Edited by Andrew George
Anticipating episodes from Homer and the Bible, The Epic of Gilgamesh contains many strange adventures and intriguing theories about how dwarfs came into being and why snakes shed their skin. However, it is centrally concerned with far more universal themes: family, friendship and the duties of kings. Above all, it is the tale of one man's struggle with the fear of death, as he desperately seeks immortality through glorious deeds and the delusive promise of eternal life. The standard Babylonian version has been known for over a century, but linguists are still discovering and deciphering new fragments of weather-damaged clay tablets in Akkadian and Sumerian. Andrew George's gripping new translation brilliantly brings together all the variant traditions and transforms 'a damaged masterpiece' into fluent coherent narrative without sacrificing scholarly accuracy. It will long rank as the definitive English Gilgamesh.