Gilgamesh  book cover
1st Edition


ISBN 9781138860698
Published March 19, 2019 by Routledge
254 Pages

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

Gilgamesh focuses on the eponymous hero of the world’s oldest epic and his legendary adventures. However, it also goes further and examines the significance of the story’s Ancient Near Eastern context, and what it tells us about notions of kingship, animality, and the natures of mortality and immortality.

In this volume, Louise M. Pryke provides a unique perspective to consider many foundational aspects of Mesopotamian life, such as the significance of love and family, the conceptualisation of life and death, and the role of religious observance. The final chapter assesses the powerful influence of Gilgamesh on later works of ancient literature, from the Hebrew Bible, to the Odyssey, to The Tales of the Arabian Nights, and his reception through to the modern era.

Gilgamesh is an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to understand this fascinating figure, and more broadly, the relevance of Near Eastern myth in the classical world and beyond.

Table of Contents

List of figures

Series Editor Introduction


Why Gilgamesh?


Key Themes

Chapter 1 Kingship

Chapter 2 Gilgamesh: Warrior and Hero

Chapter 3 Animality and Ecology

Chapter 4 Love

Chapter 5 Wisdom and Civilisation

Chapter 6 Death

Gilgamesh Afterwards

Chapter 7: Reception and Influence

Further Reading





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Louise M. Pryke is a Lecturer for the Languages and Literature of Ancient Israel at Macquarie University, Australia, and a Research Associate at the University of Sydney. Gilgamesh is her second volume in the Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World series. Her first book for the series, Ishtar, explored the world’s first goddess of love.