He who saw everything in the broad-boned earth, and knew what was to be known
Who had experienced what there was, and had become familiar with all things
He, to whom wisdom clung like cloak, and who dwelt together with Existence in Harmony
He knew the secret of things and laid them bare. And told of those times before the Flood
In his city, Uruk, he made the walls, which formed a rampart stretching on
And the temple called Eanna, which was the house of An, the Sky God
And also of Inanna, Goddes of Love and Battle
Look at it even now: where cornice runs on outer wall shining brilliant copper -see,
There is no inner wall; it has no equal. Touch the threshold - ancient. Approach the palace called Eanna.
There lives Inanna, Goddess of Love and Battle. No king since has accomplished such deeds.
Climb that wall, go in Uruk, walk there, I say, walk there.
See the foundation terrace, touch then the masonry - Is not this of burnt brick, And good? I say;
The seven sages laid its foundation. One third is city; One third is orchards; One third is clay pits- Unbuilt-on land of the Inanna Temple search these three parts, find the copper table-box
Open it. Open its secret fastening. Take out the lapis-lazuli tablet. Read aloud from it.
Read how Gilgamesh fared many hardships
Surpassing all kings, great in respect, a lord in his form
He is the hero, He is of Uruk, He, the butting bull
He leads the Way, He, the Foremost, He also marches at the rear, a helper to his brothers
He is the Great Net, protector of his men. He is the furious flood-wave,
Who destroys even stone walls. The offspring of Lugulbanda, Gilgamesh is perfect in strength
The son of the revered Cow, of the woman Rimat-Ninsun. Gilgamesh inspires perfect awe. He opened the mountain passes, he dug the well on the mountain's flank.
He crossed to the far shore, traversed the vast sea to the rising Sun. He explored the rim, sought life without death. By his strength he reached Ziusudra the Faraway
He who restored living things to their places
Those which the Flood had destroyed
Amidst the teeming peoples,
Who is there to compare with him in kingship?
Who like Gilgamesh can say:
'I am king indeed?'
His name was called Gilgamesh
From the very day of his birth,
He was two-thirds god, one third man,
The Great Goddess Aruru designed him, planned his body, prepared his form
A perfect body the gods gave
For the creation of Gilgamesh
Shamash the Sun gave beauty
Adad the Storm gave courage
And so he surpassed all others.
He was two-thirds god, one third man,
The form of his body no one can match
Eleven cubits high he is, nine spans his chest
As he turns to see the lands all around him.
But he comes to the city of Uruk.
Long was his journey, weary, worn down by his labours
He inscribed upon a stone when he returned
This story.
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Out I went, into the world, but there was none better, none whom he, Gilgamesh, could not best.
And so, with his arms, he returned to Uruk. But in their houses, the men of Uruk muttered:
'Gilgamesh, noisy Gilgamesh! Arrogant Gilgamesh!'
All young men gone - Defeated by Gilgamesh, and no son was left to his father.
All young girls made women by Gilgamesh
His lusts are such, and no virgin left to her lover!
Not the daughter of a warrior,
Nor the wife of a nobleman!
Yet he is king and should be
The people's careful shepherd.
He is king and should be
Shepherd of the city.
He is wise, he is handsome, he is firm as a rock.
In heaven the gods heard
Heard the lament of the people,
And the gods cried out to the Great God, higher king of Uruk:
'Strong as a wild bull is this Gilgamesh
So he was made by Aruru, the godess
None there is who can - not one
None who can survivea him in fighting.
No son left to his father.
Gilgamesh, he takes them all, and is he
He the king? Shepherd of the people?
No virgin left to her lover, For he lusts strongly!
No, nor the wife of the nobleman!
The Great God heard this, then
To the Goddess of Creation, Aruru -
Cried all the gods:
'You created this Gilgamesh! Well, create him his equal!
Let him look as into mirrors - Give a second self to him, yes;
Rushing winds meet rushing winds!
Let them flow heart to heart against -
Give them each other to fight,
 Leaving Uruk in peace!'
So the Goddess of Creation took and formed in her mind
This image, and there it was conceived -
in her mind, and it was made of material
That composes the Great God,
He of the Firmament.
She then plunged her hands down into water and pinched off a little clay. She let it drop in the wilderness
Thus the noble Enkidu was made. For this was he the very strength of Ninurta, the God of War, was his form, rough bodied, long hair,
His hair waved like corn filaments -
Yes, like the hair of that goddess
Who is the corn, she , Nisaba. Matted hair was all over his body, like the skins of the cattle.
Yes, like the body of that god.
Who is the cattle, he, Samugan.
This Enkidu was innocent of mankind.
He knew not the cultivated land.
Enkidu was in the hills
With the gazelles -
They jostled each other
With all the herds
He too loved the water-hole.
But one day by a water hole
A trapper met him
Yes, face to face,
Because the herds of wild game
Had strayed into his territory.
On three days face to face -
Each day the trapper wa terrified,
Frozen stiff with fear.
With his game he went home,
Unable to speak, numb with fright.
The trapper's face altered, new -
A long journey does that to one,
Gives a new visage upon returning -
The trapper, his heart all awe, told his father:
'Father, what a man! No other like him! He comes from the hills, strongest alive!
A star in heaven his strength,
Of the star essense of An, the Sky Father
Over the hills with the beasts
Eating grass
Ranges across all your land,
Goes to the wells.
I fear him, stay far away.
He fills in my pits
Tears up my game traps
Helps the beasts escape;
Now all the game slips away -
Through my fingers.'
His father opened his mouth,
Told the son, the trapper:
'My son, in Uruk lives Gilgamesh.
None can withstand him,
None has surpassed him,
As a star in heaven his strength
Of the star-essence of An, the Sky Father.
Go to Uruk, find Gilgamesh
Praise the wild man's strength ask for a temple hierodule from the Temple of Love,
Such a child of pleasure;
Bring her and let her power fo woman
Subdue this wild man.
When he goes to the wells,
He will embrace the priestess
And the wild beasts will reject him.'
To Uruk the trapper went
And said to Gilgamesh:
'Like no other, wild,
Roaming in the pastures,
A star in heaven his strength
Of the star-essence of An, the Sky Father.
I am afraid, stay far away; he helps the beasts escape
Fills in my pits
Tears up my game traps.'
Gilgamesh said:
'Trapper, return,
Take a priestess, child of pleasure -
When he goes to the wells
He will embrace the priestess
And the wild beasts will reject him.'
Then returned with the hierodule
And three days to the drinking hole,
There sat down
Hierodule facing the trapper,
Waiting for the game.
First day, nothing.
Second day, nothing.
Third day, yes.
The herds came to drink, and Enkidu -
Glad for the water were the small wild beasts,
And Enkidu was glad for the water -
He of the gazelles and wild grass,
Born in the hills.
The priestess saw this man
Wild from the hills.
'There, woman,'the trapper,
'Bare your breasts now;
This is he,
Have no shame, delay not,
Welcome his love,
Let him see you naked,
Let him possess your body.
As he approaches, take off your clothes,
Lie with him, teach him,
The savage, your art of woman,
For as he loves you, then
The wild beasts, his companions,
They will reject him.'
She had no shame for this,
Made herself naked
Welcomed his eagerness
Incited him to love,
Taught the woman's art.
Six days, seven nights,
That time lying together,
Enkidu had forgotten his home
Had forgotten the hills
After that time he was satisfied.
Then he went back to the wild beasts -
But the gazelles saw him and ran,
The wild beasts saw him and ran.
Enkidu would follow, but weak,
His strength gone through woman;
Wisdom was in him,
Thoughts in his hear - a man's.
So he returned to the priestess.
At her feet he listened intently
'You have wisdom, Enkidu.
Now you are as a god.
Why the beasts? Why the hills?
Come to Uruk of the strong walls
To Inanna's Temple of Love,
And to the Eanna,
Where the Sky God An can be found.
Gilgamesh is there, strong,
Raging like a wild bull, over all
Is his strength.'
Favourably as he speaks, he hears her words.
He comes to know his own heart
And his desire to find a friend.
He tells her, the priestess:
'Take me, girl, to the sacred pure
Dwelling of Love and Sky God's house
Where lives Gilgamesh of perfect strength,
He who rages like a bull over all,
And I will summon him forth and challenge him
And I will shout in Uruk:
"I am the mightiest!
Yes, I can change the order of what is!
Anyone born on the steppe is mighty and has strength"'
'Then let us go that he may see your face
And I will show you Gilgamesh, for I know well where he is.
Come Enkidu, to Uruk of ramparts,
Where all are dressed for festival,
Where each day is a festival,
Where there are boys,
Where there are girls,
Deliciously ripe and perfumed,
Who drive the great ones from their fretted couches
To you, Enkidu, of joy in life
I will show Gilgamesh of joy in life
See him, see his face
Radiant is his manhood, of full-bodied vigour
His body ripe with beauty in every part.
So exceeding you in strength,
Needing no sleep by day or by night.
Restrain you folly, Enkidu.
Gilgamesh - Shamash the Sun is proud,
Also An, the God of Firmament,
Also valiant Enlil, his son,
And Enki, his son also -
All have given wisdom.
Before you come from the open plains
Gilgamesh will have dreamed of it.'
And so Gilgamesh rose from his bed
And to his mother, in revealing dreams, said:
'Mother, I saw in a dream last night
That there were stars in heaven
And a star descended upon me like unto
The essence of An, the Sky God.
I tried to lift it up, but it was too heavy for me,
I tried to move it, but it would not be moved.
The land of Uruk was around it,
The land was placed roud about it.
All the people were pressing towards it.
All the nobles also came round it,
And all my friends kissed its feet.
I was drawn towards it as to a woman
And I laid it at your feet
And you said it was my equal.'
She, the Wise, the Custodian of Knowledge,
Says to her lord -
She, Ninsun, Custodian of Knowledge,
Says to Gilgamesh:
'Your equal was a star of heaven
Which descended upon you like unto
The essence of An who his the God of the Firmament
You tried to lift it but it would not be moved
And I called it your equal, comparing it to you.
You were drawn to it as to a woman.
The meaning of this
Is of a strong friend who saves his companion
He is the strongest of the land; he has strength.
As a star in heaven his strength,
The strength of An of the Firmament and his host.
So that you are drawn to him overwhelmingly.
And this means he will never forsake you.
Such is your dream.'
Gilgamesh says again to his mother:
'Mother, another dream
In Uruk of the ramparts lay an axe -
All were gathered around it,
Uruk-land was standing round about it.
The people pressed towards it;
I laid it at your feet.
I was drawn to it as to a woman.
For you called it my equal.'
She, the Wise Custodian of Knowledge, says to her son -
'The axe is a man
You were drawn to it as to a woman
For I called it your equal
And it was to rival you.
This means a strong friend standing by his friend
He is the strongest of the land; he has strength.
The essence of An of the Firmament, is his,
So strong is he.'
Gilgamesh then spoke to his mother
'Now according to the word of God Enli
Let a counsellor and friend come to me
That I may acquire a companion
And to him I shall be friend and counsellor also.'
And as Gilgamesh revealed his dream
The girl was speaking to Enkidu
As they sat together.
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For six days and seven nights
Enkidu made love to that girl
And the girl said to him
She said to Enkidu:
'When I look at you, Enkidu,
You seem to be like a god.
Why the wild beasts?
Whe the roaming over the steppe?
Come with me,
Come to ramparted Uruk.
There the holy temple of Eanna
Where the Great God An lives,
Come with me, Enkidu, to the holy dwelling
To the temple, Sky God's house,
For Gilgamesh of may deeds lives there.
You are so like him.
You will love him as yourself,
Rise up from the earth,
Come to a shepherd's bed!'
There came upon his heart
The truth of what she said.
He heard her words
And they were good.
She divided her clothing in two,
One garment for him,
One for her
Holding his hand she led him
Led him like a child.
And they came to the hut of the shepherds
Which is in the sheepfold.
All the shepherds gathered round him,
Pressed round him, were drawn to him
Thronged round the wild man.
Of her instruction the priestess is proud,
This is a man who is like Gilgamesh in form,
Taller he is in form,
He was born in the mountains,
And like the star-essence of the Sky Father An, his strength is more powerful.
And Enkidu sat at their table
That he might eat of their produce.
But he knew the milf of wild creatures,
Which he sucked in the wilds.
Theshppherds placed thier own food before him, and
He choked, he looked,
He stared at it, at them,
Enkidu knows nothing of this,
He knows not eating food,
What is this drink? This strong drink?
He has not been taught it.
Bread was set before him - he knows it not.
Beer was set before him - he knows it not.
Enkidu did not eat bread,
He squeezed his eyes together, stared,
The girl then spoke:
She said to Enkidu:
'Enkidu, eat that food.
It is our de in life.
Drink this strong drink.
It is what is done here.'
So Enkidu ate the food,
Ate until he was full.
He drank that strong drink
Seven cups of it (1).
(A fragment of about 1,400 BCE published by Gernot Wilhelm gives a slightly different account of the preceding:)
The priestess said to him, said to Enkidu:
'You are exquisite Enkidu!
Why do you run to and fro with the beasts of the steppe?
You are like a god in your nature
Who is there like you among men?'
Again the priestess said to him, said to Enkidu:
'Come, Enkidu! Let us go to the place of the sheepfold (2)'.
She drew out a single garment
And he clothed himself.
Leading him, she held his hand,
And like a god was his countenance.
She led him to the place of the sheepfold,
The shepherds/people were gathered together,
And the people spoke amongst themselves:
'Look how he resembles Gilgamesh in his appearance!
He is small in size but extremely strong in his bony frame.
As soon as he was born in the mountains,
He was in thehabit of sucking the milk of animals.'
They set bread before him
He examined it and was puzzled by the bread.
They set beer before him.
He creased his eyes together and gazed at it;
He was puzzled by the beer.
The priestess said to him,
Said to Enkidu:
'Eat the bread, Enkidu,
That you will be worthy of godliness!
Drink the fine beer,
That you will be worthy of kingship!'
Enkidu ate the bread,
He drank the fine beer (3),
And indeed seven jugs of it (4).
(We now return to the main version of the text)
He felt so free, he felt so happy
He rejoiced so in his heart!
His face became radiant.
He rubbed all the shaggy growth,
The hair of his body.
He annointed himself with oil
And thus he became a man.
He donned clothing -
Look! He is like a man!
He takes up his weapon,
He attacks the lions
So the shepherds might have peace at night.
He caught wolves,
He captured lions,
And the chief cattlemen could rest.
Enkidu was their watchman,
A man of strength,
An unparalled hero!
To the shepherds he said:
'I am a man now.
I can eat bread at the table,
I can drink strong drink.
But I have the strength of he who roams the steppe.
I am stronger than you.
No one is stronger.
You see I catch wolves,
You see I capture lions.
Because of me the shepherds can rest at night,
Because of me the chief catlemen can lie down.
I am become the king of the sheepfold.'
And Enkidu sat at the table,
He ate the food
He drank the strong drink
He felt good in his heart.
He made merry
Then he looked up
And saw a man
He told the girl:
'Girl, bring the man.
Why is he here?
I must know his name!'
The girl called the man,
Went to him, said to himL
'Sir, where are you going?
Why have you taken this, your difficult course?'
The man spoke, spoke to Enkidu:
'Into the people's special place,,
Their very own meeting-house,
Even into it has he intruded!
Set aside rules and laws for wedlock!
On the city he heaped shame!
Strange practices he has imposed
Upon a city helpless to resist.
For the king of ramparted Uruk
Has altered the unaltered way,
Abused, changed the practices.
Any new bride from the people is his;
Gilgamesh, king of ramparted Uruk,
He may mate with any new bride.
Before the lawful husband may have her.
The gods have ordained this
In their wisdom, by their will.
It was so decreed from the moment of birth
When his umbilical cord was cut out.'
At the mans's words
The face of Enkidu paled.
Fury grew within his heart,
His eyes became fightful to look upon
Enkidu spoke his anger,
Said to the man:
'This cannot contine to be!
I will go to ramparted Uruk.
I will meet Gilgamesh
I will bring his excesses to an end!'
Enkidu set out for Uruk
Enkidu walked in front
The girl walked behind
When he entered ramparted Uruk
The people thronged round him
When he stopped in the street,
In Uruk of the ramparts,
Saying of him:
'He is like Gilgamesh in form!
He is smaller in size
But stronger in bone.
He is a match for Gilgamesh!
He is the strongest of the steppe, strength is his,
Milk of wild creatures
He once sucked.
There will be endless clash of arms in Uruk!'
The nobles rejoiced:
'Here is a hero
For all who are honourable!
To match divine Gilgamesh
Here is his equal!'
Now for the Goddess of Love
Is the bed made ready
Of the evening, ready to receive
Gilgamesh for his pleasures.
Now he is coming along
But Enkidu appears in the street
And bars his way
To Gilgamesh is opposed
The might of Enkidu
The divine Gilgamesh is face to face
With his equal, Enkidu of the steppes.
The king of ramparted Uruk
Sees his equal, who has strength,
Smaller in size, but stronger of bone
Like unto Gilgamesh to the hair.
Gilgamesh sees his shaggy growth -
On the steppe the grass
Sprouts in as much abundance
Gilgamesh drew himself up
And stood before him
In the market-place of the land
Was there they met,
And Enkidu blocked the gate
With his foot and
Would not let Gilgamesh enter
They they grappled their belts and wrestled like champions
Rushing wind meets rushing wind,
Heart to heart against -
Holding fast like bulls.
They shattered absolutely the doorpost of the holy gate
And the wall shook with this fateful act.
The doorway of the house of the family
Where the bride awaited Gilgamesh,
There they struggled.
They fought in the street,
They battled in the market.
But in the end,
Brought Enkidu to the earth,
His own foot still on the ground,
And won the contest.
His anger vanished
He turned away
But when he turned away
Enkidu said to him
Spoke to Gilgamesh:
'As one single and unique
Your mother bore you
She the wild cow of the steerfolds,
She, Ninsun the Wise, she the Strong
You are raised above all men
You are king of the people by decree
Of Enlil, son of the Great God An!'
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1. Seven cups or seven jugs (see 1988 fragment) are symbolic, representing the sacred number of the seven initiatory planets, i.e. the Moon (Nanna/Sin), Sun (Utu/Shamash), Venus (Inanna/Ishtar), Mars (Nergal), Earth, Saturn (Ninurta), Mercuri (Nabu) and Jupiter (Marduk).
2. The 'sheepfold' was probably a reference to the rites of the Shepherd, or the King of the Land (See Tablet IV, note 1).
3. Eating of the bread and drining of the superior form of beer constituted probably a ritual of some kind, intended to prepare a candidate to the role of king and priest, a combination that was routine these days.
4. See note 1.

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