17 votes
Accepted

How do we know that Gilgamesh was a demigod?

In general, English "demigod" refers to a person who is partially divine and partially human. Most typically, this refers to someone who has one divine and one human parent (like Hercules, or the ...
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  • 2,936
14 votes
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What was the plant that Gilgamesh found after Utnapishtim's story?

The plant Gilgamesh found was not a lotus (emphasis mine) So Utanapishtim revealed to Gilgamesh another secret of the gods. Under the sea there is a wondrous plant, like a flower with thorns, that ...
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  • 3,403
11 votes
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Why is Gilgamesh considered to be one-third human and two-third god?

Gilgamesh was a recurring character in Mesopotamian myths/stories. The most renown of those stories is the Epic of Gilgamesh where those numbers appears. But he and his slave/servant/friend/buddy/...
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  • 3,471
11 votes

How do we know that Gilgamesh was a demigod?

The definition for demigod differs from culture to culture. But the definition of demigod, which can be used here in the case of Gilgamesh would be "half-god". Gilgamesh was a Sumerian king who ...
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  • 3,403
10 votes
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What does Gilgamesh's title "He Who Saw the Deep" mean?

How that word, here translated as "deep", should be translated is a somewhat contentious issue. The word is nagbu, and there appear to be two main translations to consider. Totality, all things ...
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  • 9,108
10 votes
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What is the context behind Gilgamesh's rejection of Ishtar?

I understand the question to be asking what is the author’s intent in having Gilgamesh describe Ishtar’s prior lovers in the way he does, and what, as a literary matter, did the author want to convey ...
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9 votes

Why is Gilgamesh considered to be one-third human and two-third god?

Presumably because he seemed that much more like a god than like a man. Our present understanding of heredity was not yet available, and absent that, the proportion between the genetic inheritances ...
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9 votes
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Forests and The Epic of Gilgamesh

This is not at all a stupid question! In fact, scholars have a couple theories on this. According to the standard interpretation, the cedar forests refer to the famous cedar forests of Lebanon and ...
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  • 6,594
9 votes
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What kind of being was Huwawa?

Clay mask of the demon Huwawa, The British Museum. From Sippar, southern Iraq, about 1800-1600 BC. Huwawa was a demonic creature, of neither mortal nor godly origin, created by Enlil to guard the ...
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  • 1,885
8 votes

What is the context behind Gilgamesh's rejection of Ishtar?

The main reason why it exists in the narrative is that it precedes the epic by quite a long time. Before the epic of Gilgamesh was put together as one single narrative, hymns of Gilgamesh were ...
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  • 6,594
8 votes
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Why did humanizing Enkidu take a work of a prostitute and not of an ordinary woman?

Perceptions on prostitution have changed significantly over time. While it may seem strange today that Shamhat is a prostitute, in the ancient Near East her role was sacred, a role akin to a priestess....
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8 votes

Why is Gilgamesh considered to be one-third human and two-third god?

He had three parents. The belief in the divinity of royal lines, in several ancient cultures of the region, was maintained by the concept that the king was possessed by a god (usually the head of the ...
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6 votes

Why did humanizing Enkidu take a work of a prostitute and not of an ordinary woman?

As Mesopotamia was one of the first places where our species built cities, naturally myth from there has to try to make sense of this new way of life, and characteristically approaches the problem by ...
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6 votes

Examples of wild men or women civilized through sex?

The Graeco-Roman equivalent is Hermaphroditus and Salmacis. Although in Ovid's Metamorphoses, the original text must be older, as it is preserved on an inscription (the so-called "Pride of ...
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  • 6,594
6 votes
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How does Shamhat know about Gilgamesh's dreams?

The King's Dream seems to be a prominent theme in the ancient world. For example, in the book of Daniel (in biblical literature), the troubling dreams of the kings are announced, though no details are ...
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  • 6,594
6 votes

What does Gilgamesh's title "He Who Saw the Deep" mean?

It means that he learned great wisdom from Ea. This summary states The story begins as if by a narrator of a later era. Gilgamesh had all knowledge and wisdom, he was "he who saw the Deep" [Deep=...
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  • 7,045
6 votes
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What was the Plant of Everlasting Youth?

The information about the Plant of Everlasting Youth form the Sumerian mythos can be found on the second half of The Epic of Gilgamesh. In the Tablet eleven Utnapishtim's wife asks her husband to ...
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  • 2,060
6 votes
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How did Gilgamesh die?

According to The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, my best guess from reading the translated text provided is he died of old age : ..... hero ...... has lain down and is never to rise ...
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  • 2,281
6 votes
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Who were the Seven Sages who laid the foundations of Uruk?

The Seven Sages are the Apkallu. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible states that they were servants of Ea, responsible for teaching mankind how to govern and start civilization. They ...
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  • 7,045
6 votes

Why did Humbaba have to die?

Yeah... Now I don't like to give any answer to such an old thing, but here it is: What you cite is the Nineveh's version of the traditional Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. But what you have to see first ...
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  • 3,471
5 votes

Why did the gods spare Gilgamesh?

According to this lecture by Michael Sugrue, Enkidu is chosen to die because of his hubris and also his refusal to accept his human status which exceeds that of Gilgamesh. For example, Enkidu throws ...
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4 votes

Who were the Seven Sages who laid the foundations of Uruk?

Short answer. Uanna Enmegalamma Uannedugga Enmedugga Enmebulugga An-Enlilda Utuabzu The sources for these are in the Perspectives on Language and Text: Essays and Poems in Honor . Each if these ...
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  • 4,001
4 votes
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What caused the Deluge?

The Story of Atrahasis, which is thought to be closely related to The Epic of Gilgamesh, is partially lost, but enough fragments remain to figure out its meeting. Humanity annoys the gods many times ...
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  • 7,045
3 votes

Why is Gilgamesh considered to be one-third human and two-third god?

I always thought it had to deal with the fact that kings were seen as deities, so if the king is half-god then that may be where the one third human comes in, but I say this without knowing ...
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3 votes

Why does Gilgamesh kill Urshanabi's stone men?

The words “killing” and “stone men” might be inaccurate. Unfortunately, researchers don’t seem to be sure about what exactly is going on in this passage. The key question is what or who the enigmatic “...
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2 votes

Why did Humbaba have to die?

I suspect it has to do with the function of heroes to "tame the landscape" and render locales safe for humans by slaying monsters, similar to Theseus on his journey to Athens and Heracles with many of ...
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2 votes

Examples of wild men or women civilized through sex?

Story time! I will briefly summarize the corresponding parts of some stories which I believe have some parallels to the Šamḫat-episode in the epic of Gilgameš, providing each time a link to Wikipedia ...
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2 votes

Why did the gods spare Gilgamesh?

My sense of the overall theme of the Gilgamesh myth is the grappling with an acceptance of mortality. Enkidu is overtly mortal, and Gilgamesh 2/3 god, and they literally grapple then become friends. ...
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2 votes

Why did the gods spare Gilgamesh?

Enkidu is the direct creation of the gods so they have more control over him than Gilgamesh.If they were to choose who to kill.Enkidu will be easier to kill than Gilgamesh Sense they can just make him ...
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  • 21
1 vote

Why did humanizing Enkidu take a work of a prostitute and not of an ordinary woman?

There is some consensus regarding Babylon and Mesopotamia on some of them has been pointed out by both Yannis and Brian Donovan. That said the question of Sacred prostitution in Mesopotamia has been ...
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