Library of Ashurbanipal / The Flood Tablet / T...
Library of Ashurbanipal / The Flood Tablet / The Gilgamesh Tablet by Fæ via Wikipedia

Gilgamesh is a legendary Mesopotamian king of ancient Sumer as depicted in the Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2000 BCE in cuneiform on twelve tablets of clay.

Renowned for his matchless strength, Gilgamesh went into combat with a rough monster-man, Enkidu who was sent by the Gods to keep Gilgamesh in check.

Although Gilgamesh won the bout, the harrowing battle did humble him. He and Enkidu eventually became friends. The Gilgamesh epic also portrays several accounts, some fragmentary, of a Great Flood.

Ea, the Lord, says he will cause a flood and tells Atramhasis to

Enter [the ship] and shut the door…[Bring in] to it thy grain, thy goods and chattels; Th[y wife], thy family, thy relations, and the craftsmen. [Game] of the field (and) beasts of the field, as many as eat herbs, [I will s]end unto thee, and they shall guard thy door.”¹

This is similar to the Biblical account of Noah, and to some extent the Hindu story of Matsu.

¹ Alexender Heidel.  The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1946, p. 110.

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