The Hittite Gilgamesh

By Gary Beckman

 

From the late third millennium BCE on, the adventures of the hero Gilgamesh were well known throughout Babylonia and Assyria, and the discovery of Akkadian-language fragments of versions of his tale at Boğazköy, Ugarit, Emar, and Megiddo demonstrates that tales of the hero's exploits had reached the periphery of the cuneiform world already in the Late Bronze Age. A century of excavation at the Hittite capital of Hattusa (modern Boğazköy) has yielded more textual sources for Gilgamesh than are known from all other Late Bronze Age sites combined. The Gilgamesh tradition was imported to Hattusa for use in scribal instruction, and has been of particular importance to modern scholars in reconstructing the epic and analyzing its development, since it documents a period in the history of the narrative for which very few textual witnesses have yet been recovered from Mesopotamia itself. And it is this very Middle Babylonian period to which scholarly consensus assigns the composition of the final, "canonical" version of the epic. The Hittite Gilgamesh offers a full edition of the manuscripts from Hattusa in the Hittite, Akkadian, and Hurrian languages recounting Gilgamesh's adventures.

The Hittite Gilgamesh

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  • More info

    Journal of Cuneiform Studies Supplements Series vol. 6

    112 pages

    8.5 x 11 inches

    ISBN 978-1-948488-06-8 (hardcover)

    ISBN 978-1-948488-07-5 (PDF)

    June 2019

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  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments

    Register of Texts

    Abbreviations

     

    Introduction

    
CTH 341.I—Akkadian

    
CTH 341.II—Hurrian

    CTH 341.III—Hittite

    Unplaced Hittite Fragments

    Appendix: CTH 347—Atra-ḫasīs

     

    Bibliography

    Indexes to Hittite Language Texts

     

  • Reviews

    Hittite philologists, the author’s primary audience, will want to own this collection of texts, which
    are of importance not only to multilingualism in Hattusa but also to such diverse matters as the
    transformation of Mesopotamian mythology beyond Mesopotamia and, more generally, to crosscultural interaction and literary history in antiquity. All scholars of the ancient world interested in
    the reception and reinvention of Gilgamesh in cuneiform traditions will profit from study of the
    material Beckman has conveniently gathered and expertly elucidated.—Felipe Rojas, Brown University (Review of Biblical Literature, July, 2021)