Mesopotamian Myths


Book Details

Author  Henrietta McCall
Publisher  University of Texas Press
Publication Date   October 23, 1990
ISBN  0292751303
Pages  80

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A vast legacy of powerful creative writing was revealed when nineteenth-century scholars managed to decipher the mysterious wedge-shaped symbols of cuneiform script, inscribed on clay tablets over 5,000 years ago by the ancient Mesopotamians. Strikingly familiar themes emerged, forcing the Victorian world to review its belief in the Bible as the sole source of literal truth. Imagine the impact of the Epic of Gilgamesh -- the saga of a man in search of the secret of eternal life -- which includes scenes of a flood predating the story of Noah and the Ark. In contrast, an alternative version of human origins is described in the Mesopotamian Epic of Creation, while the tale of Etana foreshadows the Greek myth of Ganymede. These and other stories are here retold, based on the latest translations, and illustrated with the works of both contemporary and later artists inspired by the rediscovery of these ancient characters and themes. Not only are the myths a foundation of our Western literary tradition, they are also compelling stories in their own right.

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