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epic of gilgamesh
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gilgamesh \Gilgamesh\, Gilgamish \Gilgamish\prop. n. 1. (Sumerian mythology) A legendary king of Sumeria and the hero of famous Sumerian and Babylonian epics. [WordNet 1.5] 2. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a long Babylonian epic written in cuneiform in the Sumerian language on clay tablets. Early versions of the written story date from 2000 B. C.; it is probably the first written story still in existence. A longer version was written in the Akkadian language, on 12 clay tablets found at Nineveh in the ruins of the library of Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria from 669 to 633 B. C. The story depicted the life and heroic deeds of the legendary Gilgamesh, apparently derived from stories about a real king of ancient Mesopotamia who lived around 2700 B. C. The story includes a tale of a great flood, which has some parallels to the biblical story of the flood survived by Noah. The Nineveh tablets name the author of that version of the story, a Shin-eqi-unninni. [PJC] Note: The entire text may be found in: The Epic of Gilgamesh Translated by Maureen Gallery Kovacs (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990) and Gilgamesh Translated by John Maier and John Gardner (New York: Vintage Press, 1981)