The Epic of Gilgamesh


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An Old Babylonian Version of the Gilgamesh Epic

Translated by Albert T. Clay

Pennsylvania Tablet

Col. I.

Gish sought to interpret the dream; Spoke to his mother: "My mother, during my night I became strong and moved about among the heroes; And from the starry heaven A meteor(?) of Anu fell upon me: I bore it and it grew heavy upon me, I became weak and its weight I could not endure. The land of Erech gathered about it. The heroes kissed its feet. It was raised up before me. They stood me up. I bore it and carried it to thee." The mother of Gish, who knows all things, Spoke to Gish: "Some one, O Gish, who like thee In the field was born and Whom the mountain has reared, Thou wilt see (him) and [like a woman(?)] thou wilt rejoice. Heroes will kiss his feet. Thou wilt spare [him and wilt endeavor] To lead him to me." He slept and saw another Dream, which he reported to his mother: ["My mother,] I have seen another [Dream.] My likeness I have seen in the streets [Of Erech] of the plazas. An axe was brandished, and They gathered about him; And the axe made him angry. I saw him and I rejoiced, I loved him as a woman, I embraced him. I took him and regarded him As my brother." The mother of Gish, who knows all things, [Spoke to Gish]: ["O Gish, the man whom thou sawest,] [Whom thou didst embrace like a woman].

Col II.

(means) that he is to be associated with thee." Gish understood the dream. [As] Enki[du] was sitting before the woman, [Her] loins(?) he embraced, her vagina(?) he opened. [Enkidu] forgot the place where he was born. Six days and seven nights Enkidu continued To cohabit with [the courtesan]. [The woman] opened her [mouth] and Spoke to Enkidu: "I gaze upon thee, O Enkidu, like a god art thou! Why with the cattle Dost thou [roam] across the field? Come, let me lead thee into [Erech] of the plazas, to the holy house, the dwelling of Anu, O, Enkidu arise, let me conduct thee To Eanna, the dwelling of Anu, The place [where Gish is, perfect] in vitality. And thou [like a wife wilt embrace] him. Thou [wilt love him like] thyself. Come, arise from the ground (that is) cursed." He heard her word and accepted her speech. The counsel of the woman Entered his heart. She stripped off a garment, Clothed him with one. Another garment She kept on herself. She took hold of his hand. Like [a god(?)] she brought him To the fertile meadow, The place of the sheepfolds. In that place they received food; [For he, Enkidu, whose birthplace was the mountain,] [With the gazelles he was accustomed to eat herbs,] [With the cattle to drink water,] [With the water beings he was happy.]

(Perhaps one additional line missing.)

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