The reading begins with an introduction that puts the reading into perspective for the time and place it was written and gives you background to understand it more fully.
You can skip the Questions for Analysis section as the questions below will walk you through the reading.
Be sure to read the footnotes at the bottom of the pages when they come up in a reading as they can be very helpful in understanding the document.
1. In Enkidu’s dream he visits the afterlife. In your own, simplified words, how does the afterlife sound?
Enkidu’s rendition of the afterlife seems like the Christian after place called hell. Some indications are the description of darkness and suffering. In Christianity, hell is a place of suffering that humans go to as result of being a sinner.
2. In Enkidu’s dream he sees former kings and princes in the afterlife. What are they doing in the afterlife AND what does this tell you about the connection between life and the afterlife in Mesopotamian ideology?
The fact that Enkidu sees all of these former men of power in this form of the afterlife, it tells me that in Mesopotamian ideology anyone in a position of power can enjoy their rein and take advantage, but then the will be sent to the “Dark House” to serve their time. Just as their own servants did for them, they now must do to the gods. And it shows could also be a way of the Gods telling the people of power that, yes, they do have power over the city in some respects, but the gods are the people truly in power.
3. When Gilgamesh talks to Siduri, the female tavern-keeper, she gives him advice about life. In your own, simplified words, what is her advice to Gilgamesh?
Her advice is to simply settle down and enjoy the simplicities of life instead of wasting the precious little amount of life granted searching for more life.
4. Think about how your answer to the first question and the third question are logically connected. NO RESPONSE IS REQUIRED.
5. Note the similarities between the story of Utnapishtim’s flood and the more popular story of Noah’s Ark from the Bible. Similarities like this are common in many early “histories” and sometimes give us reason to doubt events and sometimes give us reason to believe events. NO RESPONSE IS REQUIRED.
6. After the flood story, the…