By Katherine Callen King
Old Epic bargains a finished and available advent to 6 of the best historic epics – Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and Apollonius of Rhodes' Agonautica.
- offers an available creation to the traditional epic
- deals interpretive analyses of poems inside of a finished old context
- encompasses a distinctive timeline, feedback for additional readings, and an appendix of the Olympian gods and their Akkadian counterparts
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Additional resources for Ancient Epic
Foster (Norton, 2001) have each produced recent ones that append useful translations of fragments from the Summerian epic cycle and from the Old Babylonian version of the epic. Both translations are careful to indicate gaps in the text and places where conjecture takes the place of actual translation; George’s introduction and his appendix on the difﬁculties of translating from the cuneiform are superb. These two translations, which include material not available to earlier translators, now supersede all other scholarly translations, including excellent ones by Maureen Gallery Kovacs (Stanford University Press, 1989) and John Gardner and John Maier (Random House, 1984); both clearly indicate when they interpolate material from the Old Babylonian version, and they provide running commentary and useful notes.
Gilgamesh’s ﬁrst response to Enkidu’s death is to tell his story in a long lament, thus creating a memorial in words. Second he creates a magniﬁcent statue, that is, a permanent image. Third he puts on a state funeral with splendid gifts for Enkidu to take to the underworld gods. 58–60, 135–137, 235–237). The sight of the disintegrating body being eaten by worms brings home to Gilgamesh the full horror of death and impels him to begin his greatest quest: a journey beyond the conﬁnes of the human world to wrest the secret of physical immortality from Flood survivor Utanapishtim (“He Who Saw Life”).
Jackson’s rhymed verse (Bolchazy-Carducci, 1982) is interestingly illustrated by Thom Kapheim. K. Sandars’ The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin, 1960) is still in print; readers should be aware that Sandars freely combines the Standard and the Old Babylonian versions. Herbert Mason’s Gilgamesh (Mentor, 1972) is a very free adaptation rather than a translation. For literal translations of the Sumerian epics on the Internet, go to The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature at http://etcsl. htm. Important Mesopotamian stories relevant to the Epic of Gilgamesh have been conveniently collected and translated by Stephanie Dalley in Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others (Oxford, 1998) and by Benjamin R.
Ancient Epic by Katherine Callen King