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Anonymous (author), Jens Braarvig (translator), Tor Åge Bringsværd (translator) and Kate Kvalvik (covers)
Classic and epic
Publication year:
Original publication year:
700 BCE

Being one of the few surviving early epic poems in the world (dating to the third millennium BCE), Gilgamesh tells the story of Gilgamesh, a god-king of Uruk who the gods see as arrogant. They create Enkidu, a wild beast that eventually befriends Gilgamesh. They travel together to the cedar forest and battle Humbaba, a fiendish guardian. They successfully defeat him, but eventually Enkidu dies, and Gilgamesh becomes painfully aware of his own mortality. Not liking that, he sets out on a journey to find ever-lasting life.


The paperback edition that I read is only 62 pages, so it's a very light read. The story is engaging, but not really engagingly written (doubtless because of its age and the act of translation). Nevertheless, I recommend it if only for its prominent status. (Note: There are several free online translations. I originally read it online, but I can't find the version I read, so you could Google it if you want. However, my guess is that a translation from a proper book is best.)

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Back flap of Gilgamesh.Back of Gilgamesh.Spine of Gilgamesh.Front of Gilgamesh.Front flap of Gilgamesh.
Table of Contents:
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  • Innledning


  • TAVLE I Enkidu kommer
  • TAVLE II Enkidu blir temmet
  • TAVLE III Forberedelser til reisen
  • TAVLE IV Reisen til Sedertreskogen
  • TAVLE V Kampen med Humbaba
  • TAVLE VI Ishtar og Himmeltyren
  • TAVLE VII Enkidus død
  • TAVLE VIII Enkidus begravelse
  • TAVLE IX Gilgamesh' vandringer
  • TAVLE X Ved verdens ende
  • TAVLE XI Den tapte udødelighet


  • I Bilgamesh og Akka
  • II I de dager, i de fjerne dager: Bilgamesh og Underverdenen
  • III Den store villoksen legger seg ned. Bilgamesh dør
  • Navneregister

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