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He Who Saw Everything
Written by Mike Noel   
Friday, 17 September 2010

He Who Saw Everything 

He Who Saw Everything is an English verse redition of the Epic of Gilgamesh.  This is the oldest written work that exists still today.  It is approximately 4000 years old and has been peiced together from ancient Sumarian, Babylonian, and Akkadian scripts.  It is most interesting simply because of how old it is.  This story was told and retold by generations of man hundreds of years before the Greeks and other ancient cultures came on the scene.  

As it starts, Gilgamesh is an all-powerful king who is abusing his priviledge.  To "balance" out Gilgamesh the gods decide to create someone else who is just as powerful as he is.  They create Enkidu as a wild man who lives as a beast.  Since Gilgamesh is living in the city and Enkidu is living in the wild, he is not able to act as a counterforce for Gilgamesh.  So Enkidu has to be made into a man.  A woman is sent into the forest to "make a man" out of Enkidu.  This is remarkably successful and Enkidu comes to the city.  There he meets Gilgamesh and they begin a friendship.

Much of the the middle part of the story talks about the deeds they do together.  Until Enkidu is killed.  At that point the story turns and Gilgamesh spends the rest of the time trying to deal with his grief.

Central to this peice of literature is a profound acceptance of astrology and the reading of entrails.  These superstitious practices are the driving force behind many of the decisions that the characters make.   But this was real to the listeners of this epic when it was first told.  In fact, the entire poem was considered real.  It was a story that taught about the mysteries of life.  And as such, it give us, now, a way to see what life was like, or at least what the beliefs were like, for people of that ancient time.

Those who are interested in understanding the "story of man" will find this book quite interesting.


Last Updated ( Friday, 17 September 2010 )