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Myths, Legends, and Tales Your teacher: Robert Fitzpatrick.

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Presentation on theme: "Myths, Legends, and Tales Your teacher: Robert Fitzpatrick."— Presentation transcript:

1 Myths, Legends, and Tales Your teacher: Robert Fitzpatrick

2 Robert B Fitzpatrick, Teacher Call your teacher: Bob Email address:

3 Class Class starts at 4:00 pm sharp Room #305 Expected to be in your seats on time

4 Class Rules No talking among yourselves If you want to speak, raise your hand, and wait to be called on Everyone has a folder with your name on it- you are to bring this folder to every class- DO NOT LOSE IT If you need to go to the bathroom- the sign is…..

5 This!

6 Rules Continued….. Only one person at a time to go to the bathroom No food is allowed, except for the school snack No cell phones, ipods, or other electronics Respect everyone No shoving, pushing, fighting etc…

7 Remember, the most important thing is to have fun!

8 The Epic of Gilgamesh

9 Mesopotamia


11 Sumer The Southernmost part of Mesopotamia Sumerian civilization dominated Mesopotamia from around 5000 B.C. It produced the oldest- known script It also produced the world’s first cities by 3000 B.C. Around 2334 B.C, King Sargon of Akkad in Northern Mesopotamia united both the north and the south.

12 Fertile Crescent The Fertile Crescent has been described as “the cradle of western civilization.” Great civilizations arose in the Fertile Crescent, including the Sumerians, The two rivers that fertilize the crescent are the Tigris and Euphrates.

13 When Gilgamesh Lived Now, when Gilgamesh lived, it was thousands of years before the rise of the Greeks, the Roman empire, Alexander The Great and the Persian Empire.

14 Name of EventDate of Event Persepolis is built5 th -6 th centuries B.C. (B.C.E.) Greeks defeat Darius at Marathon490 B.C. Persians defeated in a sea battle at Salamis480 B.C. Xerxes assassinated465 B.C. Alexander the Great age 20, becomes king of Macedonia 336 B.C. Alexander The Great age 32, died in Babylon 323 B.C. Constantinople declared to be 2 nd capital of Roman Empire 330 A.D. (C.E.) Rome falls to the Visigoths410 A.D.

15 Persepolis Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire.

16 Greeks Defeat Darius at Marathon The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 B.C. during the first Persian Invasion of Greece.

17 Persians Defeated in a Sea Battle at Salamis The Battle of Salamis was fought between an Alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in 480 B.C.

18 Xerxes is Assassinated In 465 B.C. Xerxes of Persia was assassinated by Artabanus, the commander of the royal bodyguard.

19 Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon, also known as Alexander the Great, was King of the Greek state of Macedon. Alexander The Great created one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas.

20 Constantinople Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe’s largest and wealthiest city.

21 Rome Falls to the Visigoths In 410 A.D. Rome was conquered for the first time in almost 800 years.

22 So, Where Did Gilgamesh Live? In Mesopotamia. What is that? Mesopotamia is a Greek word meaning ‘between the rivers’ It is that area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Notice that these rivers are in what is now called the Middle East, and flow through Iraq, emptying into the Persian Gulf.

23 Discovery of the Epic Before there were word- processors, typewriters, printing presses, papyrus – even before there was an alphabet, the Ancients in Mesopotamia wrote on clay tablets made out of mud baked in the sun called Cuneiforms on which they carved pictographs. They had no alphabet. So, they used symbols. To the right, here are some examples.

24 Archaeology Archaeologists have discovered cuneiform tablets all over Mesopotamia. A cuneiform tablet can be seen at the University of Pennsylvania

25 The Archeological Dig at Nineveh In 1857, an archeologist named Austen Henry Layard had a dig going at Nineveh which is across the Tigris River from the present-day city of Mosul in Iraq. Nineveh was watered by two tributaries of the Tigris, the Great and Little Zab Rivers. It was the seat of power of the Assyrian Empire which ruled over a huge area from North Africa to Persia between the 9 th and 7 th centuries B.C.E.

26 Assyrian Empire The Greatest Assyrian king was Sargon who ruled from 722 B.C. to 705 B.C. For our purposes, The Greatest Assyrian king was Assurbanipal who became king in 669 B.C. This king acquired a huge library of more than 25,000 cuneiforms, which were discovered by the British archeologist Austen Henry Layard.

27 George Smith Most of the cuneiform discovered by Layard were transported to London where they remain to this very day in the British Museum. Now, initially no one knew how to read them, and many tried without success. Then, George Smith, a low-level employee of the museum who had no formal training, deciphered how to read the cuneiforms.

28 The Twelve Tablets Once it was discovered how to read the cuneiforms, it was discovered that there were twelve tablets that told the epic of Gilgamesh. The tablets were written around 1100 B.C./B.C.E. by the Babylonian scribe and scholar, Sin-lege-unninni, the Homer of this story. Here is the story that they tell:

29 The Story of a Great King: Gilgamesh Once upon a time, long, long ago there lived a great king named Gilgamesh Now, Gilgamesh was no ordinary king. He was 2/3 immortal god and 1/3 ordinary mortal human. This is his story. He was the son of a semi- divine father, Lugalbanda, and the goddess, Ninsun. As we said, he lived a long, long time ago – estimated around 2650 B.C.E. Now, how long ago is that? And, what does B.C.E. mean?

30 Gilgamesh Was King of Erech It is said that he reigned for 120 years. He was of super-human size and strength.

31 Erech ( Uruk)

32 Gilgamesh and Hercules Some have speculated that the Greek myth of Heracles (Hercules) was derived from the Epic of Gilgamesh.

33 B.C.E. and B.E. – What Do They Stand For? B.C.E stands for Before the Common Era, and C.E. stands for the Common Era. This method is not the exclusive calendaring method. B.C. stands for “Before Christ.” A.D. stands for Anno Domini, and refers to time after the birth of Christ. Part of the world, countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, use an entirely different calendar called the Hijri. Above: an Assyrian Calendar

34 Allons Enfants de la Patrie… After the French Revolution, France, for a time, used the Revolution Calendar. (See slide)

35 French Revolutionary Calendar Name of the MonthDerivationDates on our calendar Vendémiare Latin, vindemia - vintage Sept 22 - Oct 21 Brumaire Brume - mist Oct 22 – Nov 20 Frimaire frimas - frost Nov 21- Dec 20 Nivôse Latin, nivosus - snow Dec 21 – Jan 19 Pluviôse Latin, rainy Jan 20 – Feb 18 Ventôse Latin, ventosus - windy Feb 19 – Mar 20 Germinal Latin, germen - bud Mar 21 – Apr 19 Floréal Latin, florens - flowery Apr 20 – May 19 Prairial Pré - meadow May 20 – June 18 Messidor Latin, messis - harvest June 19 – July 18 Thermidor Greek, therme - heat July 19 – Aug 17 Fructidor Latin, fructus - fruit Aug 18 – Sept 16 Sans-CulottidesSept 17 – Sept 21

36 B.C.E. Continued Now we count B.C.E. from the highest number descending to 1, being the year in which Jesus Christ allegedly was believed to be born. The year zero does not exist. And, from one we count time in ascending dates and it is called A.D. So, the year after 2650 B.C.E. is 2649 B.C.E, and so on until you get to one. Once you get to one B.C.E., the next year is 1 C.E. and so on.

37 B.C.E. Trivia Question So, 2650 B.C.E. would be a total of how many years ago? 2650 B.C.E./B.C. 1 2011 C.E./A.D.

38 Dreads The Kings of Mesopotamia had square beards woven into dreadlocks.

39 Sumerian King - Lists On cuneiforms, there was found the Sumerian King – Lists, and Gilgamesh is listed as the fifth king of the first dynasty of Uruk (Erech in Greek; Warka in Arabic). He was an arrogant king who abused the people The people prayed to the gods to create another creature equal in strength to Gilgamesh.

40 Creation of Enkidu The goddess Aruru created from a lump of clay, Enkidu. Enkidu, while human, lived like a wild beast and possessed immense strength, just like Gilgamesh.

41 The Taming of Enkidu Gilgamesh sends a woman to tame Enkidu, and she does. She convinces Enkidu to clean himself up and come live in Uruk. He agrees to come.

42 The Wrestling Match When Gilgamesh and Enkidu meet, they have a wrestling match as a trial of strength. Neither man can win, neither can best the other it is….. a draw. And, they become great friends.

43 Friendship Realizing that they are equals, King Gilgamesh and Enkidu become great friends and boon companions. And, King Gilgamesh stops abusing the people of Uruk.

44 The Cedar Forests Mesopotamia has virtually no trees and therefore to find wood, one had to travel to the forests closer to the Mediterranean. In the Amanus mountain range, there are cedar forests. Mt. Saphon is there, some 20 miles north of Ras Shamra. The forests are guarded by a monster, Humbaba, sometimes called Huwawa.

45 Humbaba Gilgamesh and Enkidu attack and slay the fire- breathing giant, Humbaba. Humbaba, sometimes called Huwawa, guarded the cedar forests. They cut off Humbaba’s head. The cedar forests were the home of Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven.

46 Ishtar’s Revenge Ishtar falls in love with Gilgamesh, but he rejects her. Ishtar then begs Anu, the sky god for revenge. Anu creates a bull that ravages the kingdom, and eventually Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill the bull.

47 The Bull of Heaven Anu creates the Bull of Heaven which descends upon Uruk. There is a famine for seven years. Eventually, Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill the Bull. They cut out its heart and offer it to the sun god Shamash.

48 The Death of Enkidu The gods then decide that Enkidu must die, and he does die from a fever that lasts twelve days.

49 Why Twelve Days? Scholars believe that twelve days was used because it is the basis of Mesopotamian mathematics, which is called the sexagesimal system.


51 The Search for Immortality When Enkidu dies, Gilgamesh begins to fear that he too will die, and he brings to search for immortality. Only one human has been made immortal, Ut- napishtim.

52 The Mountain of Mashu and the Scorpion-Man Gilgamesh goes on a journey to find Ut-napishtim, and gets to the foot of the mountains called Mashu, which is guarded by a scorpion-man and his wife.

53 Gilgamesh Arrives at the Waters of Death The water of death are guarded by the goddess Siduri. Siduri tries to convince Gilgamesh from attempting to cross the waters of death, and thusly to enjoy life. He gets across the waters with the help of Urshanabi.

54 The Story of the Flood When Gilgamesh crosses the river, he comes to the home of Ut-napishtim, and he tells him the story of the flood. Ut-napishtim is known as the “Babylonian Noah.”

55 The Quest for Immortality Ut-napishtim tells Gilgamesh that the gods have reserved immortality for themselves and death is the lot of mankind.

56 The Magic Plant But he then tells him of a plant at the bottom of the sea that provides immortality. Gilgamesh swims to the bottom and gets the plant and heads back to Uruk. On his way back, he stops to bathe in a stream. While he is bathing, a snake swallows the plant, and sloughes off it’s old skin.

57 Good King Gilgamesh Once Gilgamesh realized that he could not achieve eternal life, he decided to achieve immortality by leading a good life and being a good king. For the remainder of his life, he devoted himself to his people and to the city of Uruk.

58 The Walls of Uruk One of the cuneiforms describes the walls of Uruk that King Gilgamesh built as being “the like of which no king, no man, will ever build.” He decorated the walls with lapus luzili.

59 Lapus Luzili This precious stone, which is intensely blue, decorates many of the temples found by archeologists in Mesopotamia. This precious stone was mined in the mountains of Northern Afghanistan, near Badakhshan, thousands of miles away.

60 Lazurite Lazurite is a mineral found in lapus luzili. Lazurite was used to make paint by well-known artists of the Renaissance.

61 The Death of Gilgamesh When Gilgamesh dies, the people divert the waters of the river and bury him under the water.

62 Summary of The Epic of Gilgamesh


64 The End

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