But you are sitting there like a shepherd...

and like a 'hireling of his mouth.'

Now, Enkidu, clemency is up to you.

Speak to Gilgamesh that he spare my life!"

Enkidu spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"My friend, Humbaba, Guardian of the Forest,

grind up, kill, pulverize(?), and destroy him!

Before the Preeminent God Enlil hears,

and the ... gods are full of rage at us.

Enlil is in Nippur, Shamash is in Sippar.

Erect an eternal monument proclaiming...

how Gilgamesh killed(?) Humbaba."

[About 10 lines are missing.]

"May he not live the longer of the two,

may Enkidu not have any 'share'(?) more than his friend Gilgamesh!"

Enkidu spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"My friend, 1 have been talking to you but you have not been

listening to me,"

You have been listening to the curse of Humbaba!"

... his friend

... by his side

.. they pulled out his insides including his tongue.

... he jumped(?).

...abundance fell over the mountain.

They cut through the Cedar,

While Gilgamesh cuts down the trees, Enkidu searches through the urmazallu.

Enkidu addressed Gilgamesh, saying:

"My friend, we have cut down the towering Cedar whose top

scrapes the sky.

Make from it a door 72 cubits high, 24 cubits wide,

one cubit thick, its fixture, its lower and upper pivots will be out of one piece.

Let them carry it to Nippur, the Euphrates will carry it down, Nippur will rejoice.

..."

They tied together a raft... Enkidu steered it...



while Gilgamesh held the head of Humbaba.

Tablet VI
He washed out his marred hair and cleaned up his equipment(?),

shaking out his locks down over his back,

throwing off his dirty clothes and putting on clean ones.

He wrapped himself in regal garments and fastened the sash.

When Gilgamesh placed his crown on his head,

a princess Ishtar raised her eyes to the beauty of Gilgamesh.

"Come along, Gilgamesh, be you my husband, to me grant your lusciousness.'

Be you my husband, and I will be your wife.

I will have harnessed for you a chariot of lapis lazuli and gold,

with wheels of gold and 'horns' of electrum(?).

It will he harnessed with great storming mountain mules!

Come into our house, with the fragrance of cedar.

And when you come into our house the doorpost(?) and throne dais(?)'will kiss your feet.

Bowed down beneath you will be kings, lords, and princes.

The Lullubu people' will bring you the produce of the mountains and countryside as tribute.

Your she-goats will bear triplets, your ewes twins,

your donkey under burden will overtake the mule,

your steed at the chariot will be bristling to gallop,

your ax at the yoke will have no match."

Gilgamesh addressed Princess Ishtar saying:

"What would I have to give you if I married you!

Do you need oil or garments for your body! Do you lack anything for food or drink!

I would gladly feed you food fit for a god,

I would gladly give you wine fit for a king,

... may the street(?) be your home(?), may you be clothed in a garment,

and may any lusting man (?) marry you!

a half-door that keeps out neither breeze nor blast,

a palace that crushes down valiant warriors,

an elephant who devours its own covering,

pitch that blackens the hands of its bearer,

a waterskin that soaks its bearer through,

limestone that buckles out the stone wall,

a battering ram that attracts the enemy land,

a shoe that bites its owner's feet!

Where are your bridegrooms that you keep forever'

Where is your 'Little Shepherd' bird that went up over you!

See here now, I will recite the list of your lovers.

Of the shoulder (?) ... his hand,

Tammuz, the lover of your earliest youth,

for him you have ordained lamentations year upon year!

You loved the colorful 'Little Shepherd' bird

and then hit him, breaking his wing, so

now he stands in the forest crying 'My Wing'!

You loved the supremely mighty lion,

yet you dug for him seven and again seven pits.

You loved the stallion, famed in battle,

yet you ordained for him the whip, the goad, and the lash,

ordained for him to gallop for seven and seven hours,

ordained for him drinking from muddled waters,'

you ordained far his mother Silili to wail continually.

You loved the Shepherd, the Master Herder,

who continually presented you with bread baked in embers,

and who daily slaughtered for you a kid.

Yet you struck him, and turned him into a wolf,

so his own shepherds now chase him

and his own dogs snap at his shins.

You loved Ishullanu, your father's date gardener,

who continually brought you baskets of dates,

and brightened your table daily.

You raised your eyes to him, and you went to him:

'Oh my Ishullanu, let us taste of your strength,

stretch out your hand to me, and touch our vulva.

Ishullanu said to you:

'Me! What is it you want from me!

Has my mother not baked, and have I not eaten

that I should now eat food under contempt and curses

and that alfalfa grass should be my only cover against the cold?

As you listened to these his words

you struck him, turning him into a dwarf(?),

and made him live in the middle of his (garden of) labors,

where the mihhu do not go up, nor the bucket of dates (?) down.

And now me! It is me you love, and you will ordain for me as for them!"

When Ishtar heard this, in a fury she went up to the heavens,

going to Anu, her father, and crying,

going to Anrum, her mother, and weeping:

"Father, Gilgamesh has insulted me over and over,

Gilgamesh has recounted despicable deeds about me,

despicable deeds and curses!"

Anu addressed Princess Ishtar, saying: "What is the matter?

Was it not you who provoked King Gilgamesh?

So Gilgamesh recounted despicable deeds about you,

despicable deeds and curses!"

Ishtar spoke to her father, Anu, saying:

"Father, give me the Bull of Heaven,

so he can kill Gilgamesh in his dwelling.

If you do not give me the Bull of Heaven,

I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,

I will smash the door posts, and leave the doors flat down,

and will let the dead go up to eat the living!

And the dead will outnumber the living!"

Anu addressed princess Ishtar, saying:

"If you demand the Bull of Heaven from me,

there will be seven years of empty husks for the land of Uruk.

Have you collected grain for the people!

Have you made grasses grow for the animals?"

Ishtar addressed Anu, her father, saying:

"I have heaped grain in the granaries for the people,

I made grasses grow for the animals,

in order that they might eat in the seven years of empty husks.

I have collected grain for the people,

I have made grasses grow for the animals."

When Anu heard her words, he placed the noserope of the Bull of Heaven in her hand.

Ishtar led the Bull of Heaven down to the earth.

When it reached Uruk It climbed down to the Euphrates...

At the snort of the Bull of Heaven a huge pit opened up,

and 100 Young Men of Uruk fell in.

At his second snort a huge pit opened up,

and 200 Young Men of Uruk fell in.

At his third snort a huge pit opened up,

and Enkidu fell in up to his waist.

Then Enkidu jumped out and seized the Bull of Heaven by its horns.

the Bull spewed his spittle in front of him,

with his thick tail he flung his dung behind him (?).

Enkidu addressed Gilgamesh, saying:

"My friend, we can be bold(?) ...

How shall we respond...

...

between the nape, the horns, and... thrust your sword."



Enkidu stalked and hunted down the Bull of Heaven.

He grasped it by the thick of its tail

and held onto it with both his hands (?),

while Gilgamesh, like an expert butcher,

boldly and surely approached the Bull of Heaven.

Between the nape, the horns, and... he thrust his sword.

After they had killed the Bull of Heaven,

they ripped out its heart and presented it to Shamash.

They withdrew bowing down humbly to Shamash.

Then the brothers sat down together.

Ishtar went up onto the top of the Wall of Uruk-Haven,

cast herself into the pose of mourning, and hurled her woeful curse:

"Woe unto Gilgamesh who slandered me and killed the Bull of Heaven!"

When Enkidu heard this pronouncement of Ishtar,

he wrenched off the Bull's testicles and flung it in her face:

"If I could only get at you I would do the same to you!

I would drape his innards over your arms!"

Ishtar assembled the (cultic women) of lovely-locks, joy-girls, and harlots,

and set them to mourning over the hindquarter of the Bull.

Gilgamesh summoned all the artisans and craftsmen.

(All) the artisans admired the thickness of its horns,

each fashioned from 30 minas of lapis lazuli!

Two fingers thick is their casing(?).

Six vats of oil the contents of the two

he gave as ointment to his (personal) god Lugalbanda.

He brought the horns in and hung them in the bedroom of the family head.

They washed their hands in the Euphrates,

and proceeded hand in hand, striding through the streets of Uruk.

The men of Uruk gathered together, staring at them.

Gilgamesh said to the palace retainers:

"Who is the bravest of the men) Who is the boldest of the males!

Gilgamesh is the bravest of the men, the boldest of the males!

She at whom we flung the hindquarter of the Bull of Heaven in anger,

Ishtar has no one that pleases her... in the street (?)

Gilgamesh held a celebration in his palace.

The Young Men dozed off, sleeping on the couches of the night.

Enkidu was sleeping, and had a dream.

He woke up and revealed his dream to his friend.



Tablet VII
"My friend, why are the Great Gods in conference?

(In my dream) Anu, Enlil, and Shamash held a council,

and Anu spoke to Enlil:

'Because they killed the Bull of Heaven and have also slain Humbaba,

the one of them who pulled up the Cedar of the Mountain must die!'

Enlil said:'Let Enkidu die, but Gilgamesh must not die!'

Bur the Sun God of Heavenl replied to valiant Enlil:

'Was it not at my command that they killed the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba!

Should now innocent Enkidu die!'

Then Enlil became angry at Shamash, saying:

'it is you who are responsible because you traveled daily with them as their friend!"'

Enkidu was lying (sick) in front of Gilgamesh.

His tears flowing like canals, he (Gilgamesh) said:

"O brother, dear brother, why are they absolving me instead of

my brother)"

Then Enkidu said:) "So now must 1 become a ghost,

to sit with the ghosts of the dead, to see my dear brother nevermore!"

In the Cedar Forest where the Great (Gods dwell, I did not kill the Cedar."

Enkidu addressed Gilgamesh,

saying to Gilgamesh, his Friend:

"Come, Friend,...

Enkidu raised his eyes,...and spoke to the door as if it were human:

"You stupid wooden door, with no ability to understand... ! Already at 10 leagues I selected the wood for you, until I saw the towering Cedar ...

Your wood was without compare in my eyes.

Seventy-two cubits was your height, 14 cubits your width, one

cubit your thickness, your door post, pivot stone, and post cap ...

I fashioned you, and I carried you; to Nippur...

Had I known, O door, that this would he your gratitude

and this your gratitude..., I would have taken an axe and chopped you up, and lashed your planks into... in its ... I erected the... and in Uruk...they heard But yet, O door, I fashioned you, and I carried you to Nippur!

May a king who comes after me reject you, may the god...

may he remove my name and set his own name there!"
He ripped out.., threw down.

He(Gilgamesh) kept listening to his words, and retorted quickly,

Gilgamesh listened to the words of Enkidu, his Friend, and his tears flowed.

Gilgamesh addressed Enkidu, raying:

'Friend, the gods have given you a mind broad and ...

Though it behooves you to be sensible, you keep uttering

improper things!

Why, my Friend, does your mind utter improper things?

The dream is important but very frightening,

your lips are buzzing like flies.

Though there is much fear, the dream is very important.

To the living they (the gods) leave sorrow,

to the living the dream leaves pain.

I will pray, and beseech the Great Gods,

I will seek..., and appeal to your god.

... Enlil, the Father of the Gods,

...Enlil the Counselor...you.

I will fashion a statue of you of gold without measure,

do nor worry..., gold...

What Enlil says is not...

What he has said cannot go back, cannot ...,

What... he has laid down cannot go back, cannot...

My friend,... of fate goes to mankind."

just as dawn began to glow, Enkidu raised his head and cried out to Shamash,

at the (first) gleam of the sun his tears poured forth.

"I appeal to you, O Shamash, on behalf of my precious life (?),

because of that notorious trapper

who did not let me attain the same as my friend

May the trapper not get enough to feed himself .

May his profit be slashed, and his wages decrease,

may... be his share before you,

may he not enter ... but go out of it like vapor(?)!"

After he had cursed the trapper to his satisfaction,

his heart prompted him to curse the Harlot.

"Come now, Harlot, I am going to decree your fate,

a fate that will never come to an end for eternity!

I will curse you with a Great Curse,

may my curses overwhelm you suddenly, in an instant!

May you not be able to make a household,

and not be able to love a child of your own (?)!

May you not dwell in the ... of girls,

may dregs of beer (?) stain your beautiful lap,

may a drunk soil your festal robe with vomit(?),

May you never acquire anything of bright alabaster,

may the judge. ..

may shining silver(?), man's delight, not be cast into your house,

may a gateway be where you rake your pleasure,'

may a crossroad be your home

may a wasteland be your sleeping place,

may the shadow of the city wall be your place to stand,

may the thorns and briars skin your feet,

may both the drunk and the dry slap you on the cheek,

... in your city's streets (?),

may owls nest in the cracks of your walls!

may no parties take place...

and your filthy "lap" ... may.., be his(?)

Because of me...

while I, blameless, you have... against me.

When Shamash heard what his mouth had uttered,

he suddenly called out to him from the sky:

"Enkidu, why are you cursing the harlot, Shamhat,

she who fed you bread fit for a god,

she who gave you wine fit for a king,

she who dressed you in grand garments,

and she who allowed you to make beautiful Gilgamesh your comrade!

Now Gilgamesh is your beloved brother-friend!

He will have you lie on a grand couch,

will have you lie on a couch of honor.

He will seat you in the seat of ease, the seat at his left,

so that the princes of the world kiss your feet.

He will have the people of Uruk go into mourning and moaning over you,

will fill the happy people with woe over you.

And after you he will let his body bear a filthy mat of hair,

will don the skin of a lion and roam the wilderness."

As soon as Enkidu heard the words of valiant Shamash,

his agitated heart grew calm, his anger abated.

Enkidu spoke to the harlot, saying:

"Come, Shamhat, I will decree your fate for you.

Let my mouth which has cursed you, now turn to bless you!

May governors and nobles love you,

May he who is one league away bite his lip (in anticipation of you),

may he who is two leagues away shake our his locks (in preparation)!

May the soldier not refuse you, but undo his buckle for you,

may he give you rock crystal(!), lapis lazuli, and gold,

may his gift to you be earrings of filigree(?).

May... his supplies be heaped up.

May he bring you into the ... of the gods.

May the wife, the mother of seven (children),

be abandoned because of you!"

Enkidu's innards were churning, lying there so alone.

He spoke everything he felt, saying to his friend:

"Listen, my friend, to the dream that I had last night.

The heavens cried out and the earth replied,

and I was standing between them.

There appeared a man of dark visage--

his face resembled the Anzu,"

his hands were the paws of a lion,

his nails the talons of an eagle!--

he seized me by my hair and overpowered me.

I struck him a blow, but he skipped about like a jump rope,

and then he struck me and capsizcd me like a raft,

and trampled on me like a wild bull.

He encircled my whole body in a clamp.

'Help me, my friend" (I cried),

but you did not rescue me, you were afraid and did not.. ."

"Then he... and turned me into a dove,

so that my arms were feathered like a bird.

Seizing me, he led me down to the House of Darkness,

the dwelling of Irkalla,

to the house where those who enter do not come out,

along the road of no return,

to the house where those who dwell, do without light,

where dirt is their drink, their food is of clay,

where, like a bird, they wear garments of feathers,

and light cannot be seen, they dwell in the dark,

and upon the door and bolt, there lies dust.

On entering the House of Dust,

everywhere I looked there were royal crowns gathered in heaps,

everywhere I listened, it was the bearers of crowns,

who, in the past, had ruled the land,

but who now served Anu and Enlil cooked meats,

served confections, and poured cool water from waterskins.

In the house of Dust that I entered

there sat the high priest and acolyte,

there sat the purification priest and ecstatic,

there sat the anointed priests of the Great Gods.

There sat Etana, there sat Sumukan,

there sat Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Netherworld.

Beletseri, the Scribe of the Netherworld, knelt before her,

she was holding the tablet and was reading it out to her Ereshkigal.

She raised her head when she saw me----

'Who has taken this man?'


[50 lines are missing here]

...I (?) who went through every difficulty,

remember me and forget(?) not all that I went through with you.

"My friend has had a dream that bodes ill?"

The day he had the dream ... came to an end.

Enkidu lies down a first day, a second day,

that Enkidu ... in his bed;

a third day and fourth day, that Enkidu ... in his bed;

a fifth, a sixth, and seventh, that Enkidu ... in his bed;

an eighth, a ninth, a tenth, that Enkidu ... in his bed.

Enkidu's illness grew ever worse.

Enkidu drew up from his bed,

and called out to Gilgamesh ...:

"My friend hates me ...

while he talked with me in Uruk

as I was afraid of the battle he encouraged me.

My friend who saved me in battle has now abandoned me! I and you ...

[about 20 lines are missing]

At his noises Gilgamesh was roused ...

Like a dove he moaned ...

"May he not be held, in death ...

O preeminent among men ..."

To his friend ...

"I will mourn him (?)

I at his side ..."


Tablet VIII
Just as day began to dawn

Gilgamesh addressed his friend, saying:

"Enkidu, your mother, the gazelle,

and your father, the wild donkey, engendered you,

four wild asses raised you on their milk,

and the herds taught you all the grazing lands.

May the Roads of Enkidu to the Cedar Forest mourn you

and not fall silent night or day.

May the Elders of the broad city of Uruk-Haven mourn you.

May the peoples who gave their blessing after us mourn you.

May the men of the mountains and hills mourn you.

May the pasture lands shriek in mourning as if it were your mother.

May the ..., the cypress, and the cedar which we destroyed (?) in our anger

mourn you.

May the bear, hyena, panther, tiger, water buffalo(?), jackal, lion, wild bull, stag, ibex, all the creatures of the plains mourn you.

May the holy River Ulaja, along whose banks we grandly used to stroll, mourn you.

May the pure Euphrates, to which we would libate water from our waterskins, mourn you.

May the men of Uruk-Haven, whom we saw in our battle when we killed the Bull of Heaven,mourn you.

May the farmer ...,who extols your name in his sweet work song, mourn you.

May the ... of the broad city, who ... exalted your name, mourn you.

May the herder ..., who prepared butter and light beer for your mouth, mourn you.

May ..., who put ointments on your back, mourn you.

May ..., who prepared fine beer for your mouth, mourn you.

May the harlot, ... you rubbed yourself with oil and felt good, mourn you.

May ...,... of the wife placed(!) a ring on you ..., mourn you

May the brothers go into mourning over you like sisters;

... the lamentation priests, may their hair be shorn off on your behalf.

Enkidu, your mother and your father are in the wastelands,

I mourn you ..."

"Hear me, O Elders of Uruk, hear me, O men!

I mourn for Enkidu, my friend,

I shriek in anguish like a mourner.

You, axe at my side, so trusty at my hand--

you, sword at my waist, shield in front of me,

you, my festal garment, a sash over my loins--

an evil demon!) appeared and took him away from me!

My friend, the swift mule, fleet wild ass of the mountain,

panther of the wilderness,

Enkidu, my friend, the swift mule, fleet wild ass of the mountain,

panther of the wilderness,

after we joined together and went up into the mountain,

fought the Bull of Heaven and killed it,

and overwhelmed Humbaba, who lived in the Cedar Forest,

now what is this sleep which has seized you?

You have turned dark and do not hear me!"

But his (Enkidu's) eyes do not move,

he touched his heart, but it beat no longer.

He covered his friend's face like a bride,

swooping down over him like an eagle,

and like a lioness deprived of her cubs

he keeps pacing to and fro.

He shears off his curls and heaps them onto the ground,

ripping off his finery and casting it away as an abomination.

Just as day began to dawn, Gilgamesh ...

and issued a call to the land:

"You, blacksmith! You, lapidary! You, coppersmith!

You, goldsmith! You, jeweler!

Create 'My Friend,' fashion a statue of him.

... he fashioned a statue of his friend.

His features ...

...,your chest will be of lapis lazuli, your skin will be of gold."
[10 lines are missing here.']
"I had you recline on the great couch,

indeed, on the couch of honor I let you recline,

1 had you sit in the position of ease, the seat at the left, so the

princes of the world kissed your feet.

I had the people of Uruk mourn and moan for you,

I filled happy people with woe over you,

and after you (died) I let a filthy mat of hair grow over my body,

and donned the skin of a lion and roamed the wilderness."

Just as day began to dawn,

he undid his straps ...

I... carnelian,
[85 lines are missing here.']
" ... the judge of the Anunnaki."

When Gilgamesh heard this

the zikru of the river(!) he created'...

Just as day began to dawn Gilgamesh opened(!) ...

and brought out a big table of sissoo wood.

A carnelian bowl he filled with honey,

a lapis lazuli bowl he filled with butter.

He provided ... and displayed it before Shamash.


[All of the last column, some 40-50 lines, is missing.]

Tablet IX
Over his friend, Enkidu, Gilgamesh cried bitterly, roaming the wilderness.

"I am going to die!--am I not like Enkidu?!

Deep sadness penetrates my core,

I fear death, and now roam the wilderness--

I will set out to the region of Utanapishtim, son of Ubartutu,

and will go with utmost dispatch!

When I arrived at mountain passes at nightfall,'

I saw lions, and I was terrified!

I raised my head in prayer to Sin,

to ... the Great Lady of the gods my supplications poured forth, 'Save me from... !"'

He was sleeping in the night, but awoke with a start with a dream:

A warrior(!) enjoyed his life--

he raised his axe in his hand,

drew the dagger from his sheath,

and fell into their midst like an arrow.

He struck ... and he scattered them,

The name of the former ...

The name of the second ...


(26 lines are missing here, telling of the beginning of his quest.]
The Scorpion-Beings

The mountain is called Mashu.

Then he reached Mount Mashu,

which daily guards the rising and setting of the Sun,

above which only the dome of the heavens reaches,

and whose flank reaches as far as the Netherworld below,

there were Scorpion-beings watching over its gate.

Trembling terror they inspire, the sight of them is death,

their frightening aura sweeps over the mountains.

At the rising and setting they watch over the Sun.

When Gilgamesh saw them, trembling terror blanketed his face,

but he pulled himself together and drew near to them.

The scorpion-being called out to his female:

"He who comes to us, his body is the flesh of gods!"

The scorpion-being, his female, answered him:

"(Only) two-thirds of him is a god, one-third is human."

The male scorpion-being called out,

saying to the offspring of the gods:

"Why have you traveled so distant a journey?

Why have you come here to me,

over rivers whose crossing is treacherous!

I want to learn your ..."


[16 lines are missing here. When the text resumes Gilgamesh is speaking.]
"I have come on account of my ancestor Utanapishtim,

who joined the Assembly of the Gods, and was given eternal life.

About Death and Life I must ask him!"

The scorpion-being spoke to Gilgamesh ..., saying:

"Never has there been, Gilgamesh, a mortal man who could do that(?).

No one has crossed through the mountains,

for twelve leagues it is darkness throughout--

dense is the darkness, and light there is none.

To the rising of the sun ...

To the setting of the sun ...

To the setting of the sun ...

They caused to go out..."


[67 lines are missing, in which Gilgamesh convinces the scorpion-being to allow him

passage.]


"Though it be in deep sadness and pain,

in cold or heat ...

gasping after breath ... I will go on!

Now! Open the Gate!"

The scorpion-being spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Go on, Gilgamesh, fear not!

The Mashu mountains I give to you freely (!),

the mountains, the ranges, you may traverse ...

In safety may your feet carry you.

The gate of the mountain ..."

To the rising of the sun ...

To the setting of the sun ...

To the setting of the sun ...

They caused to go out..."


[67 lines are missing, in which Gilgamesh convinces the scorpion-being to allow him

passage.]


"Though it be in deep sadness and pain, in cold or heat ...

gasping after breath ... I will go on! Now! Open the Gate!"

The scorpion-being spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Go on, Gilgamesh, fear not!

The Mashu mountains I give to you freely (!),

the mountains, the ranges, you may traverse ...

In safety may your feet carry you.

The gate of the mountain ..."

As soon as Gilgamesh heard this

he heeded the utterances of the scorpion-being.

Along the Road of the Sun L he journeyed--

one league he traveled ...,

dense was the darkness, light there was none.

Neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Two leagues he traveled ...,

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.
[22 lines are missing here.]
Four leagues he traveled ...,

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Five leagues he traveled ...,

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Six leagues he traveled ...,

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Seven leagues he traveled ..

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Eight leagues he traveled and cried out (!),

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Nine leagues he traveled ... the North Wind.

It licked at his face,

dense was the darkness, light there was none,

neither what lies ahead nor behind does it allow him to see.

Ten leagues he traveled ...

... is near,

... four leagues.

Eleven leagues he traveled and came out before the sun(rise).

Twelve leagues he traveled and it grew brilliant.

...it bears lapis lazuli as foliage,

bearing fruit, a delight to look upon.



Tablet X
The tavern-keeper Siduri who lives by the seashore,

the pot-stand was made for her, the golden fermenting vat was made for her.

She is covered with a veil ...

Gilgamesh was roving about...wearing a skin,...

having the flesh of the gods in his body,

but sadness deep within him,

looking like one who has been traveling a long distance.

The tavern-keeper was gazing off into the distance,

puzzling to herself, she said,

wondering to herself:

"That fellow is surely a murderer(!)! Where is he heading! ..."

As soon as the tavern-keeper saw him, she bolted her door,

bolted her gate, bolted the lock.

But at her noise Gilgamesh pricked up his ears,

lifted his chin (to look about) and then laid his eyes on her.

Gilgamesh spoke to the tavern-keeper, saying:

"Tavern-keeper, what have you seen that made you bolt your door,

bolt your gate, bolt the lock!

if you do not let me in I will break your door, and smash the lock!."

The tavern-keeper Siduri who lives by the seashore,

the pot-stand was made for her, the golden fermenting vat was made for her.

She is covered with a veil ...

Gilgamesh was roving about...wearing a skin,...

having the flesh of the gods in his body,

but sadness deep within him,

looking like one who has been traveling a long distance.

The tavern-keeper was gazing off into the distance,

puzzling to herself, she said,wondering to herself:

"That fellow is surely a murderer(!)! Where is he heading! ..."

As soon as the tavern-keeper saw him, she bolted her door,

bolted her gate, bolted the lock.

But at her noise Gilgamesh pricked up his ears,

lifted his chin (to look about) and then laid his eyes on her.

Gilgamesh spoke to the tavern-keeper, saying:

"Tavern-keeper, what have you seen that made you bolt your door,

bolt your gate, bolt the lock!

if you do not let me in I will break your door, and smash the lock!”

Gilgamesh said to the tavern-keeper:

"I am Gilgamesh, I killed the Guardian!

I destroyed Humbaba who lived in the Cedar Forest,

I slew lions in the mountain passes!

I grappled with the Bull that came down from heaven, and killed him."

The tavern-keeper spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"lf you are Gilgamesh, who killed the Guardian,

who destroyed Humbaba who lived in the Cedar Forest,

who slew lions in the mountain passes,

who grappled with the Bull that came down from heaven, and killed him,

why are your cheeks emaciated, your expression desolate!

Why is your heart so wretched, your features so haggard!

Why is there such sadness deep within you!

Why do you look like one who has been traveling a long distance

so that ice and heat have seared your face!

... you roam the wilderness!"

Gilgamesh spoke to her, to the tavern-keeper he said:

"Tavern-keeper, should not my cheeks be emaciated?

Should my heart not be wretched, my features not haggard?

Should there not be sadness deep within me!

Should I not look like one who has been traveling a long distance,

and should ice and heat not have seared my face!

..., should I not roam the wilderness?

My friend, the wild ass who chased the wild donkey, panther of the wilderness,

Enkidu, the wild ass who chased the wild donkey, panther of the wilderness,

we joined together, and went up into the mountain.

We grappled with and killed the Bull of Heaven,

we destroyed Humbaba who lived in the Cedar Forest,

we slew lions in the mountain passes!

My friend, whom I love deeply, who went through every hard-ship with me,

Enkidu, whom I love deeply, who went through every hardship with me,

the fate of mankind has overtaken him.

Six days and seven nights I mourned over him

and would not allow him to be buried

until a maggot fell out of his nose.

I was terrified by his appearance(!),

I began to fear death, and so roam the wilderness.

The issue of my friend oppresses me,

so I have been roaming long trails through the wilderness.

The issue of Enkidu, my friend, oppresses me,

so I have been roaming long roads through the wilderness.

How can I stay silent, how can 1 be still!

My friend whom I love has turned to clay.

Am I not like him? Will I lie down, never to get up again?"'

Gilgamesh spoke to the tavern-keeper, saying:

"So now, tavern-keeper, what is the way to Utanapishtim!

What are its markers Give them to me! Give me the markers!

If possible, I will cross the sea;

if not, I will roam through the wilderness."

The tavern-keeper spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"There has never been, Gilgamesh, any passage whatever,

there has never been anyone since days of yore who crossed the sea.

The (only) one who crosses the sea is valiant Shamash, except for him who can cross!

The crossing is difficult, its ways are treacherous--

and in between are the Waters of Death that bar its approaches!

And even if, Gilgamesh, you should cross the sea,

when you reach the Waters of Death what would you do!

Gilgamesh, over there is Urshanabi, the ferryman of Utanapishtim.

'The stone things' are with him, he is in the woods picking mint( !).

Go on, let him see your face.

If possible, cross with him; if not, you should turn back."

When Gilgamesh heard this he raised the axe in his hand,

drew the dagger from his belt, and slipped stealthily away after them.

Like an arrow he fell among them ("the stone things").

From the middle of the woods their noise could be heard.

Urshanabi, the sharp-eyed, saw...
Urshanabi spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:'

"Why are your cheeks emaciated, your expression desolate!

Why is your heart so wretched, your features so haggard?

Why is there such sadness deep within you!

Why do you look like one who has been traveling a long distance

so that ice and heat have seared your face!

Why ... you roam the wilderness!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, saying:

"Urshanabi, should not my cheeks be emaciated, my expression desolate!

Should my heart not be wretched, my features not haggard

Should there not be sadness deep within me?

Should I not look like one who has been traveling a long distance,

and should ice and heat not have seared my face!

... should I not roam the wilderness?

My friend who chased wild asses in the mountain, the panther of the wilderness,

Enkidu, my friend, who chased wild asses in the mountain, the panther of the wilderness,

we joined together, and went up into the mountain.

We grappled with and killed the Bull of Heaven,

we destroyed Humbaba who dwelled in the Cedar Forest,

we slew lions in the mountain passes!

My friend, whom I love deeply, who went through every hard- ship with me,

Enkidu, my friend, whom I love deeply, who went through every hardship with me,

the fate of mankind has overtaken him.

Six days and seven nights I mourned over him

and would not allow him to be buried

until a maggot fell out of his nose.

I was terrified by his appearance(!),

I began to fear death, and so roam the wilderness.

The issue of my friend oppresses me,

so I have been roaming long trails through the wilderness.

The issue of Enkidu, my friend, oppresses me,

so I have been roaming long roads through the wilderness.

How can I stay silent, how can I be still!

My friend whom I love has turned to clay;

Enkidu, my friend whom I love, has turned to clay!

Am I not like him! Will I lie down, never to get up again!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, saying:

"Now, Urshanabi! What is the way to Utanapishtim?

What are its markers! Give them to me! Give me the markers!

If possible, I will cross the sea;

if not, I will roam through the wilderness!"

Urshanabi spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"It is your hands, Gilgamesh, that prevent the crossing!

You have smashed the stone things,' you have pulled out their retaining ropes (?).

'The stone things' have been smashed, their retaining ropes (!) pulled out!

Gilgamesh, take the axe in your hand, go down into the woods,

and cut down 300 punting poles each 60 cubits in length.

Strip them, attach caps(?), and bring them to the boat!"

When Gilgamesh heard this

he took up the axe in his hand, drew the dagger from his belt,

and went down into the woods,

and cut 300 punting poles each 60 cubits in length.

He stripped them and attached caps(!), and brought them to the boat.

Gilgamesh and Urshanabi bearded the boat,

Gilgamesh launched the magillu-boat' and they sailed away.

By the third day they had traveled a stretch of a month and a half, and

Urshanabi arrived at the Waters of Death.

Urshanabi said to Gilgamesh:

"Hold back, Gilgamesh, take a punting pole,

but your hand must not pass over the Waters of Death ... !

Take a second, Gilgamesh, a third, and a fourth pole,

take a fifth, Gilgamesh, a sixth, and a seventh pole,

take an eighth, Gilgamesh, a ninth, and a tenth pole,

take an eleventh, Gilgamesh, and a twelfth pole!"

In twice 60 rods Gilgamesh had used up the punting poles.

Then he loosened his waist-cloth(?) for...

Gilgamesh stripped off his garment

and held it up on the mast(!) with his arms.

Utanapishtim was gazing off into the distance,

puzzling to himself he said, wondering to himself:

"Why are 'the stone things' of the boat smashed to pieces!

And why is someone not its master sailing on it?

The one who is coming is not a man of mine, ...

I keep looking but not...

I keep looking..."

lines are missing here.]

Utanapishtim said to Gilgamesh:

"Why are your cheeks emaciated, your expression desolate!

Why is your heart so wretched, your features so haggard!

Why is there such sadness deep within you!

Why do you look like one who has been traveling a long distance

so that ice and heat have seared your face!

... you roam the wilderness!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Utanapishtim saying:

"Should not my cheeks be emaciated, my expression desolate!

Should my heart not be wretched, my features not haggard!

Should there not be sadness deep within me!

Should I not look like one who has been traveling a long distance,

and should ice and heat not have seared my face!

... should I not roam the wilderness)

My friend who chased wild asses in the mountain, the panther of the wilderness,

Enkidu, my friend, who chased wild asses in the mountain, the panther of the wilderness,

we joined together, and went up into the mountain.

We grappled with and killed the Bull of Heaven,

we destroyed Humbaba who dwelled in the Cedar Forest,

we slew lions in the mountain passes!

My friend, whom I love deeply, who went through every hard- shin with me

Enkidu, my friend, whom I love deeply, who went through every hardship with me,

the fate of mankind has overtaken him.

Six days and seven nights I mourned over him

and would not allow him to be buried

until a maggot fell out of his nose.

I was terrified by his appearance(!),

I began to fear death, and so roam the wilderness.

The issue of my friend oppresses me,

so I have been roaming long trails through the wilderness.

The issue of Enkidu, my friend, oppresses me,

so I have been roaming long roads through the wilderness.

How can I stay silent, how can I be still!

My friend whom I love has turned to clay;

Enkidu, my friend whom I love, has turned to clay!

Am I not like him! Will I lie down never to get up again!"

Gilgamesh spoke to Utanapishtim, saying:

"That is why (?) I must go on, to see Utanapishtim whom they call 'The Faraway.'"

I went circling through all the mountains,

I traversed treacherous mountains, and crossed all the seas--

that is why (!) sweet sleep has not mellowed my face,

through sleepless striving I am strained,

my muscles are filled with pain.

I had not yet reached the tavern-keeper's area before my clothing gave out.

I killed bear, hyena, lion, panther, tiger, stag, red-stag, and beasts of the wilderness;

I ate their meat and wrapped their skins around me.'

The gate of grief must be bolted shut, sealed with pitch and bitumen."

Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Why, Gilgamesh, do you ... sadness?

You who were created (!) from the flesh of gods and mankind

who made ... like your father and mother?

Have you ever... Gilgamesh ... to the fool ...

They placed a chair in the Assembly, ...

But to the fool they gave beer dregs instead of butter,

bran and cheap flour which like ...

Clothed with a loincloth (!) like ...And ... in place of a sash,

because he does not have ...does not have words of counsel ...

Take care about it, Gilgamesh,...

The gods are sleepless ...

They are troubled, restless(!) ...

Long ago it has been established...

You trouble yourself...

You have toiled without cease, and what have you got!

Through toil you wear yourself out,

you fill your body with grief,

your long lifetime you are bringing near (to a premature end)!

Mankind, whose offshoot is snapped off like a reed in a canebreak,

the fine youth and lovely girl...

No one can see death, no one can see the face of death, no one can hear the voice of death,

yet there is savage death that snaps off mankind.

For how long do we build a household?

For how long do we seal a document!

For how long do brothers share the inheritance?

For how long is there to be jealousy in the land(!)!

For how long has the river risen and brought the overflowing waters,

so that dragonflies drift down the river!'

The face that could gaze upon the face of the Sun has never existed ever.

How alike are the sleeping(!) and the dead.

The image of Death cannot be depicted.

(Yes, you are a) human being, a man (?)!

After Enlil had pronounced the blessing,'"

the Anunnaki, the Great Gods, assembled.

Mammetum, she who forms destiny, determined destiny with them.

They established Death and Life,

but they did not make known 'the days of death'".
Tablet XI

Gilgamesh spoke to Utanapishtim, the Faraway:

"I have been looking at you,

but your appearance is not strange--you are like me!

You yourself are not different--you are like me!

My mind was resolved to fight with you,

(but instead?) my arm lies useless over you.

Tell me, how is it that you stand in the Assembly of the Gods, and have found life!"

Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"I will reveal to you, Gilgamesh, a thing that is hidden,

a secret of the gods I will tell you!

Shuruppak, a city that you surely know,

situated on the banks of the Euphrates,

that city was very old, and there were gods inside it.

The hearts of the Great Gods moved them to inflict the Flood.

Their Father Anu uttered the oath (of secrecy),

Valiant Enlil was their Adviser,

Ninurta was their Chamberlain,

Ennugi was their Minister of Canals.

Ea, the Clever Prince(?), was under oath with them

so he repeated their talk to the reed house:

'Reed house, reed house! Wall, wall!

O man of Shuruppak, son of Ubartutu:

Tear down the house and build a boat!

Abandon wealth and seek living beings!

Spurn possessions and keep alive living beings!

Make all living beings go up into the boat.

The boat which you are to build,

its dimensions must measure equal to each other:

its length must correspond to its width.

Roof it over like the Apsu.

I understood and spoke to my lord, Ea:

'My lord, thus is the command which you have uttered

I will heed and will do it.

But what shall I answer the city, the populace, and the Elders!'

Ea spoke, commanding me, his servant:

'You, well then, this is what you must say to them:

"It appears that Enlil is rejecting me

so I cannot reside in your city (?),

nor set foot on Enlil's earth.

I will go down to the Apsu to live with my lord, Ea,

and upon you he will rain down abundance,

a profusion of fowl, myriad(!) fishes.

He will bring to you a harvest of wealth,

in the morning he will let loaves of bread shower down,

and in the evening a rain of wheat!"'

Just as dawn began to glow

the land assembled around me-

the carpenter carried his hatchet,

the reed worker carried his (flattening) stone,

The child carried the pitch,the weak brought whatever else was needed.

On the fifth day I laid out her exterior.

It was a field in area, its walls were each 10 times 12 cubits in height,

the sides of its top were of equal length, 10 times It cubits each.

I laid out its (interior) structure and drew a picture of it (?).

I provided it with six decks,

thus dividing it into seven (levels).

The inside of it I divided into nine (compartments).

I drove plugs (to keep out) water in its middle part.

I saw to the punting poles and laid in what was necessary.

Three times 3,600 (units) of raw bitumen I poured into the bitumen kiln,

three times 3,600 (units of) pitch ...into it,

there were three times 3,600 porters of casks who carried (vegetable) oil,

apart from the 3,600 (units of) oil which they consumed (!)

and two times 3,600 (units of) oil which the boatman stored away.

I butchered oxen for the meat(!),

and day upon day I slaughtered sheep.

I gave the workmen(?) ale, beer, oil, and wine, as if it were river water,

so they could make a party like the New Year's Festival.

... and I set my hand to the oiling(!).

The boat was finished by sunset.

The launching was very difficult.

They had to keep carrying a runway of poles front to back,

until two-thirds of it had gone into the water(?).

Whatever I had I loaded on it:

whatever silver I had I loaded on it,

whatever gold I had I loaded on it.

All the living beings that I had I loaded on it,

I had all my kith and kin go up into the boat,

all the beasts and animals of the field and the craftsmen I had go up.

Shamash had set a stated time:

'In the morning I will let loaves of bread shower down,

and in the evening a rain of wheat!

Go inside the boat, seal the entry!'

That stated time had arrived.

In the morning he let loaves of bread shower down,

and in the evening a rain of wheat.

I watched the appearance of the weather--

the weather was frightful to behold!

I went into the boat and sealed the entry.

For the caulking of the boat, to Puzuramurri, the boatman,

I gave the palace together with its contents.

Just as dawn began to glow

there arose from the horizon a black cloud.

Adad rumbled inside of it,

before him went Shullat and Hanish,

heralds going over mountain and land.

Erragal pulled out the mooring poles,

forth went Ninurta and made the dikes overflow.

The Anunnaki lifted up the torches,

setting the land ablaze with their flare.

Stunned shock over Adad's deeds overtook the heavens,

and turned to blackness all that had been light.

The... land shattered like a... pot.

All day long the South Wind blew ...,

blowing fast, submerging the mountain in water,

overwhelming the people like an attack.

No one could see his fellow,

they could not recognize each other in the torrent.

The gods were frightened by the Flood,

and retreated, ascending to the heaven of Anu.

The gods were cowering like dogs, crouching by the outer wall.

Ishtar shrieked like a woman in childbirth,

the sweet-voiced Mistress of the Gods wailed:

'The olden days have alas turned to clay,

because I said evil things in the Assembly of the Gods!

How could I say evil things in the Assembly of the Gods,

ordering a catastrophe to destroy my people!!

No sooner have I given birth to my dear people

than they fill the sea like so many fish!'

The gods--those of the Anunnaki--were weeping with her,

the gods humbly sat weeping, sobbing with grief(?),

their lips burning, parched with thirst.

Six days and seven nights

came the wind and flood, the storm flattening the land.

When the seventh day arrived, the storm was pounding,

the flood was a war--struggling with itself like a woman writhing (in labor).

The sea calmed, fell still, the whirlwind (and) flood stopped up.

I looked around all day long--quiet had set in

and all the human beings had turned to clay!

The terrain was as flat as a roof.

I opened a vent and fresh air (daylight!) fell upon the side of my nose.

I fell to my knees and sat weeping,

tears streaming down the side of my nose.

I looked around for coastlines in the expanse of the sea,

and at twelve leagues there emerged a region (of land).

On Mt. Nimush the boat lodged firm,

Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway.

One day and a second Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway.

A third day, a fourth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway.

A fifth day, a sixth, Mt. Nimush held the boat, allowing no sway.

When a seventh day arrived

I sent forth a dove and released it.

The dove went off, but came back to me;

no perch was visible so it circled back to me.

I sent forth a swallow and released it.

The swallow went off, but came back to me;

no perch was visible so it circled back to me.

I sent forth a raven and released it.

The raven went off, and saw the waters slither back.

It eats, it scratches, it bobs, but does not circle back to me.

Then I sent out everything in all directions and sacrificed (a sheep).

I offered incense in front of the mountain-ziggurat.

Seven and seven cult vessels I put in place,

and (into the fire) underneath (or: into their bowls) I poured reeds, cedar, and myrtle.

The gods smelled the savor,

the gods smelled the sweet savor,

and collected like flies over a (sheep) sacrifice.

Just then Beletili arrived.

She lifted up the large flies (beads) which Anu had made for his enjoyment(!):

'You gods, as surely as I shall not forget this lapis lazuli around my neck,

may I be mindful of these days, and never forget them!

The gods may come to the incense offering,

but Enlil may not come to the incense offering,

because without considering he brought about the Flood

and consigned my people to annihilation.'

Just then Enlil arrived.

He saw the boat and became furious, he was filled with rage at the Igigi gods:

'Where did a living being escape?

No man was to survive the annihilation!'

Ninurta spoke to Valiant Enlil, saying:

'Who else but Ea could devise such a thing?

It is Ea who knows every machination!'

La spoke to Valiant Enlil, saying:

'It is yours, O Valiant One, who is the Sage of the Gods.

How, how could you bring about a Flood without consideration

Charge the violation to the violator,

charge the offense to the offender,

but be compassionate lest (mankind) be cut off,

be patient lest they be killed.

Instead of your bringing on the Flood,

would that a lion had appeared to diminish the people!

Instead of your bringing on the Flood,

would that a wolf had appeared to diminish the people!

Instead of your bringing on the Flood,

would that famine had occurred to slay the land!

Instead of your bringing on the Flood,

would that (Pestilent) Erra had appeared to ravage the land!

It was not I who revealed the secret of the Great Gods,

I (only) made a dream appear to Atrahasis, and (thus) he heard the secret of the gods.

Now then! The deliberation should be about him!'

Enlil went up inside the boat and, grasping my hand, made me go up.

He had my wife go up and kneel by my side.

He touched our forehead and, standing between us, he blessed us:

'Previously Utanapishtim was a human being.

But now let Utanapishtim and his wife become like us,

the gods!

Let Utanapishtim reside far away, at the Mouth of the Rivers.'

They took us far away and settled us at the Mouth of the Rivers."

"Now then, who will convene the gods on your behalf,

that you may find the life that you are seeking!

Wait! You must not lie down for six days and seven nights."

soon as he sat down (with his head) between his legs

sleep, like a fog, blew upon him.

Utanapishtim said to his wife:

"Look there! The man, the youth who wanted (eternal) life!

Sleep, like a fog, blew over him."

his wife said to Utanapishtim the Faraway:

"Touch him, let the man awaken.

Let him return safely by the way he came.

Let him return to his land by the gate through which he left."

Utanapishtim said to his wife:

"Mankind is deceptive, and will deceive you.

Come, bake loaves for him and keep setting them by his head

and draw on the wall each day that he lay down."

She baked his loaves and placed them by his head

and marked on the wall the day that he lay down.

The first loaf was dessicated,

the second stale, the third moist(?), the fourth turned white,

the fifth sprouted gray (mold), the sixth is still fresh.

the seventh--suddenly he touched him and the man awoke.

Gilgamesh said to Utanapishtim:

"The very moment sleep was pouring over me

you touched me and alerted me!"

Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Look over here, Gilgamesh, count your loaves!

You should be aware of what is marked on the wall!

Your first loaf is dessicated,

the second stale, the third moist, your fourth turned white,

the fifth sprouted gray (mold), the sixth is still fresh.

The seventh--suddenly he touched him and the man awoke.

Gilgamesh said to Utanapishtim:

"The very moment sleep was pouring over me

you touched me and alerted me!"

Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Look over here, Gilgamesh, count your loaves!

You should be aware of what is marked on the wall!

Your first loaf is dessicated,

the second stale, the third moist, your fourth turned white,

the fifth sprouted gray (mold), the sixth is still fresh.

The seventh--at that instant you awoke!"

Gilgamesh said to Utanapishtim the Faraway:

"O woe! What shall I do, Utanapishtim, where shall I go!

The Snatcher has taken hold of my flesh,

in my bedroom Death dwells,

and wherever I set foot there too is Death!"

Home Empty-Handed

Utanapishtim said to Urshanabi, the ferryman:

"May the harbor reject you, may the ferry landing reject you!

May you who used to walk its shores be denied its shores!

The man in front of whom you walk, matted hair chains his body,

animal skins have ruined his beautiful skin.

Take him away, Urshanabi, bring him to the washing place.

Let him wash his matted hair in water like ellu.

Let him cast away his animal skin and have the sea carry it off,

let his body be moistened with fine oil,

let the wrap around his head be made new,

let him wear royal robes worthy of him!

Until he goes off to his city,

until he sets off on his way,

let his royal robe not become spotted, let it be perfectly new!"

Urshanabi took him away and brought him to the washing place.

He washed his matted hair with water like ellu.

He cast off his animal skin and the sea carried it oh.

He moistened his body with fine oil,

and made a new wrap for his head.

He put on a royal robe worthy of him.

Until he went away to his city,

until he set off on his way,

his royal robe remained unspotted, it was perfectly clean.

Gilgamesh and Urshanabi bearded the boat,

they cast off the magillu-boat, and sailed away.

The wife of Utanapishtim the Faraway said to him:

"Gilgamesh came here exhausted and worn out.

What can you give him so that he can return to his land (with honor) !"

Then Gilgamesh raised a punting pole

and drew the boat to shore.

Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:

"Gilgamesh, you came here exhausted and worn out.

What can I give you so you can return to your land?

I will disclose to you a thing that is hidden, Gilgamesh,

a... I will tell you.

There is a plant... like a boxthorn,

whose thorns will prick your hand like a rose.

If your hands reach that plant you will become a young man again."

Hearing this, Gilgamesh opened a conduit(!) (to the Apsu)

and attached heavy stones to his feet.

They dragged him down, to the Apsu they pulled him.

He took the plant, though it pricked his hand,

and cut the heavy stones from his feet,

letting the waves(?) throw him onto its shores.

Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, the ferryman, saying:

"Urshanabi, this plant is a plant against decay(!)

by which a man can attain his survival(!).

I will bring it to Uruk-Haven,

and have an old man eat the plant to test it.

The plant's name is 'The Old Man Becomes a Young Man.'"

Then I will eat it and return to the condition of my youth."

At twenty leagues they broke for some food,

at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.

Seeing a spring and how cool its waters were,

Gilgamesh went down and was bathing in the water.

A snake smelled the fragrance of the plant,

silently came up and carried off the plant.

While going back it sloughed off its casing.'

At that point Gilgamesh sat down, weeping,

his tears streaming over the side of his nose.

"Counsel me, O ferryman Urshanabi!

For whom have my arms labored, Urshanabi!

For whom has my heart's blood roiled!

I have not secured any good deed for myself,

but done a good deed for the 'lion of the ground'!"

Now the high waters are coursing twenty leagues distant,'

as I was opening the conduit(?) I turned my equipment over into it (!).

What can I find (to serve) as a marker(?) for me!

I will turn back (from the journey by sea) and leave the boat by the shore!"

At twenty leagues they broke for some food,

at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.

They arrived in Uruk-Haven.

Gilgamesh said to Urshanabi, the ferryman:

"Go up, Urshanabi, onto the wall of Uruk and walk around.

Examine its foundation, inspect its brickwork thoroughly--

is not (even the core of) the brick structure of kiln-fired brick,

and did not the Seven Sages themselves lay out its plan!

One league city, one league palm gardens, one league lowlands, the open area(?) of the Ishtar Temple, three leagues and the open area(?) of Uruk it encloses.

Babylon (c.1894 – 1594 BCE)
Babylonia was an Akkadian-speaking nation in central-southern Mesopotamia, with its capital at Babylon., which dates much earlier than this nation. The city of Babylon remained a minor city-state until the reign of Hammurabi (1792 – 1750 BCE). Hammurabi was a very efficient ruler, and established a burocracy, taxations, and centralized government. He expanded Babylon to include all of Southern Mesopotamia, however was in a protracted war with the Old Assyrian Empire for control of the Near East. The most important work in this time period is the “Code of Laws” which improved upon the earlier laws of Sumer. These laws were inscribed on stone tables called stelae and placed in the city centre. However, because southern Mesopotamia has no defensible boundaries, after the death of Hammurabi, his empire quickly fell apart, and was eventually conquered by the Assyrian nation.

HAMMURABI’S CODE OF LAWS (C. 1780 BCE)

...Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind...”

1. If any one ensnare another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.

2. If any one bring an accusation against a man, and the accused go to the river and leap into the river, if he sink in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river prove that the accused is not guilty, and he escape unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

3. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death.

4. If he satisfy the elders to impose a fine of grain or money, he shall receive the fine that the action produces.

5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge's bench, and never again shall he sit there to render judgement.

6. If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death.

7. If any one buy from the son or the slave of another man, without witnesses or a contract, silver or gold, a male or female slave, an ox or a sheep, an ass or anything, or if he take it in charge, he is considered a thief and shall be put to death.

8. If any one steal cattle or sheep, or an ass, or a pig or a goat, if it belong to a god or to the court, the thief shall pay thirtyfold therefor; if they belonged to a freed man of the king he shall pay tenfold; if the thief has nothing with which to pay he shall be put to death.

9. If any one lose an article, and find it in the possession of another: if the person in whose possession the thing is found say "A merchant sold it to me, I paid for it before witnesses," and if the owner of the thing say, "I will bring witnesses who know my property," then shall the purchaser bring the merchant who sold it to him, and the witnesses before whom he bought it, and the owner shall bring witnesses who can identify his property. The judge shall examine their testimony--both of the witnesses before whom the price was paid, and of the witnesses who identify the lost article on oath. The merchant is then proved to be a thief and shall be put to death. The owner of the lost article receives his property, and he who bought it receives the money he paid from the estate of the merchant.

10. If the purchaser does not bring the merchant and the witnesses before whom he bought the article, but its owner bring witnesses who identify it, then the buyer is the thief and shall be put to death, and the owner receives the lost article.

11. If the owner do not bring witnesses to identify the lost article, he is an evil-doer, he has traduced, and shall be put to death.

12. If the witnesses be not at hand, then shall the judge set a limit, at the expiration of six months. If his witnesses have not appeared within the six months, he is an evil-doer, and shall bear the fine of the pending case. [editor's note: there is no 13th law in the code, 13 being considered and unlucky and evil number]

14. If any one steal the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.

15. If any one take a male or female slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the city gates, he shall be put to death.

16. If any one receive into his house a runaway male or female slave of the court, or of a freedman, and does not bring it out at the public proclamation of the major domus, the master of the house shall be put to death.

17. If any one find runaway male or female slaves in the open country and bring them to their masters, the master of the slaves shall pay him two shekels of silver.

18. If the slave will not give the name of the master, the finder shall bring him to the palace; a further investigation must follow, and the slave shall be returned to his master.

19. If he hold the slaves in his house, and they are caught there, he shall be put to death.

20. If the slave that he caught run away from him, then shall he swear to the owners of the slave, and he is free of all blame.

21. If any one break a hole into a house (break in to steal), he shall be put to death before that hole and be buried.

22. If any one is committing a robbery and is caught, then he shall be put to death.

23. If the robber is not caught, then shall he who was robbed claim under oath the amount of his loss; then shall the community, and . . . on whose ground and territory and in whose domain it was compensate him for the goods stolen.

24. If persons are stolen, then shall the community and . . . pay one mina of silver to their relatives.

25. If fire break out in a house, and some one who comes to put it out cast his eye upon the property of the owner of the house, and take the property of the master of the house, he shall be thrown into that self-same fire.

26. If a chieftain or a man (common soldier), who has been ordered to go upon the king's highway for war does not go, but hires a mercenary, if he withholds the compensation, then shall this officer or man be put to death, and he who represented him shall take possession of his house.

27. If a chieftain or man be caught in the misfortune of the king (captured in battle), and if his fields and garden be given to another and he take possession, if he return and reaches his place, his field and garden shall be returned to him, he shall take it over again.

28. If a chieftain or a man be caught in the misfortune of a king, if his son is able to enter into possession, then the field and garden shall be given to him, he shall take over the fee of his father.

29. If his son is still young, and can not take possession, a third of the field and garden shall be given to his mother, and she shall bring him up.

30. If a chieftain or a man leave his house, garden, and field and hires it out, and some one else takes possession of his house, garden, and field and uses it for three years: if the first owner return and claims his house, garden, and field, it shall not be given to him, but he who has taken possession of it and used it shall continue to use it.

31. If he hire it out for one year and then return, the house, garden, and field shall be given back to him, and he shall take it over again.

32. If a chieftain or a man is captured on the "Way of the King" (in war), and a merchant buy him free, and bring him back to his place; if he have the means in his house to buy his freedom, he shall buy himself free: if he have nothing in his house with which to buy himself free, he shall be bought free by the temple of his community; if there be nothing in the temple with which to buy him free, the court shall buy his freedom. His field, garden, and house shall not be given for the purchase of his freedom.

33. If a . . . or a . . . enter himself as withdrawn from the "Way of the King," and send a mercenary as substitute, but withdraw him, then the . . . or . . . shall be put to death.

34. If a . . . or a . . . harm the property of a captain, injure the captain, or take away from the captain a gift presented to him by the king, then the . . . or . . . shall be put to death.

35. If any one buy the cattle or sheep which the king has given to chieftains from him, he loses his money.

36. The field, garden, and house of a chieftain, of a man, or of one subject to quit-rent, can not be sold.

37. If any one buy the field, garden, and house of a chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent, his contract tablet of sale shall be broken (declared invalid) and he loses his money. The field, garden, and house return to their owners.

38. A chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent can not assign his tenure of field, house, and garden to his wife or daughter, nor can he assign it for a debt.

39. He may, however, assign a field, garden, or house which he has bought, and holds as property, to his wife or daughter or give it for debt.

40. He may sell field, garden, and house to a merchant (royal agents) or to any other public official, the buyer holding field, house, and garden for its usufruct.

41. If any one fence in the field, garden, and house of a chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent, furnishing the palings therefor; if the chieftain, man, or one subject to quit-rent return to field, garden, and house, the palings which were given to him become his property.

42. If any one take over a field to till it, and obtain no harvest therefrom, it must be proved that he did no work on the field, and he must deliver grain, just as his neighbor raised, to the owner of the field.

43. If he do not till the field, but let it lie fallow, he shall give grain like his neighbor's to the owner of the field, and the field which he let lie fallow he must plow and sow and return to its owner.

44. If any one take over a waste-lying field to make it arable, but is lazy, and does not make it arable, he shall plow the fallow field in the fourth year, harrow it and till it, and give it back to its owner, and for each ten gan (a measure of area) ten gur of grain shall be paid.

45. If a man rent his field for tillage for a fixed rental, and receive the rent of his field, but bad weather come and destroy the harvest, the injury falls upon the tiller of the soil.

46. If he do not receive a fixed rental for his field, but lets it on half or third shares of the harvest, the grain on the field shall be divided proportionately between the tiller and the owner.

47. If the tiller, because he did not succeed in the first year, has had the soil tilled by others, the owner may raise no objection; the field has been cultivated and he receives the harvest according to agreement.

48. If any one owe a debt for a loan, and a storm prostrates the grain, or the harvest fail, or the grain does not grow for lack of water; in that year he need not give his creditor any grain, he washes his debt-tablet in water and pays no rent for this year.

49. If any one take money from a merchant, and give the merchant a field tillable for corn or sesame and order him to plant corn or sesame in the field, and to harvest the crop; if the cultivator plant corn or sesame in the field, at the harvest the corn or sesame that is in the field shall belong to the owner of the field and he shall pay corn as rent, for the money he received from the merchant, and the livelihood of the cultivator shall he give to the merchant.

50. If he give a cultivated corn-field or a cultivated sesame-field, the corn or sesame in the field shall belong to the owner of the field, and he shall return the money to the merchant as rent.

51. If he have no money to repay, then he shall pay in corn or sesame in place of the money as rent for what he received from the merchant, according to the royal tariff.

52. If the cultivator do not plant corn or sesame in the field, the debtor's contract is not weakened.

53. If any one be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition, and does not so keep it; if then the dam break and all the fields be flooded, then shall he in whose dam the break occurred be sold for money, and the money shall replace the corn which he has caused to be ruined.

54. If he be not able to replace the corn, then he and his possessions shall be divided among the farmers whose corn he has flooded.

55. If any one open his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and the water flood the field of his neighbor, then he shall pay his neighbor corn for his loss.

56. If a man let in the water, and the water overflow the plantation of his neighbor, he shall pay ten gur of corn for every ten gan of land.

57. If a shepherd, without the permission of the owner of the field, and without the knowledge of the owner of the sheep, lets the sheep into a field to graze, then the owner of the field shall harvest his crop, and the shepherd, who had pastured his flock there without permission of the owner of the field, shall pay to the owner twenty gur of corn for every ten gan.

58. If after the flocks have left the pasture and been shut up in the common fold at the city gate, any shepherd let them into a field and they graze there, this shepherd shall take possession of the field which he has allowed to be grazed on, and at the harvest he must pay sixty gur of corn for every ten gan.

59. If any man, without the knowledge of the owner of a garden, fell a tree in a garden he shall pay half a mina in money.

60. If any one give over a field to a gardener, for him to plant it as a garden, if he work at it, and care for it for four years, in the fifth year the owner and the gardener shall divide it, the owner taking his part in charge.

61. If the gardener has not completed the planting of the field, leaving one part unused, this shall be assigned to him as his.

62. If he do not plant the field that was given over to him as a garden, if it be arable land (for corn or sesame) the gardener shall pay the owner the produce of the field for the years that he let it lie fallow, according to the product of neighboring fields, put the field in arable condition and return it to its owner.

63. If he transform waste land into arable fields and return it to its owner, the latter shall pay him for one year ten gur for ten gan.

64. If any one hand over his garden to a gardener to work, the gardener shall pay to its owner two-thirds of the produce of the garden, for so long as he has it in possession, and the other third shall he keep.

65. If the gardener do not work in the garden and the product fall off, the gardener shall pay in proportion to other neighboring gardens. [Here a portion of the text is missing, apparently comprising thirty-four paragraphs.]

100. . . . interest for the money, as much as he has received, he shall give a note therefor, and on the day, when they settle, pay to the merchant.

101. If there are no mercantile arrangements in the place whither he went, he shall leave the entire amount of money which he received with the broker to give to the merchant.

102. If a merchant entrust money to an agent (broker) for some investment, and the broker suffer a loss in the place to which he goes, he shall make good the capital to the merchant.

103. If, while on the journey, an enemy take away from him anything that he had, the broker shall swear by God and be free of obligation.

104. If a merchant give an agent corn, wool, oil, or any other goods to transport, the agent shall give a receipt for the amount, and compensate the merchant therefor. Then he shall obtain a receipt form the merchant for the money that he gives the merchant.

105. If the agent is careless, and does not take a receipt for the money which he gave the merchant, he can not consider the unreceipted money as his own.

106. If the agent accept money from the merchant, but have a quarrel with the merchant (denying the receipt), then shall the merchant swear before God and witnesses that he has given this money to the agent, and the agent shall pay him three times the sum.

107. If the merchant cheat the agent, in that as the latter has returned to him all that had been given him, but the merchant denies the receipt of what had been returned to him, then shall this agent convict the merchant before God and the judges, and if he still deny receiving what the agent had given him shall pay six times the sum to the agent.

108. If a tavern-keeper (feminine) does not accept corn according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the corn, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.

109. If conspirators meet in the house of a tavern-keeper, and these conspirators are not captured and delivered to the court, the tavern-keeper shall be put to death.

110. If a "sister of a god" open a tavern, or enter a tavern to drink, then shall this woman be burned to death.

111. If an inn-keeper furnish sixty ka of usakani-drink to . . . she shall receive fifty ka of corn at the harvest.

112. If any one be on a journey and entrust silver, gold, precious stones, or any movable property to another, and wish to recover it from him; if the latter do not bring all of the property to the appointed place, but appropriate it to his own use, then shall this man, who did not bring the property to hand it over, be convicted, and he shall pay fivefold for all that had been entrusted to him.

113. If any one have consignment of corn or money, and he take from the granary or box without the knowledge of the owner, then shall he who took corn without the knowledge of the owner out of the granary or money out of the box be legally convicted, and repay the corn he has taken. And he shall lose whatever commission was paid to him, or due him.

114. If a man have no claim on another for corn and money, and try to demand it by force, he shall pay one-third of a mina of silver in every case.

115. If any one have a claim for corn or money upon another and imprison him; if the prisoner die in prison a natural death, the case shall go no further.

116. If the prisoner die in prison from blows or maltreatment, the master of the prisoner shall convict the merchant before the judge. If he was a free-born man, the son of the merchant shall be put to death; if it was a slave, he shall pay one-third of a mina of gold, and all that the master of the prisoner gave he shall forfeit.

117. If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and sell himself, his wife, his son, and daughter for money or give them away to forced labor: they shall work for three years in the house of the man who bought them, or the proprietor, and in the fourth year they shall be set free.

118. If he give a male or female slave away for forced labor, and the merchant sublease them, or sell them for money, no objection can be raised.

119. If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and he sell the maid servant who has borne him children, for money, the money which the merchant has paid shall be repaid to him by the owner of the slave and she shall be freed.

120. If any one store corn for safe keeping in another person's house, and any harm happen to the corn in storage, or if the owner of the house open the granary and take some of the corn, or if especially he deny that the corn was stored in his house: then the owner of the corn shall claim his corn before God (on oath), and the owner of the house shall pay its owner for all of the corn that he took.

121. If any one store corn in another man's house he shall pay him storage at the rate of one gur for every five ka of corn per year.

122. If any one give another silver, gold, or anything else to keep, he shall show everything to some witness, draw up a contract, and then hand it over for safe keeping.

123. If he turn it over for safe keeping without witness or contract, and if he to whom it was given deny it, then he has no legitimate claim.

124. If any one deliver silver, gold, or anything else to another for safe keeping, before a witness, but he deny it, he shall be brought before a judge, and all that he has denied he shall pay in full.

125. If any one place his property with another for safe keeping, and there, either through thieves or robbers, his property and the property of the other man be lost, the owner of the house, through whose neglect the loss took place, shall compensate the owner for all that was given to him in charge. But the owner of the house shall try to follow up and recover his property, and take it away from the thief.

126. If any one who has not lost his goods state that they have been lost, and make false claims: if he claim his goods and amount of injury before God, even though he has not lost them, he shall be fully compensated for all his loss claimed. (I.e., the oath is all that is needed.)

127. If any one "point the finger" (slander) at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked. (by cutting the skin, or perhaps hair.)

128. If a man take a woman to wife, but have no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him.

129. If a man's wife be surprised (in flagrante delicto) with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the water, but the husband may pardon his wife and the king his slaves.

130. If a man violate the wife (betrothed or child-wife) of another man, who has never known a man, and still lives in her father's house, and sleep with her and be surprised, this man shall be put to death, but the wife is blameless.

131. If a man bring a charge against one's wife, but she is not surprised with another man, she must take an oath and then may return to her house.

132. If the "finger is pointed" at a man's wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband.

133. If a man is taken prisoner in war, and there is a sustenance in his house, but his wife leave house and court, and go to another house: because this wife did not keep her court, and went to another house, she shall be judicially condemned and thrown into the water.

134. If any one be captured in war and there is not sustenance in his house, if then his wife go to another house this woman shall be held blameless.

135. If a man be taken prisoner in war and there be no sustenance in his house and his wife go to another house and bear children; and if later her husband return and come to his home: then this wife shall return to her husband, but the children follow their father.

136. If any one leave his house, run away, and then his wife go to another house, if then he return, and wishes to take his wife back: because he fled from his home and ran away, the wife of this runaway shall not return to her husband.

137. If a man wish to separate from a woman who has borne him children, or from his wife who has borne him children: then he shall give that wife her dowry, and a part of the usufruct of field, garden, and property, so that she can rear her children. When she has brought up her children, a portion of all that is given to the children, equal as that of one son, shall be given to her. She may then marry the man of her heart.

138. If a man wishes to separate from his wife who has borne him no children, he shall give her the amount of her purchase money and the dowry which she brought from her father's house, and let her go.

139. If there was no purchase price he shall give her one mina of gold as a gift of release.

140. If he be a freed man he shall give her one-third of a mina of gold.

141. If a man's wife, who lives in his house, wishes to leave it, plunges into debt, tries to ruin her house, neglects her husband, and is judicially convicted: if her husband offer her release, she may go on her way, and he gives her nothing as a gift of release. If her husband does not wish to release her, and if he take another wife, she shall remain as servant in her husband's house.

142. If a woman quarrel with her husband, and say: "You are not congenial to me," the reasons for her prejudice must be presented. If she is guiltless, and there is no fault on her part, but he leaves and neglects her, then no guilt attaches to this woman, she shall take her dowry and go back to her father's house.

143. If she is not innocent, but leaves her husband, and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this woman shall be cast into the water.

144. If a man take a wife and this woman give her husband a maid-servant, and she bear him children, but this man wishes to take another wife, this shall not be permitted to him; he shall not take a second wife.

145. If a man take a wife, and she bear him no children, and he intend to take another wife: if he take this second wife, and bring her into the house, this second wife shall not be allowed equality with his wife.

146. If a man take a wife and she give this man a maid-servant as wife and she bear him children, and then this maid assume equality with the wife: because she has borne him children her master shall not sell her for money, but he may keep her as a slave, reckoning her among the maid-servants.

147. If she have not borne him children, then her mistress may sell her for money.

148. If a man take a wife, and she be seized by disease, if he then desire to take a second wife he shall not put away his wife, who has been attacked by disease, but he shall keep her in the house which he has built and support her so long as she lives.

149. If this woman does not wish to remain in her husband's house, then he shall compensate her for the dowry that she brought with her from her father's house, and she may go.

150. If a man give his wife a field, garden, and house and a deed therefor, if then after the death of her husband the sons raise no claim, then the mother may bequeath all to one of her sons whom she prefers, and need leave nothing to his brothers.

151. If a woman who lived in a man's house made an agreement with her husband, that no creditor can arrest her, and has given a document therefor: if that man, before he married that woman, had a debt, the creditor can not hold the woman for it. But if the woman, before she entered the man's house, had contracted a debt, her creditor can not arrest her husband therefor.

152. If after the woman had entered the man's house, both contracted a debt, both must pay the merchant.

153. If the wife of one man on account of another man has their mates (her husband and the other man's wife) murdered, both of them shall be impaled.

154. If a man be guilty of incest with his daughter, he shall be driven from the place (exiled).

155. If a man betroth a girl to his son, and his son have intercourse with her, but he (the father) afterward defile her, and be surprised, then he shall be bound and cast into the water (drowned).

156. If a man betroth a girl to his son, but his son has not known her, and if then he defile her, he shall pay her half a gold mina, and compensate her for all that she brought out of her father's house. She may marry the man of her heart.

157. If any one be guilty of incest with his mother after his father, both shall be burned.

158. If any one be surprised after his father with his chief wife, who has borne children, he shall be driven out of his father's house.

159. If any one, who has brought chattels into his father-in-law's house, and has paid the purchase-money, looks for another wife, and says to his father-in-law: "I do not want your daughter," the girl's father may keep all that he had brought.

160. If a man bring chattels into the house of his father-in-law, and pay the "purchase price" (for his wife): if then the father of the girl say: "I will not give you my daughter," he shall give him back all that he brought with him.

161. If a man bring chattels into his father-in-law's house and pay the "purchase price," if then his friend slander him, and his father-in-law say to the young husband: "You shall not marry my daughter," the he shall give back to him undiminished all that he had brought with him; but his wife shall not be married to the friend.

162. If a man marry a woman, and she bear sons to him; if then this woman die, then shall her father have no claim on her dowry; this belongs to her sons.

163. If a man marry a woman and she bear him no sons; if then this woman die, if the "purchase price" which he had paid into the house of his father-in-law is repaid to him, her husband shall have no claim upon the dowry of this woman; it belongs to her father's house.

164. If his father-in-law do not pay back to him the amount of the "purchase price" he may subtract the amount of the "Purchase price" from the dowry, and then pay the remainder to her father's house.

165. If a man give to one of his sons whom he prefers a field, garden, and house, and a deed therefor: if later the father die, and the brothers divide the estate, then they shall first give him the present of his father, and he shall accept it; and the rest of the paternal property shall they divide.

166. If a man take wives for his son, but take no wife for his minor son, and if then he die: if the sons divide the estate, they shall set aside besides his portion the money for the "purchase price" for the minor brother who had taken no wife as yet, and secure a wife for him.

167. If a man marry a wife and she bear him children: if this wife die and he then take another wife and she bear him children: if then the father die, the sons must not partition the estate according to the mothers, they shall divide the dowries of their mothers only in this way; the paternal estate they shall divide equally with one another.

168. If a man wish to put his son out of his house, and declare before the judge: "I want to put my son out," then the judge shall examine into his reasons. If the son be guilty of no great fault, for which he can be rightfully put out, the father shall not put him out.

169. If he be guilty of a grave fault, which should rightfully deprive him of the filial relationship, the father shall forgive him the first time; but if he be guilty of a grave fault a second time the father may deprive his son of all filial relation.

170. If his wife bear sons to a man, or his maid-servant have borne sons, and the father while still living says to the children whom his maid-servant has borne: "My sons," and he count them with the sons of his wife; if then the father die, then the sons of the wife and of the maid-servant shall divide the paternal property in common. The son of the wife is to partition and choose.

171. If, however, the father while still living did not say to the sons of the maid-servant: "My sons," and then the father dies, then the sons of the maid-servant shall not share with the sons of the wife, but the freedom of the maid and her sons shall be granted. The sons of the wife shall have no right to enslave the sons of the maid; the wife shall take her dowry (from her father), and the gift that her husband gave her and deeded to her (separate from dowry, or the purchase-money paid her father), and live in the home of her husband: so long as she lives she shall use it, it shall not be sold for money. Whatever she leaves shall belong to her children.

172. If her husband made her no gift, she shall be compensated for her gift, and she shall receive a portion from the estate of her husband, equal to that of one child. If her sons oppress her, to force her out of the house, the judge shall examine into the matter, and if the sons are at fault the woman shall not leave her husband's house. If the woman desire to leave the house, she must leave to her sons the gift which her husband gave her, but she may take the dowry of her father's house. Then she may marry the man of her heart.

173. If this woman bear sons to her second husband, in the place to which she went, and then die, her earlier and later sons shall divide the dowry between them.

174. If she bear no sons to her second husband, the sons of her first husband shall have the dowry.

175. If a State slave or the slave of a freed man marry the daughter of a free man, and children are born, the master of the slave shall have no right to enslave the children of the free.

176. If, however, a State slave or the slave of a freed man marry a man's daughter, and after he marries her she bring a dowry from a father's house, if then they both enjoy it and found a household, and accumulate means, if then the slave die, then she who was free born may take her dowry, and all that her husband and she had earned; she shall divide them into two parts, one-half the master for the slave shall take, and the other half shall the free-born woman take for her children. If the free-born woman had no gift she shall take all that her husband and she had earned and divide it into two parts; and the master of the slave shall take one-half and she shall take the other for her children.

177. If a widow, whose children are not grown, wishes to enter another house (remarry), she shall not enter it without the knowledge of the judge. If she enter another house the judge shall examine the state of the house of her first husband. Then the house of her first husband shall be entrusted to the second husband and the woman herself as managers. And a record must be made thereof. She shall keep the house in order, bring up the children, and not sell the house-hold utensils. He who buys the utensils of the children of a widow shall lose his money, and the goods shall return to their owners.

178. If a "devoted woman" or a prostitute to whom her father has given a dowry and a deed therefor, but if in this deed it is not stated that she may bequeath it as she pleases, and has not explicitly stated that she has the right of disposal; if then her father die, then her brothers shall hold her field and garden, and give her corn, oil, and milk according to her portion, and satisfy her. If her brothers do not give her corn, oil, and milk according to her share, then her field and garden shall support her. She shall have the usufruct of field and garden and all that her father gave her so long as she lives, but she can not sell or assign it to others. Her position of inheritance belongs to her brothers.

179. If a "sister of a god," or a prostitute, receive a gift from her father, and a deed in which it has been explicitly stated that she may dispose of it as she pleases, and give her complete disposition thereof: if then her father die, then she may leave her property to whomsoever she pleases. Her brothers can raise no claim thereto.

180. If a father give a present to his daughter--either marriageable or a prostitute (unmarriageable)--and then die, then she is to receive a portion as a child from the paternal estate, and enjoy its usufruct so long as she lives. Her estate belongs to her brothers.

181. If a father devote a temple-maid or temple-virgin to God and give her no present: if then the father die, she shall receive the third of a child's portion from the inheritance of her father's house, and enjoy its usufruct so long as she lives. Her estate belongs to her brothers.

182. If a father devote his daughter as a wife of Mardi of Babylon (as in 181), and give her no present, nor a deed; if then her father die, then shall she receive one-third of her portion as a child of her father's house from her brothers, but Marduk may leave her estate to whomsoever she wishes.

183. If a man give his daughter by a concubine a dowry, and a husband, and a deed; if then her father die, she shall receive no portion from the paternal estate.

184. If a man do not give a dowry to his daughter by a concubine, and no husband; if then her father die, her brother shall give her a dowry according to her father's wealth and secure a husband for her.

185. If a man adopt a child and to his name as son, and rear him, this grown son can not be demanded back again.

186. If a man adopt a son, and if after he has taken him he injure his foster father and mother, then this adopted son shall return to his father's house.

187. The son of a paramour in the palace service, or of a prostitute, can not be demanded back.

188. If an artizan has undertaken to rear a child and teaches him his craft, he can not be demanded back.

189. If he has not taught him his craft, this adopted son may return to his father's house.

190. If a man does not maintain a child that he has adopted as a son and reared with his other children, then his adopted son may return to his father's house.

191. If a man, who had adopted a son and reared him, founded a household, and had children, wish to put this adopted son out, then this son shall not simply go his way. His adoptive father shall give him of his wealth one-third of a child's portion, and then he may go. He shall not give him of the field, garden, and house.

192. If a son of a paramour or a prostitute say to his adoptive father or mother: "You are not my father, or my mother," his tongue shall be cut off.

193. If the son of a paramour or a prostitute desire his father's house, and desert his adoptive father and adoptive mother, and goes to his father's house, then shall his eye be put out.

194. If a man give his child to a nurse and the child die in her hands, but the nurse unbeknown to the father and mother nurse another child, then they shall convict her of having nursed another child without the knowledge of the father and mother and her breasts shall be cut off.

195. If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off.

196. If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out. [ An eye for an eye ]

197. If he break another man's bone, his bone shall be broken.

198. If he put out the eye of a freed man, or break the bone of a freed man, he shall pay one gold mina.

199. If he put out the eye of a man's slave, or break the bone of a man's slave, he shall pay one-half of its value.

200. If a man knock out the teeth of his equal, his teeth shall be knocked out. [ A tooth for a tooth ]

201. If he knock out the teeth of a freed man, he shall pay one-third of a gold mina.

202. If any one strike the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip in public.

203. If a free-born man strike the body of another free-born man or equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina.

204. If a freed man strike the body of another freed man, he shall pay ten shekels in money.

205. If the slave of a freed man strike the body of a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.

206. If during a quarrel one man strike another and wound him, then he shall swear, "I did not injure him wittingly," and pay the physicians.

207. If the man die of his wound, he shall swear similarly, and if he (the deceased) was a free-born man, he shall pay half a mina in money.

208. If he was a freed man, he shall pay one-third of a mina.

209. If a man strike a free-born woman so that she lose her unborn child, he shall pay ten shekels for her loss.

210. If the woman die, his daughter shall be put to death.

211. If a woman of the free class lose her child by a blow, he shall pay five shekels in money.

212. If this woman die, he shall pay half a mina.

213. If he strike the maid-servant of a man, and she lose her child, he shall pay two shekels in money.

214. If this maid-servant die, he shall pay one-third of a mina.

215. If a physician make a large incision with an operating knife and cure it, or if he open a tumor (over the eye) with an operating knife, and saves the eye, he shall receive ten shekels in money.

216. If the patient be a freed man, he receives five shekels.

217. If he be the slave of some one, his owner shall give the physician two shekels.

218. If a physician make a large incision with the operating knife, and kill him, or open a tumor with the operating knife, and cut out the eye, his hands shall be cut off.

219. If a physician make a large incision in the slave of a freed man, and kill him, he shall replace the slave with another slave.

220. If he had opened a tumor with the operating knife, and put out his eye, he shall pay half his value.

221. If a physician heal the broken bone or diseased soft part of a man, the patient shall pay the physician five shekels in money.

222. If he were a freed man he shall pay three shekels.

223. If he were a slave his owner shall pay the physician two shekels.

224. If a veterinary surgeon perform a serious operation on an ass or an ox, and cure it, the owner shall pay the surgeon one-sixth of a shekel as a fee.

225. If he perform a serious operation on an ass or ox, and kill it, he shall pay the owner one-fourth of its value.

226. If a barber, without the knowledge of his master, cut the sign of a slave on a slave not to be sold, the hands of this barber shall be cut off.

227. If any one deceive a barber, and have him mark a slave not for sale with the sign of a slave, he shall be put to death, and buried in his house. The barber shall swear: "I did not mark him wittingly," and shall be guiltless.

228. If a builder build a house for some one and complete it, he shall give him a fee of two shekels in money for each sar of surface.

229 If a builder build a house for some one, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built fall in and kill its owner, then that builder shall be put to death.

230. If it kill the son of the owner the son of that builder shall be put to death.

231. If it kill a slave of the owner, then he shall pay slave for slave to the owner of the house.

232. If it ruin goods, he shall make compensation for all that has been ruined, and inasmuch as he did not construct properly this house which he built and it fell, he shall re-erect the house from his own means.

233. If a builder build a house for some one, even though he has not yet completed it; if then the walls seem toppling, the builder must make the walls solid from his own means.

234. If a shipbuilder build a boat of sixty gur for a man, he shall pay him a fee of two shekels in money.

235. If a shipbuilder build a boat for some one, and do not make it tight, if during that same year that boat is sent away and suffers injury, the shipbuilder shall take the boat apart and put it together tight at his own expense. The tight boat he shall give to the boat owner.

236. If a man rent his boat to a sailor, and the sailor is careless, and the boat is wrecked or goes aground, the sailor shall give the owner of the boat another boat as compensation.

237. If a man hire a sailor and his boat, and provide it with corn, clothing, oil and dates, and other things of the kind needed for fitting it: if the sailor is careless, the boat is wrecked, and its contents ruined, then the sailor shall compensate for the boat which was wrecked and all in it that he ruined.

238. If a sailor wreck any one's ship, but saves it, he shall pay the half of its value in money.

239. If a man hire a sailor, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year.

240. If a merchantman run against a ferryboat, and wreck it, the master of the ship that was wrecked shall seek justice before God; the master of the merchantman, which wrecked the ferryboat, must compensate the owner for the boat and all that he ruined.

241. If any one impresses an ox for forced labor, he shall pay one-third of a mina in money.

242. If any one hire oxen for a year, he shall pay four gur of corn for plow-oxen.

243. As rent of herd cattle he shall pay three gur of corn to the owner.

244. If any one hire an ox or an ass, and a lion kill it in the field, the loss is upon its owner.

245. If any one hire oxen, and kill them by bad treatment or blows, he shall compensate the owner, oxen for oxen.

246. If a man hire an ox, and he break its leg or cut the ligament of its neck, he shall compensate the owner with ox for ox.

247. If any one hire an ox, and put out its eye, he shall pay the owner one-half of its value.

248. If any one hire an ox, and break off a horn, or cut off its tail, or hurt its muzzle, he shall pay one-fourth of its value in money.

249. If any one hire an ox, and God strike it that it die, the man who hired it shall swear by God and be considered guiltless.

250. If while an ox is passing on the street (market) some one push it, and kill it, the owner can set up no claim in the suit (against the hirer).

251. If an ox be a goring ox, and it shown that he is a gorer, and he do not bind his horns, or fasten the ox up, and the ox gore a free-born man and kill him, the owner shall pay one-half a mina in money.

252. If he kill a man's slave, he shall pay one-third of a mina.

253. If any one agree with another to tend his field, give him seed, entrust a yoke of oxen to him, and bind him to cultivate the field, if he steal the corn or plants, and take them for himself, his hands shall be hewn off.

254. If he take the seed-corn for himself, and do not use the yoke of oxen, he shall compensate him for the amount of the seed-corn.

255. If he sublet the man's yoke of oxen or steal the seed-corn, planting nothing in the field, he shall be convicted, and for each one hundred gan he shall pay sixty gur of corn.

256. If his community will not pay for him, then he shall be placed in that field with the cattle (at work).

257. If any one hire a field laborer, he shall pay him eight gur of corn per year.

258. If any one hire an ox-driver, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year.

259. If any one steal a water-wheel from the field, he shall pay five shekels in money to its owner.

260. If any one steal a shadduf (used to draw water from the river or canal) or a plow, he shall pay three shekels in money.

261. If any one hire a herdsman for cattle or sheep, he shall pay him eight gur of corn per annum.

262. If any one, a cow or a sheep . . .

263. If he kill the cattle or sheep that were given to him, he shall compensate the owner with cattle for cattle and sheep for sheep.

264. If a herdsman, to whom cattle or sheep have been entrusted for watching over, and who has received his wages as agreed upon, and is satisfied, diminish the number of the cattle or sheep, or make the increase by birth less, he shall make good the increase or profit which was lost in the terms of settlement.

265. If a herdsman, to whose care cattle or sheep have been entrusted, be guilty of fraud and make false returns of the natural increase, or sell them for money, then shall he be convicted and pay the owner ten times the loss.

266. If the animal be killed in the stable by God ( an accident), or if a lion kill it, the herdsman shall declare his innocence before God, and the owner bears the accident in the stable.

267. If the herdsman overlook something, and an accident happen in the stable, then the herdsman is at fault for the accident which he has caused in the stable, and he must compensate the owner for the cattle or sheep.

268. If any one hire an ox for threshing, the amount of the hire is twenty ka of corn.

269. If he hire an ass for threshing, the hire is twenty ka of corn.

270. If he hire a young animal for threshing, the hire is ten ka of corn.

271. If any one hire oxen, cart and driver, he shall pay one hundred and eighty ka of corn per day.

272. If any one hire a cart alone, he shall pay forty ka of corn per day.

273. If any one hire a day laborer, he shall pay him from the New Year until the fifth month (April to August, when days are long and the work hard) six gerahs in money per day; from the sixth month to the end of the year he shall give him five gerahs per day.

274. If any one hire a skilled artizan, he shall pay as wages of the . . . five gerahs, as wages of the potter five gerahs, of a tailor five gerahs, of . . . gerahs, . . . of a ropemaker four gerahs, of . . .. gerahs, of a mason . . . gerahs per day.

275. If any one hire a ferryboat, he shall pay three gerahs in money per day.

276. If he hire a freight-boat, he shall pay two and one-half gerahs per day.

277. If any one hire a ship of sixty gur, he shall pay one-sixth of a shekel in money as its hire per day.

278. If any one buy a male or female slave, and before a month has elapsed the benu-disease be developed, he shall return the slave to the seller, and receive the money which he had paid.

279. If any one by a male or female slave, and a third party claim it, the seller is liable for the claim.

280. If while in a foreign country a man buy a male or female slave belonging to another of his own country; if when he return home the owner of the male or female slave recognize it: if the male or female slave be a native of the country, he shall give them back without any money.

281. If they are from another country, the buyer shall declare the amount of money paid therefor to the merchant, and keep the male or female slave.

282. If a slave say to his master: "You are not my master," if they convict him his master shall cut off his ear.

Group 1 Health Care in Babylonia

Among Hammurabi's laws were several that pertained to the liability of physicians who performed surgery. These laws state that a doctor was to be held responsible for surgical errors and failures. Since the laws only mention liability in connection with "the use of a knife," it can be assumed that doctors in Hammurabi's kingdom were not liable for any non-surgical mistakes or failed attempts to cure an ailment. It is also interesting to note that according to these laws, both the successful surgeon's compensation and the failed surgeon's liability were determined by the status of his patient. Therefore, if a surgeon operated and saved the life of a person of high status, the patient was to pay ten shekels of silver. If the surgeon saved the life of a slave, he only received two shekels. However, if a person of high status died as a result of surgery, the surgeon risked having his hand cut off. While if a slave died from receiving surgical treatment, the surgeon only had to pay to replace the slave.

After reading the excerpt on medicine in Babylonia and precepts 215, 218, 221, 224 of Hammurabi’s Code answer the following questions:

1. What do they indicate about health care and the state of medical science in Babylonia? What can you learn about doctors’ skills? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. What can you learn about surgery? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What can you learn about medical treatment for animals? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. What can you learn about payment to doctors? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. What can you learn about malpractice laws? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Group 2 The Criminal Justice System in Babylonia

Babylonia had a well-organized justice system. Though the king may have adjudicated capital cases and others, it appears the Babylonian courts were extensive and independent.

After reading precepts 3-5 and 9 of Hammurabi’s Code answer the following questions:

1. What do these precepts indicate about the legal system?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Who served as judges?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. Were judges held to a high standard? Explain your answer. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. Were witnesses called?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

5. What kinds of punishments were used? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Group 3 Family Life in Babylonia

After reading precepts 117, 135-137, and 190 of Hammurabi’s Code answer the following questions:

NOTE: usufruct=rights to the product of another's property.

1. What do these precepts imply about marriage?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. What do these precepts imply about the status of women?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What do these precepts imply about the status of children? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Group 4 Jobs in Mesopotamia

Babylonia flourished during Hammurabi’s reign. A network of roads and a postal system aided communication within the empire. Thousands of surviving cuneiform clay tablets document an organized society with a flourishing commerce, in which transactions were routinely recorded.

After reading precepts 102, 104, 227, 240, and 274 of Hammurabi’s Code answer the following questions:

NOTE: a gerah is a denomination of money.

1. What jobs does the code indicate were performed in ancient Babylon? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. What indication is there that Hammurabi took an interest in seeing that fair prices were set for labor? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What unexpected job did the tradesman in #227 do? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Group 5 The Status of Women

Begin by reading the essay The Role of Women from The Oriental Institute: The Uni. of Chicago

“From the earliest times in ancient Mesopotamia, women who came from a sector of society that could afford to have statues made placed their likenesses in temple shrines. This was done so that their images would stand in constant prayer while they continued to go about their daily chores. This female worshipper statue wears a standard fashion of the time, a simple draped dress with her right shoulder bare and hair done up in elaborate braided coils.

The Mesopotamian woman's role was strictly defined. She was the daughter of her father or the wife of her husband. Women rarely acted as individuals outside the context of their families. Those who did so were usually royalty or the wives of men who had power and status.

Most girls were trained from childhood for the traditional roles of wife, mother, and housekeeper. They learned how to grind grain, how to cook and make beverages, especially beer, and how to spin and weave cloth for clothing. If a woman worked outside of her home, her job usually grew out of her household tasks. She might sell the beer she brewed, or even become a tavern keeper. Childbearing and childcare roles led women to become midwives and also to create medicines that prevented pregnancy or produced abortions.

Soon after puberty, a young girl was considered ready for marriage. Marriages were arranged by the families of the future bride and groom. Ceremonies have been described where the future husband poured perfume on the head of the bride. He also gave her family money and other presents. Once a woman was engaged, she was considered part of her fiancé's family. If her husband-to-be died before the wedding, she was then married to one of his brothers or another male relative.”

After reading 108, 134, 138, 148 and 150 of Hammurabi’s Code, answer the following questions

1. Which precepts support ideas expressed in the excerpt from the The Role of Women? In what way?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. What new information about women was revealed in the precepts?

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What precept indicates whether men or women had more power? Explain your answer.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. What precepts indicate that women could own property or a business? Explain your answer.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mesopotamian Religion

Mesopotamian religion was polytheistic in nature, which means people believed in many gods. There were in fact hundreds of gods, which were responsible for everything in the world. They were also anthropomorphic in nature, which meant that they had human traits and forms. Each city was protected by a patron God or Goddess, and their family, and in the centre of each city would be a large temple, or ziggurat, for that God. Priests would maintain that temple through the ritual care and worship of the idols within. The clergy were the mediums between people and the gods and were responsible for continuing cultural and religious traditions. The clergy were highly institutionalized. There were high priests, sacrifice priests, musicians, singers, soothsayers, diviners, dream interpreters, astrologers, female devotees, and temple slaves. Writing, initially created for a more efficient trading system, was mostly used for religious hymns and prayers.


People gave the gods offerings of goods or food to acquire the god’s favour, who should in return do something for the devotee. The upkeep of the temple required a lot of money and personnel, and so the temples relied on gifts by the court and wealthy patrons. Everyday animals, vegetables, water, wine, and beer were offered to the idols. The temples also had large estates and factories with serfs and slaves. Most of the food offered at shrines and temples were simply redistributed to the people. For the average person who couldn’t come to the main temple, there were many shrines for the patron god throughout the city. The ziggurats were cultural, political, and a religious headquarters.
There were so many gods that there were certain scribes who had to keep lists of the gods to keep track of them all. There were also demon-monsters who were created by the gods to punish people, these tended to have animal or bird heads with a human body. It was not only possible, but frequent that the unintentional actions of one person could result in the perceived punishment for that person, their family, or the entire city.
Some of the most important Gods and their traits were:


Anu

Ishtar

Dumuzi

Ea

Iama

Marduk

Ashur

Ellil























Death was to be feared. The belief was not in an idyllic afterlife, but in a dark place where your spirit eats only dust. The gods did give special protection to children, widows, the poor, and refugees, however an unhappy Mesopotamian would never complain, but would instead plead and wail, lamenting for their punishment, and confessing and apologizing for their inevitable sins, which would of course be punished by the gods.


There were both monthly and annual festivals. The largest festival was the Akitu Festival, for the sowing of barley, and was dedicated to Marduk’s victory over Tiamat at the creation of the world. It lasted 12 days and was a sort of religious play involving the gods and the king. For days 1-3 the priests would recite very sad prayers, after announcing the new year. On the 4th day priests would recite the creation story of the Enuma Elish. On the 5th day the king would enter the great Ziggurat with the priest, who would strip him of all regalia and slap him repeatedly while he prayed to the gods for forgiveness. The priests hit him hard enough that they hoped the King would cry. Then, they gave back his regalia, and the idol of the God Marduk is ritually taken prisoner, like in the Enuma Elish. The community would then stage a massive faked fight.
On the 6th day the God-statue reinforcements arrive by boat, and the next day Marduk is freed by the gods. On the 8th day the king begs all of the gods to stay and support Marduk, and the next day there is a victory procession from the temple to the sacred trees. On the 10th day there is basically a god-statue party, where the king personifies Marduk and marries a priestess who is personifying Ishtar. After their wedding ceremony, they sleep together in the temple to consummate the marriage. The last two days are leaving ceremonies for the gods.
Everyday Life in Mesopotamia

Use the following excerpt from chapter 3, Mesopotamia: Society and Culture copied from the textbook “World Civilizations” to answer the questions in Assignment #4


Assignment #4
SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

        1. How did the upper classes get their prestigious positions?


THE FAMILY

        1. Explain the ritual of marriage

        2. What was the status of women?

          1. Compare to the Epic of Gilgamesh. How were women portrayed there?

        3. Describe the Sumerian school day. How does this compare to modern Canadian schools?


URBAN AND RURAL LIVING

        1. Compare and contrast the homes of the upper and lower classes in a chart.

        2. How were Assyrian homes quite the upgrade?

        3. Who managed the household?

        4. Describe a typical Mesopotamian meal. What did the upper class have that the poor did not?

        5. Why do we know so much more about the living conditions of the wealthy than the poor?


ECONOMY: AGRICULTURE

10. Describe how Mesopotamians were able to grow such high yields of grain despite the severe lack of rainfall.



  1. How did the invention of canals and dams help irrigation?

  2. How was religion tied to agriculture?


INDUSTRY and TRADE

  1. Was the specialization of labour a positive development?

  2. Describe the method of transportation for trade.

  3. How did the Assyrians simplify the recording of trade goods?


SCIENCE

  1. Describe how the following inventions affected Mesopotamia

    1. The wheel

    2. Metallurgy

    3. Math

    4. Time

Walker, R. (1998). Selections from Chapter 3 “Mesopotamia: Society and Culture”. in: World Civilizations. Toronto: Oxford University Press


Social Organization

In Mesopotamia the kings were at the pinnacle of the social pyramid. They derived their power from their position as head of the government, either as divinely ordained humans, as the Sumerians believed, or as actual gods on earth, as the Assyrians believed. Among all people of Mesopotamia, the word of the king was law.


Priests and scribes formed the upper class or nobility of Mesopotamian society. The priests were influential because of the importance of religion. Sumerians, for example, accepted that the priests were the only direct link with the gods of their cities, controlled the distribution of land to farmers, and ran the schools where scribes were educated.
Scribes, the educated class, were able to read and write. The Mesopotamians were one of the first civilizations to develop a system of writing. This development, which made it possible to record knowledge, brought great prestige to those who were educated. The scribes, primarily the sons of the wealthy, worked either for the temple, the palace, the government, or the army. Others worked for merchants or set up their own business as public writers.
The merchants and artisans were the traders and crafts people. They helped to develop Mesopotamian civilization by exchanging products and ideas throughout the territory and beyond. They traded up and down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and their caravans ventured even farther afield to Egypt, Cyprus, and Lebanon. The artisans of Mesopotamia produced varied products such as gold rings, statuettes inlaid with lapis lazuli, and intricate shell containers used for holding coloured cosmetics. The evolution of a distinct merchants and artisans class, which allowed for specialization in the economy, was possible in Mesopotamia because of the stable food supply. Many historians point to specialization in areas other than farming as evidence of a true civilization.
The common people, who made up the lower class, earned their living from the land as farmers. Close family ties were important. Although the husband was the head of the family, women in Mesopotamia enjoyed more rights than in most other ancient civilizations. Slaves who performed household labour and various chores, were at the bottom of the social pyramid and had no rights. They were identified by a single name only; when they lost their freedom, their family name was taken away. Masters owned slaves outright, and any slave caught trying to escape was beaten, branded, and put in chains. If a slave was injured, the master received the compensation, not the slave. In Mesopotamia, there were two types of slaves. The first group included prisoners of war; they were given as slaves to the temples or sold by auction to wealthy citizens. The second group included debtors who sold themselves, or members of their family, into slavery for a number of years to pay off the debt. In general, most masters treated their slaves well, but the slaves were expected to work long and hard.
Everyday Life
The Family

Throughout Mesopotamia, the family was considered important and the birth of a child was a welcome event. The father, as head of the family, had unlimited authority over his children. In fact, legal documents of the period describe the father as “master” or “owner” of his children. Legally, he could deposit any of his children with a creditor as security for repayment of a debt. Parental respect was the focus of a child’s upbringing. Women in Mesopotamia were highly respected, could own land and property, and could also set up their own businesses. However, they could not rule or vote, and were not considered equal to men. In upper-class families, women stayed in a separate part of the house.


Traditionally, parents arranged marriages for their son and daughters when their children were still in their teens. During the engagement ceremony, the future husband poured perfumed on the head of his future bride and brought her presents. After that, she was considered a full member of her future husband’s family. On the wedding day, the bride was delivered to her husband where he veiled her in the presence of witnesses and solemnly declared her to be his wife. The newlyweds usually went to live in the household of the husband until he was old enough to set up a household of his own or, if the family was wealthy, until his father died and he was granted the estate. The bride brought with her a shirqu or dowry as well as a trousseau (clothing, linens etc) both of which became the future property of her children. If the bride’s father was rich enough, he gave her a gift of gold, silver, furniture, or slaves at the time of her engagement, and she was allowed to use this gift in any way she wished, included to set up her own business. This property remained hers even if her husband divorced her. While monogamy was the rule among the people of Mesopotamia, some men took in secondary wives. The title “wife” however, was reserved for the legal wife alone. The secondary wives, sometimes referred to as concubines, were often members of the slave class and were tolerated within the household and society.
Education
At age 8 or 9, boys of the wealthiest families began to attend school, Children from lower-class families were taught life skills at home. Boys learned a specific trade such as boat-building or brickmaking, and girls were trained as wives and mothers.
The school, constructed of brick with small windows near the roof, was called the edubba or “tablet house” because the children wrote school exercises on clay tablets. Sitting on rows of benches made of mudbricks, pupils learned writing, arithmetic, grammar, history, and geography. The students were called “sons” the teacher (who was a priest and scribe) was called “father”, and his monitors were called “big brothers”. The school day ran from sunrise to sunset, and discipline was very strict. Students who did not do their work perfectly were punished. If they made mistakes, they had to smooth the work over and repeat the exercise. If the clay had dried before their could make corrections, the errors remained forever. Archaeologists have found many such tablets with the teacher’s corrections marked on them.
Urban and Rural Living
The city-states in Sumer were surrounded by thick, high walls of mud brick. Inside the walls were a few broad streets, pubic squares, and bustling marketplaces. The temple, the most sacred building, was always located in the centre and served as the focus of most activities including craft industries and religious ceremonies. The homes of lower-class Sumerians would probably have seemed quite simple. They were constructed of sun-dried earthen-brown bricks. A typical home featured a low door and a few windows covered with wooden grilles high up on the walls. An outside staircase led to a flat roof where people often slept on hot nights. Inside was a single room, which was cool but poorly lighted. Decorations were limited to matting on the floor and woven blankets on the walls.
Wealthy urban Sumerians lived in more elaborate homes. We know more about their dwellings because they could afford to build with kiln-dried rather than sun-dried bricks. These more permanent materials have allowed archaeologists to determine more accurately what the homes were like. A vestibule (passage) connected the home to the street. Off the vestibule was a large reception room for guests and a link to an open court, around which the house was built. The open court contained a well, an oven, and a grinding stone for making flour. Rooms were for dining, sleeping, and leisure, were located around the court. In Assyria, the urban homes of the wealthy were similar to Sumer. However, they may have been better decorated, with wall paintings, hangings, and fine rugs. Each room had a niche for lamps and for storing personal belongings. For the very well-to-do, lavatories were constructed with asphalt floors and drains, a testimonial to the excellent technology of the Assyrians.
Compared to houses in the cities, the rural home of tenant farmers throughout Mesopotamia were very simple. Built close to the irrigated fields, each one was linked to the nearest neighbor by a well-beaten footpath. Because stone was very scarce for construction, the earliest rural dwellings were simple reed huts covered in mud. Later, sun-dried mud bricks were used to build somewhat more permanent dwellings. While these homes, with their flat roofs, were small and cheap to construct, residents had to live with the constant threat that they might collapse at any time.
Management of the household was the woman’s responsibility. Wealthy women had household slaves to help them with their daily routine. If there was no well in the courtyard, water had to be transported from the public well. In addition, grain had to be fetched from the granary, children had to be cared for, and food had to be prepared. All the peoples of Mesopotamia shared a similar daily diet. Supper was the main meal of the day. In poorer homes, family members gathered on floor mats and ate with their fingers from an array of food set out in baskets and on pottery dishes. The wealthy usually dined at tables, eating from tableware that often included fine copper cups. A typical menu included staples such as baked fish, unleavened bread, goat’s milk, dates, honey, grapes, and other fruit. The wealthy could afford to add lamb, chicken, and pork to their diet. The common drinks were beer and date wine. Banquets and feasts were popular forms of entertainment among all classes of Mesopotamians. The wealthy served lavish spreads of duck, deer, and roasted wild pork on huge copper platters, along with side dishes of fresh fruit and vegetables, and loaves of bread. Even poor families enjoyed opportunities to host a feast. For the main dish they usually offered dried or fresh fruit dressed up for the occasion with a mixture of onions, cucumber, applies, spices, cheese, and eggs.
The Economy
Agriculture

Little rain falls in Mesopotamia, enough however to make the corn begin to sprout, after which the plant is nourished and the ears formed by means of irrigation from the river. For the river does not, as in Egypt, overflow the corn-lands of its own accord, but is spread over them by the hand, or by the help of engines. The whole of Babylonia is, like Egypt, intersected with canals. Of all the countries that we know there is none which is so fruitful in grain. It makes no pretention indeed of growing the fig, the olive vine, or any other tree of the kind; but in grain it is so fruitful as to yield commonly two hundred fold, and when the production is the greatest, even three hundred fold. (The Persian Wars, Herodotus 5th century BCE)


In the above except, the Greek historian Herodotus shows his amazement at the grain yields that farmers in Babylonia were able to produce, in spite of the environmental obstacles. The farmers had to control the floodwaters of the rivers and irrigate the lands to produce sizeable crop yields. The fertile banks of the Tigris and Euphrates produced three main crops: barley, dates, and sesame seeds. The choice farming lands were located in the higher regions out of reach of the floodwaters, or else in areas that drained on their own.

The Sumerian’s agricultural developments testify to their ingenuity. They were the first people to harness animals (oxen) to their ploughs. They then developed a shoulder-yoke for the oxen that made steering the plough easier. Next, they changed the shape of the plough so that it became a machine for turning the soil, not just one for scratching a furrow. The Sumerians were also the first people to add a seed drill to the plough. Their most significant invention was the system of dams and canals that they developed to control the floodwaters and to irrigate their fields. Each city-state built a main canal that was fed by a dam on either the Tigris or the Euphrates river. Feeder canals, constructed on a slant so that the water could flow easily, linked the main canal to ditches surrounded the city’s fields. All channels, large and small, were controlled by gates regulated by removing or inserting clods of earth. Simply maintaining such an intricate network of canals required a great deal of time and effort. Even a well-constructed canal system could not guarantee the farmers’ success. Flooding remained a constant concern. At any time, rushing floodwaters could dump soil into the canals, clogging them and destroying the fields. Even one clogged canal could mean disaster. Therefore, the government hired irrigators to help keep the large canals clear, and made each farmer responsible for maintaining his own small canals and cleaning them out regularly.


The fertile, rain-watered valleys in the northern areas of Mesopotamia did not need as much irrigation to grow grain and fruit. Yet the Assyrians also developed a system of irrigation. Like the regions farther south, farming land in Assyria was limited to a narrow band along the riverbanks. The people protected this valuable land by preventing cows, donkeys, and sheep from grazing on it. Instead most farm animals were raised in enclosed pens. On the rich grasslands of the mountain slopes, flocks of sheep grazed freely, and wool was an important industry in the region.
Agriculture was closely linked to the political and social organizations in Mesopotamia. The Sumerians, for example, believed that the land surrounding a particular city-state belonged to the god of that city-state Since priests were the voice of the gods, the land was owned by the temples and the priests leased out the land to farmers. Sumerian farmers were expected to return 1/3 of the proceeds from their harvest to the god of the city-state and 1/3 to the king to help finance the operation of the government. The final third was theirs to keep, even though the government still taxed them on their profit. Later, during the time of Hammurabi and the Babylonian empire, individuals were allowed to own a great deal of the land around cities.
Industry
Abundant agricultural production in Mesopotamia meant that not all citizens had to farm: some could become craftspeople or artisans. Workrooms were located around and within the low walls of the ziggurats. Here in clusters, you could see the tanners preparing animal skins for containers, military dress and harnesses; potters spinning clay vessels on wheels; carpenters making agricultural tools, wagons, and ships; and weavers producing woolen textiles. There were also metal workers, whose smiths worked in copper, gold, silver, and bronze, creating copper bowls, statues of gods, and goddesses, tools for the fields, weapons, objects for the temples, and ornaments for the public. Overseers supervised the various operations, monitoring the quality of each person’s craft. The temple scribes kept detailed records and accounts on clay tablets to guarantee that the industries were run efficiently.
Trade
Small boats made of reeds and inflated goatskins, called keleks, carried goods up and down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from one city to another. Transport along the rivers was not always easy. Swift currents and sandbanks encountered on the trip downstream could cause the boats to capsize. Sometimes the travellers had to dismantle the vessels and carry them back upstream. Long ships, powered by square sails and oars, brought back building stone from Africa, copper from Cyprus, gold from Egypt, and cedar from Lebanon. In exchange, the Sumerians traded wool, cloth, jewelry, oil, and grains. Overland caravans of donkeys set out in search of silver from the Taurus Mountains. Such ventures in trade netted an exchange in culture and ideas that further promoted the development of the civilized world. The Babylonians were perhaps the greatest traders of all. The main trade routes of the ancient world met at the city of Babylon. While Babylonian ships traded downriver and along the coast of Arabia and India, Babylonian merchant caravans ventured far into Persia and Asia Minor.
The Sciences


The Wheel

Mesopotamia’s most important technological advance was the wheel, invented by the Sumerians. The wheel had a monumental impact from the first days of its discovery. By 3250 BCE the Sumerians built wheeled wagons and chariots to replace the sleds that they had used previously. With an ox pulling a wagon, farmers transported three to four times the weight in crops and produce that they had been able to carry on sleds, on donkeys, or on their own backs. The invention of the wheel had applications beyond the field of transportation. Pulleys for example, made it easier to raise water from wells, facilitating the irrigation process. The potter’s wheel marked the beginning of fine pottery, as it made shaping symmetrical vessels much easier.
Mettalurgy
Historians have credited the Sumerians with the technological advance that gave rise to the Bronze Age, which began about 3000 BCE in Mesopotamia. Before the Bronze Age, dating from as early as 8000 BCE, copper had been the main metal used in western Asia. A soft metal, copper is fine for creating jewelry but poor for making weapons or tools. Most tools in this period were made of stone. For a long time, copper was processed by being hammered into shape. Then someone discovered how to smelt and cast copper by pouring it into moulds. Bronze is an alloy composed of copper and tin. It is superior to copper because it is harder, more durable, and provides a sharper cutting edge. The Sumerians traded with Egypt for supplies of copper and with Anatolia and Armenia for tin. Bronze was an expensive metal to produce, but easier to cast than copper because it has a lower melting point. Bronze took over from stone as the chief material for toolmaking, and was widely used in Western Asia and Europe for about 2000 years. Then it was replaced by iron, which makes better tools and is more common, but is more difficult to process. The Iron Age began in about 1200 BCE. The Hittites introduced iron into the Middle East and the Assyrians were the first people in Mesopotamia to work with the new metal. The Hittites found that the smelting process required a hotter fire than for bronze, and that the ore needed to be mixed with limestone. When the ore was poured into moulds, it hardened as cast iron, but was relatively weak. But if the cast iron was reheated, beaten or “wrought”, and then cooled, it became stronger. This metal was called wrought iron. Trade and military conquests spread an awareness of iron and its value to the Mesopotamians.
Mathematics
The Sumerians could count in tens and hundreds, but they preferred to use 60 as their arithmetical unit. Some mathematicians, who have tried to guess why they preferred which system, note that 60 can be divided by all numbers up to six. Perhaps this base made their calculations easier. Whatever the reason for the number 60, math was extremely important to the Sumerians’ political and economic systems. They used math to help build canals, to keep accurate farm and trade records, and to tabulate taxes owed to the state. This math system left us a legacy as well. From the Sumerians we have received the 360° circle, the 60 minute hour, and the 60 second minute.
Time
The ancient Mesopotamians believed that the stars controlled the forces of heaven. They named various groups of stars, gave them special meanings, and used these groups and their movements to predict the future. The signs of the zodiac that astrologers use today developed from this practice. Astronomers studying the stars worked out a lunar calendar of 12 months. They divided their year into two seasons, emesh (summer) and enten (winter). Since the time lapse from one new moon to another is only 29.5 days, the lunar year of 12 months contained 354 days, 11 ¼ days short of the solar year. After three years, therefore, the calendar was 33 ¾ days out! As a result, an extra month was put into the calendar to bring it in line with the solar year. It was always the king’s responsibility to decide when to add the extra month, but he usually relied on his astronomers. Of all the Mesopotamian peoples, the Chaldeans took the greatest interest in the movements of the heavenly bodies. They believed that they needed detailed observation and measurement to develop a more accurate calendar so that they could plan agricultural operations more effectively. They also relied on the stars for determining direction on both land and sea.


ASSYRIA (24th century BCE – 609 BCE)
Assyria is situated in an more northern area of Mesopotamia where there are heavier rainfalls, cooler winters, and a hillier landscape. The name Assyria translates to “The country of the god Ashur” The capital city was Assur, which was a massive trading centre and a major stop for all donkey-caravans. These caravans carried tin and textiles from the east, and returned with gold and silver.
Assyria is a war-culture and by 650 BCE the Assyrian Empire was at the height of its power and dominated all of Mesopotamia, and some of the Mediterranean Coast. Initially the conquering was spurred by a desire to make trade routes safer; once they got started, they decided to conquer all the lands east and west of them.
The king was a very superstitious individual, and before battle he would consult with a diviner, who would submit detailed reports of their plan to their supreme god Ashur, and then the king would fast until the new moon. First, the king would send cupbearers to the city to try to persuade them to surrender. At the same time, the Assyrian army would surround the city and shout at them that resistance was futile. If the city still did not capitulate, the Assyrians would bring out their siege engine and armed battering rams, and begin a long and extremely organized siege.
The Assyrian army was very advanced for its time. They were the first nation to have a permanent professional army, and had iron weapons, which they adopted from the Hittite nation. They invented military jackboots with leather soles, and iron plates as shin guards. They were able to fight in all types of weather and terrain. In marshlands they used light reed boats, and fired arrows and torches into the bushes to burn out the enemy hiding in the marshes. If they came across a river or ravine, they were able to very quickly build pontoon bridges from planks and reeds of palm wood, or use inflatable animal skin bags for flotation devices. They also would sometimes simply divert the course of the river running through the city so that the infantry could just enter the city from under the walls, and walk along the dry streambed.
Their earliest forces comprised of Infantry in units ranging from 50 – 200 men, archers, chariots pulled by 3 horses and run by a crew of 4, and cavalry, along with their siege engines.
Most defeated nations never recognized Assyrian supremacy unless they were forced to, and generally once the army left, leaving the administration of the country in local hands, the conquered would rise up against their oppressors. These people had a sense of solidarity and fought for their independence. Also, they hated the Assyrians for their violence and destruction. The Assyrians used ruthless torture, and terror tactics such as putting victims on pikes, and wrapping pillars in the flayed skin of their enemies.

Famous Assyrian Rulers
Salmaneser III (858-824 BCE) moved the capital to Nineveh, and infamously attacked Israel and Damascus, and his exploits are recorded in the Old Testament books: Isaiah, Chronicles, and Second Kings, as well as on the Assyrian “Sennacherib’s Prism”. His most famous battle was against King Hezekiah, at the city of Jerusalem. Salmaneser III blocked the water supply into the city, and instead of capitulating; King Hezekiah dug a massive tunnel to an underground spring so his people wouldn’t die of dehydration. However, both the Old Testament account, and the Assyrian accounts are self-serving and say that their side won. According the Sennacherib’s Prism, King Hezekiah became so frightened he turned mad, although the prism never says directly if they took Jerusalem itself, but boasts about taking nearly every other city in Israel. According to the Old Testament, Hezekiah paid the Assyrians with all the gold and silver in Jerusalem, and an angel came and killed off so many of the Assyrian solders that they left.
Ashurbanipal (668 – 631) Sacked the Egyptian city of Thebes, and built the great library at Nineveh, where archaeologists have found around 22,000 cuneiform tablets, including the Epic of Gilgamesh. However, during his reign, Babylon was in continual revolt, which inspired a coalition of Medes to revolt in the east. This ignited a series of insurrections against Assyria, until their demise.
Tiglath-Pileser III (747 – 727 BCE) Introduced civil, military, and political systems into the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Seized the throne during a civil war and killed the royal family. Made the army into the world’s first professional standing army. Subjected most of the known world at the time (Mesoptamia, Arabian peninsula, Caucus Mountains, Syria, the Black Sea, Persia, Canaan). Used mass deportations to avoid uprisings. Recorded attacking Canaan in the Old Testament Kings and Chronicles.

ASSIGNMENT #5: Be an Assyrian General! /6
To be completed IN class
In a small group, create a battle plan using ONLY historically feasible Assyrian warfare or siege techniques, on a fortified city. You must draw your plan on the paper provided in class and present it. You will be graded on the creativeness and solidness of your plan as well as your inclusion of soldier weaponry, armour, and siege weapons.

Israel
Before the nation of Israel, the area was called Canaan, and the people were mostly nomadic in nature other than the major city of Jericho, which had been around since the Neolithic age. This area was home to many different migrant ethnic groups, and by 2300 BCE it was incorporated into the Sumerian empire of Sargon the Great. The cities in Canaan were coastal, walled merchant cities, however due to their economic and militarily strategic locations, were constantly being attacked mostly for control of the Mediterranean trade routes. There were a few tiny agricultural towns in the hinterland, where they raised sheep and grew grains.
The first major civilization in Canaan was Phoenicia (1500 – 300 BCE), which was predictably a maritime trading culture. They had little to separate them culturally from the other tribes of Canaan other than their alphabet, which is the basis of the Greek alphabet and our own and that they were proficient in man powered sailing vessels. The Phoenicians also colonized part of North Africa, which eventually became the great nation of Carthage. There is one aspect to the Phoenicians which is worth noting for its macabre nature; the ritual of Tophets. Tophets is infant sacrifice to the fertility Goddess Tanit, where one infant is burned alive. Archaeologists have found tophet cemeteries in this area with hundreds of infant corpses.
Pre-Jewish religion was polytheistic, as was the rest of Mesopotamia. Their main god was Ba’al, a storm god, and they believed that your soul went to the land of Mot (the god of death), where you would dine only on mud. The dead were buried with grave goods, and it seems that their religion was highly influenced by Egypt and Mesopotamia. Among the peasantry, where birthrates are lower, and they depended on healthy crops, there was an emphasis on fertility.
The first mention of the Hebrew people is in the Amarna Letters, which were a series of diplomatic letters written in Akkadian cuneiform clay tablets between Egypt, and rulers in the Middle East around 1300 BCE. They are mostly about Egyptian diplomatic relations with Babylon, the Assyrians, the Hittites, and Canaan. There is mention of the Habiru, a group raiding and attacking small city-states in Canaan since the 14th Century BCE. They took the city of Shechem, which becomes the first Israelite capital. The earliest known image of an Israelite is on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, (dated to 825 BCE) where you can see King Jehu paying tribute to the Assyrian King.
Judaism 101
While the prophet Moses is considered the founder of the Jewish faith, Jews trace their lineage back to the Prophet Abraham. Judaism is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which includes Christianity, and Islam. It is monotheistic in nature. Jews believe that there is a single God who created the universe, and with whom every Jew can have a personal relationship. God is omnipotent, omnipresent, beyond time, just and merciful, and is transcendent. God does not have gender of a body. The Jewish relationship with God is a covenant relationship, where Jews keep God’s laws (detailed in the Old Testament), and seek to bring holiness into every aspect of their lives; in exchange for the many good deeds that God has done and continues to do for the Jewish people. Jews believe that God appointed the Jews to be his chosen people who set an example of holiness and ethical behaviour for the rest of the world.
The Jews have one holy book, the Tanach. Within the Tanach is the extremely important Torah, which comprises the five first books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. However the word torah can actually refer to the entire Jewish bible, known to non-Jews as the Old Testament. The chapter names in the Torah differ from the Old Testament chapters. The scriptures that are used in religious services are hand written on parchment scrolls. You are not supposed to touch the parchment of the scrolls because they are too holy. Instead you follow the text with a pointer in the shape of a hand. These scrolls are kept in a cabinet in the synagogue called an “ark”, like the original Ark of the Covenant. There is also the Oral Torah, called the Talmud, which explains what the Torah scriptures mean and how to interpret them and apply the Laws. The Talmud is not something the average person can easily understand, they resemble class notes for a university lecture you never attended There are a lot of assumptions that the reader knows what they are talking about. There is also the Midrashim, which is a collection of stories that expand on incidents in the Bible to teach moral lessons.
Abraham the Patriarch
Abraham lived in the city of Ur (around 2000 BCE) with his father, who made and sold religious idols for a living. When Abraham was a child, his family moved to the city of Haran, where Abraham smashed all of his father’s idols because he knew they were false gods. One day, when Abraham was already an old man, God told Abraham that he would be the father of a great people if he did what God told him. So Abraham took his wife Sarah and journeyed to the land of Canaan. The problem was that both Abraham and his wife were elderly (Sarah was 90!) and childless, there were no signs, or miracles as proof that this God was true, nor were there scriptures. Only faith. By a miracle, they have a son Isaac. And then God tests Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham does this, but at the last second, an angel appears and releases Isaac. Abraham has proved his faith. Isaac has a son named Jacob, and that Jacob is the famous father who had 12 sons. These sons became the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel.
Exodus, and the Prophet Moses.
100 years later, there were thousands of Jews taken into slavery in Egypt. (c. 1300 BCE). The Pharaoh at the time had ordered a culling of baby slave boys to be drowned in the Nile. Moses’ mother put Moses into a reed basket and into the Nile. Moses was found by the Pharaoh’s daughter, and she decided to raise him as her own. Moses grew up as an Egyptian prince in the luxury of Pharaoh’s court. One day, he saw an Egyptian guard mercilessly whipping a Jewish slave. In a fit of rage over the injustice, Moses killed the guard, and then ran away to the land of Midian (other side of the Red Sea). He ended up living with the Midians in a village and got married to Zipporah, one of the village priest’s daughters, and lived as a shepherd for 40 years.
One day, while out with his flock, Moses heard the voice of God speaking to him through a burning bush. God asked Moses to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt to Canaan, the Promised Land. Moses does not want to be the leader of the Hebrews and does not understand why he would be chosen for this seemingly impossible task. He also is worried no one will believe him, so God gives Moses special powers so everyone will see God’s might. And so Moses and his family and brother Aaron return to Egypt to talk to the Pharaoh (who is his adoptive brother!). However, the Pharaoh denied their request to release all of the Hebrew slaves. In anger the Pharaoh punished the slaves by making them work twice as hard. The Hebrew people really resented Moses for his.
Moses (at age 80!) returned to the Pharaoh and asked again for the release of the slaves. He also made his shepherd’s rod turn into a snake as proof of God’s power. Pharaoh was not impressed and got his court magicians to do the same. The next day Moses went out to the river, put his rod in it, and the water of the Nile turned to blood. The Pharaoh remained unmoved and God sent 9 more plagues (10 Plagues of Egypt), each worse than the last. They were, frogs, lice, flies, sores, hail, locusts, three days darkness, and finally the death of all first-born in Egypt. However, the Hebrews were spared this last plague, because Moses told them to wipe lamb’s blood upon the doorways of their houses. (This is Passover) The Sprit of God passed over the Hebrew homes, and their first-born children were spared. When the son of the Pharaoh died, and finally Pharaoh let the Hebrews go, after 400 years of captivity.
God guided the Hebrew people out of Egypt by day a pillar of cloud, and by night a pillar of fire. However, it was not long before Pharaoh took his army and 600 chariots, and went to retrieve his slaves. The Hebrews were trapped by the Red Sea! Moses put his rod into the waters, and they parted, letting the Hebrews escape. Once all the Hebrews were through the Sea, Moses closed the waters, and drowned the Egyptian army.
They travelled through the desert for three months, and then finally came to Mt. Sinai, where they camped, exhausted. Moses went up the mountain to talk with God. Up on this mountain God gave Moses 2 tablets with the 10 Commandments inscribed upon them. For 40 days and 40 nights Moses stayed up on the mountaintop listening to God’s instructions. In addition to the laws, he instructed Moses to make a special Ark to hold this covenant (Ark of the Covenant – the same one Nebuchadnezzar takes when he destroys the temple of Jerusalem), and a holy sanctuary called a Tabernacle to house the Ark.
The 10 Commandments

  1. I am the Lord your God

  2. You shall have no other gods before me, you shall not make for yourself a graven image, you shall not bow down to them and worship them

  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain

  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Saturday)

  5. Honour your mother and father

  6. You shall not murder

  7. You shall not commit adultery

  8. You shall not steal

  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

  10. You shall not covet your neightbour’s house or anything else that belongs to your neighbour

Meanwhile, while Moses was up on the mountain, his people grew uneasy. Even though they had witnessed miracles, and been led out of Egypt, they were insecure without their leader. They turned to Aaron and asked him to make them a God so they might not be so alone. Aaron took all their gold jewelry, and melted it into the shape of a cow. He built and altar before it, and the Hebrews made offerings to the idol and celebrated. Seeing this. God became very angry and threatened to destroy the Hebrews and “make a great nation of Moses alone”. Moses begged God to not kill them and descended the mountain. In great anger he broke the stone tablets and burned their cow idol. The Hebrew people were very ashamed.


The Hebrews then spent 40 years wandering around the desert. They kept losing and regaining their faith in God here. Finally, when they reached the land of Canaan, Moses died, and Joshua became their new leader. According to the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, God instructs them to conquer Canaan and kill the non-believers (divinely sanctioned violence). They make war, destroy the city of Jericho, and Joshua divides the conquered lands among the 12 tribes.

ASSIGNMENT #6

QUESTIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING /12


  1. After reading the commandments, write down what you think each one means, and if you think it is a reasonable request. Do you think you could live by them?



  1. How do you feel about the armed conquest of Canaan, when the act goes against their 10 Commandments? How did the Jewish people justify this violence?



  1. One of the main points of Judaism is “faith”, and a constant need to reprove your faith to God. How is this demonstrated in the stories of Abraham and Moses?



  1. The Tanach has a lot of stories that champion the underdog. Why do you think that is?



  1. Why do you think Moses was chosen for the task of freeing the slaves? Or Abraham for starting the Hebrew people? Surely there could be someone with more influence around.



  1. Demonstrate how Moses’s story follows Joseph Campbell’s “Hero Journey”


The Chaldean Empire (625 – 539 BCE)
The Chaldean Empire can be seen as the return of Babylonian rule, which took place after the fall of the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal in 626 BCE and the Assyrian Empire erupted into civil war. The founder of the Chaldean Empire is Nabopolassar, although the most famous King was his heir; his eldest son Nebuchadnezzar II. In 616 BCE, Nabopolassar with a coalition of Chaldeans, Babylonians, Medes, Israelites, and Scythians attacked Assyria. In 612 they destroyed the capital of Nineveh, and the new capital of Harran, in 610. Assyria’s only real ally was the Egypt, ruled by the surprisingly ambitious Pharaoh Necho II. Necho II is credited with circumnavigating Egypt with Phoenician sailors, as well as losing gloriously to Nebuchadnezzar and his army at the battle of Carchemish in 605. The battle of Carchemish is recorded of course in the old Babylonian Chronicles, but also in the books of Kings, Chronicles, and Jeremiah, in the Old Testament.
3 “Order the buckler and shield, And draw near to battle! 4 Harness the horses, And mount up, you horsemen! Stand forth with your helmets, Polish the spears, Put on the armor! 5 Why have I seen them dismayed and turned back? Their mighty ones are beaten down; They have speedily fled, And did not look back, For fear was all around,” says the Lord. 6 “Do not let the swift flee away, Nor the mighty man escape; They will stumble and fall Toward the north, by the River Euphrates. 7 “Who is this coming up like a flood, Whose waters move like the rivers? 8 Egypt rises up like a flood, And its waters move like the rivers; And he says, ‘I will go up and cover the earth, I will destroy the city and its inhabitants.’ 9 Come up, O horses, and rage, O chariots! And let the mighty men come forth: The Ethiopians and the Libyans who handle the shield, And the Lydians who handle and bend the bow. 10 For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. The sword shall devour; It shall be satiated and made drunk with their blood; For the Lord God of hosts has a sacrifice In the north country by the River Euphrates. 11 “Go up to Gilead and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt; In vain you will use many medicines; You shall not be cured. 12 The nations have heard of your shame, And your cry has filled the land; For the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; They both have fallen together.” (Jerimiah 46 1:12)

After this battle, Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and engaged in a thirteen-year siege of Tyre. Under King Jehoiachin, Jerusalem rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar in 597, and following the Jewish surrender, the temple and palace treasures were removed, and 10,000 leaders and artisans deported. In 587 Jerusalem rebelled again, this time under the leadership of Zedekiah. The final deportation left only the poor and the blind, the city was razed, the temple and the walls destroyed. The leader was blinded and deported. It must be noted how traumatic this was for the psyche of a people who believed God had promised them a great nation, Israel. Their national and political identity as that they were God’s chosen people. They also believed that it was because of their unfaithfulness that God had punished them like this.


Nebuchadnezzar also had a policy of public works, and started by rebuilding the city of Babylon with brightly coloured brickwork and a large ziggurat. The King had married the Median Princess Amytis, who became rather homesick for the fauna of her homeland. For his love he built the Hanging Gardens, which were like simulated lush mountains using a complicated water pump system, and waterproofed mud bricks (with lead and bitumen). It was so impressive that is it one of he 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. According to the Greek geographer Strabo :
“It consists of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt."

"The ascent to the highest story is by stairs, and at their side are water engines, by means of which persons, appointed expressly for the purpose, are continually employed in raising water from the Euphrates into the garden”


The end of the Chaldean Empire was when King Belshazzar was deposed by the Persians in 539 BCE.

The Ancient Middle East Timeline and Podcast

/ 50
In pairs

DUE DATE: November 15, 2013

Library Research Day: October 31

Requirements:
1. Timeline /20

You must show the following Empires/Civilizations



      1. Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, Chaldean, Persia

        1. Each empire must be hand written in a different colour and

show correct dates

      1. For each empire, mark at least three significant innovations, events, or rulers. (/15)

      2. Each empire must have a hand-drawn picture of the “most significant” object/innovation that you will be discussing in your podcasts. (/ 5)

        1. You will lose marks for messiness


2. Podcast /18

    1. Sign up for ONE Empire and innovation. You must discuss how this was a significant innovation (defend!), and record it in a podcast.

        1. Describe the innovation

        2. Inventor?

        3. How was it used

        4. Cultural and Historical Significance

          1. How did it change society?

          2. Modern day links




    1. Upload the podcast to the following site. Make sure you have a title, a picture of the object, the name of the object, and both your names attached to it. (/6)

      1. http://voicethread.com




    1. Length: 5-7 minutes per object.

      1. Use the BBC History of the World in 100 objects as an example.

        1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/ahow




    1. Hand in a typed version of your script. (-3 if you dont’!)




    1. Hand in a properly formatted Bibliography of at least 6 sources (ZERO if you don’t)




    1. You must ask the class 2 questions. This will be the basis for the commentary

3. Commentary /12

    1. You must comment (5 sentences minimum) on 2 of the other podcasts at least.

        1. Each commentary is / 6

        2. ONE comment must be an answer to the posed question. The other maybe a comment on someone else’s response.

      1. Do you agree with them?

      2. Did they say anything enlightening that made you think?

      3. You may comment on other people’s comments as well.

        1. Make sure your name is attached to your comment!


MARKING RUBRIC FOR PODCAST






1

3

4

6

Information

Information is incorrect, irrelevant, and incomplete. No discussion on the historical significance.

Some errors in relevance or accuracy. Basic commentary on historical significance. Bare bones.

Information is correct and complete. Discussion on significance is complete but does not go into depth.

Information is highly detailed and shows a deep understanding of historical significance.

Quality

Seems like you made this last night. Many awkward pauses and speaking errors. Clearly not rehearsed. Language used is more colloquial or simple.

Most components are present but are simply done. Dialogue is not academic but clear. There are a few speaking errors.

Effort has gone into this project and all components are present. Dialogue flows well and there is an attempt at using more sophisticated language.

Wow! This could be professionally done! Dialogue flows effortlessly and has moments of insight or wit. Language used is academic in tone.







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