How should we live? This question lies at the core of what it means to be human. In volume I we explore the “best which has been thought and said” from the dawn of civilization through the fall of Rome. Today’s session is on the The Epic of Gilgamesh:
Perhaps arranged in the fifteenth century B.C., The Epic Gilgamesh draws on even more ancient traditions of a Sumerian king who ruled a great city in what is now southern Iraq around 2800 B.C. This poem (more lyric than epic, in fact) is the earliest extant monument of great literature, presenting archetypal themes of friendship, renown, and facing up to mortality, and it may well have exercised influence on both Genesis and the Homeric epics.