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Bell Ringer #4: Thurs. 3/24/11 If you had a dream prophesying a major catastrophe and you had the chance to survive it, would you obey your dream? Is.

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Presentation on theme: "Bell Ringer #4: Thurs. 3/24/11 If you had a dream prophesying a major catastrophe and you had the chance to survive it, would you obey your dream? Is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bell Ringer #4: Thurs. 3/24/11 If you had a dream prophesying a major catastrophe and you had the chance to survive it, would you obey your dream? Is there anything that you would be unwilling to give up to follow your task? What would it take to convince you that the prophesy was real?

2 Bell Ringer #5: Mon. 3/28/11 Disaster is about to strike and you must gather up your things and run to safety! You can only take three things with you… What would you take? You could only bring one person with you…. Who would you bring? You can only make one warning phone call… Who would you call? You can safely leave behind one significant thing for people to remember you or the human race… what would it be and why?

3 Gilgamesh World Mythology 2010 Babylonian/Sumerian Mythology

4 Map of Ancient Near and Middle East
(Fiero, G. (2006). The Humanistic Tradition, Vol 1. 5th ed. McGraw Hill, p.38.)

5 Gilgamesh a Real King? Sumerian King-list Lived ~2500 BCE Ruled Uruk
Cult figure and oral stories

6 Gilgamesh Gilgamesh was an historical king of Uruk in Babylonia, on the River Euphrates in modern Iraq; he lived about 2700 B.C. Although historians tend to emphasize Hammurabi and his code of law, the civilizations of the Tigris-Euphrates area, among the first civilizations, focus rather on Gilgamesh and the legends accruing around him to explain, as it were, themselves. Many stories and myths were written about Gilgamesh, some of which were written down about 2000 B.C. in the Sumerian language on clay tablets which still survive. These Sumerian Gilgamesh stories were integrated into a longer poem.

7 Sound familiar? Gilgamesh is an unusual hero in that his major quest his an intellectual purpose: to gain knowledge. In addition to possessing courage, he must have great determination, patience, and fortitude in order to reach his destination. After enduring physical hazards, he must wage a battle against despair when he learns that he cannot become immortal. He must find experiences that make life worthwhile, and he must find ways of perpetuating his name. Later heroes start by accepting what Gilgamesh questions; they are born into societies that have already determined the acceptable way in which a person can achieve fame and an immortal name.

8 Lessons Learned Gilgamesh is the earliest major recorded work of literature, and Gilgamesh is the first human hero in literature. The epic reveals the importance of friendship and love, pride and honor, adventure and accomplishment, and also the fear of death and the wish for immortality. He learns that the only type of immortality that he or any other mortal can achieve is lasting fame through performing great deeds and constructing lasting monuments. He also learns that life is precious and should be enjoyed to the fullest.

9 Warrior Kings Kings were military leaders, builders, protectors
Strength, cunning, virility, divine favor Law, justice, and order in an uncertain world Glory and Immortality

10 Standard of Ur Peace and War
Peace: agriculture, trade, crafts, flourishing War: conquering enemies, tribute, fierceness and authority

11 Key Themes Companionship Death Immortality Gods-Humans Relationship
“Meaning of Life” or “Growing Up”?

12 Important People: Gilgamesh: king of Uruk who search for immortality
Lugalbanda: heroic father of Gilgamesh Enkidu: best friend of Gilgamesh Sinduri: fishwife whom Gilgamesh meets along his journey Utanapishtim: king of Shurippak; survivor of the Sumerian flood Urshanabi: Urtanapishtim’s boatman Ninsun: goddess mother of Gilgamesh, priestess of Shamash Humbaba giant who guards the Cedar Forest of Lebanon

13 Assignment: Each group will be assigned a reading from one of the eight chapters of the retold version of Gilgamesh. You should complete the following: Read the chapter and discuss with group members. Answer the questions on your worksheet (you will need to make sure to answer these in your presentation). Design a skit, poster, report, etc. explaining your chapter to your peers. ** You must have at least one visual.

14 Rubric Content: Do you include all essential people, events, and information from your chapter? Creativity: Do you present your chapter to your peers in a way that they can remember and understand? Participation: Do you contribute to your group? Does each member complete and equal amount of the assignment? Visual: Does your visual contribute to the story?

15 Post-Reading Discussion

16 Reflection: What does Gilgamesh have in common with such heroes as Odysseus, Achilles, Heracles, and others? What do you think is the theme of the story? How is the story structured? Why do you think it is told this way? Gilgamesh is presented as superhuman, so powerful that the gods create a counterpart to moderate his desires and actions. However, despite all of Gilgamesh's power, he is unable to prevent Enkidu's death, and the narrative changes direction. How can one describe Gilgamesh as a hero in the last half of the work? What has he achieved at the end of the poem? Why is this important? The gods in Gilgamesh are a bit problematic. How do the gods behave? What is their relation to humans? How much freedom do humans have, or are they merely subject to the will of these gods?

17 Genesis Gilgamesh Extent of flood Global Cause Man’s wickedness Man’s sins Intended for whom? All mankind One city & all mankind Sender Yahweh Assembly of “gods” Name of hero Noah Utnapishtim Hero’s character Righteous Means of announcement Direct from God In a dream Ordered to build boat? Yes Did hero complain? No Height of boat Three stories Seven stories Shape of boat Oblong box Cube Human passengers Family members only Family & few others Other passengers All kinds of land animals (vertebrates) All kinds of land animals Means of flood Underground water & heavy rain Heavy rain Duration of flood Long (40 days & nights plus) Short (6 days & nights) Test to find land Release of birds Types of birds Raven & three doves Dove, swallow, raven landing spot Mountains—of Ararat Mountains—Mt Nisir Sacrificed after flood? Yes, by Noah Yes, by Utnapishtim

18 All people groups remember a Global Flood
Liberals often claim that the Gilgamesh epic was embellished from a severe river flood, i.e. a local flood.  This might work if there were similar flood legends only around the ancient near east.  But there are thousands of such flood legends all around the world. Even the Australian Aborigines have legends of a massive flood, as do people living in the deep jungles near the Amazon River in South America.  Dr Alexandra Aikhenvald, a world expert on the languages of that region, said: ‘… without their language and its structure, people are rootless.  In recording it you are also getting down the stories and folklore.  If those are lost a huge part of a people’s history goes.  These stories often have a common root that speaks of a real event, not just a myth.  For example, every Amazonian society ever studied has a legend about a great flood.’ However, other say this makes perfect sense if there were a real global Flood as Genesis teaches, and all people groups came from survivors who kept memories of this cataclysm.

19 Writing Assignment

20 Modern Day Flood Whether floods have appeared throughout all cultures belief system or whether it was all the same flood, the myth appears to be extremely popular. Even modern-day films have played with the idea of a current flood in Evan Almighty. If you had a dream in which a god appeared to you, warning you to give up everything to prepare for a flood, what would you do? Which god would warn you? What would you be allowed to take to continue life as we know it? How long would it last? Why would mankind be punished? When would it happen? Answer these questions in a story or skit between you and the god of your choice!

21 The Epic of Gilgamesh (Summary)

22 Gilgamesh I shall tell the land of the one who learned all things, of the one who experienced everything, I shall teach the whole. He searched lands everywhere. He found out what was secret and uncovered what was hidden, he brought back a tale of times before the flood. He had journeyed far and wide, weary and at last resigned. He built the wall of Uruk. . . One square mile is the city, one square mile is its orchards, one square mile is its claypits, as well as the open ground of Ishtar’s temple.

23 Gilgamesh Gilgamesh is the son of Lugulbanda and the goddess Ninsun – and he is 2/3 god, 1/3 human. But like all humans he is destined to die. As the poem begins he is king of Uruk, busy building his city ever greater. When the epic opens, Gilgamesh, though “perfect in splendor, perect in strength” is causing problems at home. His excess energy is causing tension among his people, who pray to the gods for relief.

24 Gilgamesh and Enkidu The gods create Enkidu, a hairy wild man, and place him in the forest near Uruk. He lives like an animal, startling the locals. They send to Gilgamesh, who suggests thay they tame him by sending him a woman to sleep with. The woman (called Shamhat, a cult name of Ishtar) sleeps with him – converting him to humanity. Enkidu decides to go to Uruk. Gilgamesh dreams about him, and his mother Ninsun interprets the dreams. When the two men meet – at a celebration of Ishtar – they fight to a standstill, then become fast friends. They decide to go on a quest to free the Cedar Forest of Humbaba.

25 Gilgamesh and Enkidu So the heroes represent culture in theis battle against nature . . . Everyone advises against it. Ninsun prays to Shamash: Why did you single out my son Gilgamesh and impose a restless spirit on him? He faces an unknown struggle, he will ride along an unknown road . . . She adopts Enkidu as her son, and entreats him to watch after Gilgamesh. The heroes depart . . . Ellil destined Humbaba to keep the pine forest safe, to be the terror of people . . .

26 The Cedar Forest When Enkidu touches the gates of the Cedar forest, he feels a supernatural cold and debility, and at first can barely continue. Then Gilgamesh has terrible dreams of destruction, which Enkidu interprets in a favorable light. The heroes battle Humbaba, who asks for mercy. But Enkidu urges Gilgamesh to kill the monster, despite the gods’ possible displeasure. Humbaba cries out: The heroes defeat Humbaba, and return to Uruk in triumph. In Uruk, the goddess Ishtar approaches Gilgamesh to become her lover. Neither one of them shall outlive his friend! Gilgamesh and Enkidu shall never become old men!

27 Gilgamesh & Ishtar Come to me, Gilgamesh, and be my lover! Bestow on me the gift of your fruit! You can be my husband, I can be your wife. I shall have a chariot of lapis lazuli and gold harnessed for you kings, nobles and princes shall bow down beneath you. . . But Gilgamesh scornfully rejects her: You are a door that can’t keep out winds and gusts, a palace that rejects its own warriors, a waterskin which soaks its carrier which of your lovers lasted forever? Which of your paramours went to heaven?

28 The Bull of Heaven Enraged, Ishtar sends the Bull of Heaven to ravage Uruk. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill it, and when Ishtar reviles them, Enkidu also insults her, even throwing the “thigh” of the bull in her face. Inanna calls together the women to mourn the bull – a type scene related to fertility ritual. (The Bull of Heaven is the husband of Ereshkigal.)

29 Enkidu’s death Enkidu gets sick and over 12 days, he dies. He curses the hunter and the prostitute who found him and made him human, but Shamash persuades him not to curse the prostitute. Enkidu has a terrible nightmare: The gods were in council last night. And Anu said to Ellil, “As they have slain the Bull of Heaven, so too have they slain Humbaba: One of them must die.” Enlil replied, “Let Enkidu die, but let Gilgamesh not die.” Then heavenly Shamash said, “Was it not according to your plans?” But Enlil turned in anger to Shamash: “You accompanied them daily, like on of their comrades.” Gilgamesh mourned bitterly for Enkidu his friend, and roved the open country. “Shall I die too? Am I not like Enkidu? Grief has entered my innermost being . . .

30 Gilgamesh travels to the ends of the earth, through the dark mountain, the pathways of Shamash:
He meets Siduri, the (female) innkeeper (another cult name of Ishtar), to whom he pours out his troubles. She directs him to Utnapishtim, and adds: When he had gone one double-hour, thick is the darkness, there is no light; he can see neither behind him nor ahead of him… When he had gone seven double hours, thick is the darkness, there is no light… At the nearing of eleven double-hours, light breaks out. At the nearing of twelve double-hours, the light is steady. As for you, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full, Make merry day and night. Of each day make a feast of rejoicing. Day and night dance and play!

31 Utnapishtim With the help of the boatman Urshanabi, Gilgamesh travels across the water to Dilmun, the land at the edge of time . . . He cuts 60 saplings for poles, and as each enters the waters, it is eaten away. He finally uses his tattered clothing for a sail and arrives exhausted to Utnapishtim: Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh: how Ea told him to build a hige arc because a flood was coming; how built the amazing thing, how he and his family alone of all mortals were saved from the Flood, how Ishtar mourned the dead; and how he and his wife came to Dilmun, living as immortals. I crossed uncrossable mountains. I travelled all the seas. No real sleep has calmed my face. I have worn myself out in sleeplessness; my flesh is filled with grief.

32 Test yourself! Don't sleep for six days and seven nights."
Gilgamesh says to him, to Utnapishtim the remote, "as soon as I was ready to fall asleep, right away you touched me and roused me." Utnapishtim offers Gilgamesh a way to become immortal: Test yourself! Don't sleep for six days and seven nights." But as soon as Gilgamesh sits down, he falls asleep. He sleeps for seven days and nights, and each day, Utnapishtim’s wife puts a loaf of bread beside him. The old loaf is rotting when the last one is fresh: a metaphor for the seven decades of human life. But Utnapishtim shows him the loaves, and Gilgamesh realizes that he has failed his quest. Utnapishtim gives Gilgamesh a “consolation prize”: a rejuvenating plant. But on the way home, a snake takes it from him.

33 The Heroic Journey


35 Stages of the Heroic Journey . . .
The Call: The moment the hero is called on a quest.

36 Stages of the Heroic Journey . . .
The Allies: Individuals who assist the hero during the journey. They may be family members, friends, guides, animals, or even gods.

37 The Preparation- The hero needs to prepare for the journey. This might be in the form of. . . physical (training, supplies, etc.) wisdom or knowledge psychological—the hero may need to find courage to begin the adventure

38 Guardians of the Threshold
The hero encounters obstacles which interfere or delay start of journey. The obstacles may be . . . literal (physical barriers) or non-literal (fears, doubts)

39 Crossing the Threshold
This is where the hero actually begins his journey into the “new” or “unfamiliar”. The hero often realizes they must obtain new skills or knowledge to function on the journey.

40 The Road of Trials The hero faces a series of difficult experiences which test their courage, strength, intelligence, determination, etc. It may seem there is no hope or chance of the hero getting out of the dangerous situation.

41 The Saving Experience Just when things are at the worst for the hero, they meet someone, have a powerful experience, or receives a special gift that “saves” them allowing him/her to achieve goal of journey.

42 The Transformation The hero is changing, and understanding the “underworld” around him/her. The transformation is sometimes physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

43 The Return Hero returns to “normal world” but now see life differently because of journey.

44 Sharing the Gift The hero shares the gift of experience, knowledge, and wisdom gained from journey with the community.


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