Running head: THE TWO FLOODS 1
Noah and Gilgamesh the Two Great Floods
Oakland City University
English 201 World Lit.
The Two Floods 2
The epic story of Gilgamesh has been an interest of religious patrons since it was found in the ruins of the great library of Nineveh in the mid-nineteenth century, along with its substantial similarities to the great flood in Noah’s day. The remaining portion of this epic story, which very possibly dates back to the third millennium B.C., and holds little if almost no Christian values, as it distresses the typical beliefs in the myths related with the pagan societies of the period in time. ...view middle of the document...
All the tablets that have been uncovered thus far have been translated from multiple ancient lost languages in to what we have in current times. The epic that is Gilgamesh was unearth in 1843 and translated in 1857 from the twelve tablets that date back to six hundred and fifty B.C. (Strother, 1971)
The Two Floods 3
The Two Accounts
The story was written in the form of a sonnet. The leading character of this poem is Gilgamesh, which may have actually been a person in history. Gilgamesh is listed on the list of Sumerian kings as the first king of Uruk and had reigned for 126 years. The length of his reign is not that farfetched if you relate it to the leaders of the pre-flood age in the Bible. However, Gilgamesh is the last king to have a lifespan of the magnitude any and all patriarchs after him had lived normal lengths of time. The list of kings is interesting as well in the fact that it also mentions the great flood “The Deluge Overthrew the Land” (Vos, 1963).
The Epic begins by way of presenting the great feats accomplishments of the heroic Gilgamesh. The king of Uruk had been blessed by the gods with great knowledge and the wisdom of an elder, which enabled him to record any facts of the era before the great flood. Gilgamesh carved on rock slabs everything he had accomplished. Gilgamesh’s deeds were included but were not to the building of the Uruk City walls. King Gilgamesh was a cruel and unjust sovereign, which caused his citizens to call out to their deities to make a rival so that Gilgamesh would be made to strive for completion in all his accomplishments.
It only took one battle for Enkidu and Gilgamesh to become allies. Once allies they set out on adventure to claim fame by completing many treacherous quests in which Gilgamesh’s friend gives his greatest sacrifice death. At this time Gilgamesh decides to search out immortality now that he understands no one can escape the taker of souls. As Gilgamesh ventures on alone he comes upon Utnapishtim, the individual most like the person the bible speaks of Noah. (Heidel, 1949)
The Two Floods 4
Utnapishtim has been made immortal by the gods for doing as they told him to by building a great vessel so as to house his family as well as one male and one female of each species on the land. He freed three birds, a dove, a swallow and a raven each at different times trying to locate land. When the third bird the raven did not return Utnapishtim knew the water had started to recede and soon after the ship landed on a mount. The epic concludes with stories of Enkidu visiting the nether world a number of times. Although there are several connections between the two pieces of literary art, there are also many severe discrepancies....