Read Epic of Gilgamesh day before yesterday.
It was a good read. As this is regarded as the first epic ever written, I was really curious to know the contents. Having heard about the book many times, I wanted to know what it is. Perusing through the volume, I understood the fears and confusions of early humanity. Death was a common fear back then. Without any significant scientific achievement, humanity, back then found solace in these types of spirituality.
Gilgamesh is the powerful Sumerian king. He is a three-part god and one part human. He is very much in awe of his stature. He terrorizes people. The people pray to the gods to get a rival for him. And there comes Enkidu, a man-animal, formed by the gods. He goes to Sumeria, and people gets terrified, finally, a prostitute named Shamhat takes care of him. She civilizes him, and finally, he meets Gilgamesh. They fight in the beginning but later become friends.
Together they make a plan to kill the patron of the cedar forest, some type of a demon. Not hearing the supplications of the demon, they slay him. Then the goddess Ishtar falls in love with Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh refuses and the angry goddess unleashes the bull from heaven. Enkidu and Gilgamesh slay it too. But within a short time, Enkidu dies.
His death makes Gilgamesh ponder over the implications of death. He gets terrified. He plans to meet Utna- pishti, the Babylonian Noah, and crosses the hills guarded by scorpion men and reaches crossing the seas where death lurks, He finally meets Pishti, and he says no one is immortal. He, as a consolation gives Gilgamesh a plant, eating which one can regain youth.
Gilgamesh returns home, but on the way, a snake eats the plant and he plunges into despair. Still, he continues his journey back home.
This is an excellent book. It will help us know more about the beliefs and hero-worship customs of earlier people.