• Babylonian

    by Published on 01-06-2011 01:53 AM
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    The Flood Narrative From the Gilgamesh Epic

    Gilgamesh has made a long and difficult journey to learn how Utnapishtim acquired eternal life. In answer to his questions, Utnapishtim tells the following story. Once upon a time, the gods destroyed the ancient city of Shuruppak in a great flood. But Utnapishtim, forewarned by Ea (=Enki), managed to survive by building a great ship. His immortality was a gift bestowed by the repentant gods in recognition of his ingenuity and his faithfulness in reinstituting the sacrifice.

    Shurippak - a city which thou knowest,
    (And) which on Euphrates’ banks is set -
    That city was ancient, (as were) the gods within it,
    When their heart led the great gods to produce the flood.
    There were Anu, their father,
    Valiant Enlil, their counsellor,
    Ninurta, their herald,
    Ennuge, their irrigator.
    Ninigiku-Ea was also present with them;
    Their words he repeats to the reed-hut (home of Utnapishtim):
    ‘Reed-hut, reed-hut! Wall! Wall!
    Reed-hut, hearken! Wall, reflect!
    Man of Shuruppak (Utnapishtim), son of Ubar-Tutu,
    Tear down (this) house, build a ship!
    Give up possessions, seek thou life.
    Despise property and keep the soul alive.
    Aboard the ship take thou the seed of all living things.
    The ship that thou shalt build, ...