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The Penultimate CuriosityHow Science Swims in the Slipstream of Ultimate Questions$
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Roger Wagner and Andrew Briggs

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747956

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.001.0001

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In a Strange Land

In a Strange Land

Chapter:
(p.338) Chapter Forty-One In a Strange Land
Source:
The Penultimate Curiosity
Author(s):

Roger Wagner

Andrew Briggs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747956.003.0041

This chapter considers the origins of the poem The Epic of Gilgamesh, which tells the story of the adventures of Gilgamesh, the king of Uruk, and his friendship with the wild man Enkidu. The version of Gilgamesh discovered by George Smith dates from the seventh century BC and was apparently written by a ‘master scribe and incantation priest’ called Sin-leqe-unnini. Smith conjectured that it was a retelling of a much older story, and some 90 years later he was proved right. The chapter also asks whether there is any evidence within Genesis that suggests a knowledge or awareness of Mesopotamian stories and religions.

Keywords:   Epic of Gilgamesh, poem, poetry, Uruk, Enkidu, flood, Genesis, George Smith

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