The (sexy) Epic Of Gilgamesh

 

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Gilgamesh is crushing it, basically:

Gilgamesh the tall, magnificent and terrible;

who opened passes in the mountains,

who dug wells on the slopes of the uplands,

and crossed the ocean, the wide sea to the sunrise;

who scoured the world ever searching for life,

and reached through sheer force Uta-napishti the Distant;

who restored the cult-centres destroyed by the Deluge;

and set in place for the people the rites of the cosmos.

Who is there can rival his kingly standing,

and say like Gilgamesh, ‘It is I am the king’?

Gilgamesh was his name from teh day he was born,

two-thirds of him god and one third human.

But his dominance is getting to be a problem:

Though he is their shepherd and their protector,

powerful, pre-eminent, expert and mighty,

Gilgamesh lets no girl go free to her bridegroom.

So complain ‘the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride’ to the goddesses.  So the goddess Aruru makes a man who will be a match for Gilgamesh.

In the wild she created Enkidu, the hero,

offspring of silence, knit strong by Ninurta.

All his body is matted with hair,

he bears long tresses like those of a woman:

the hair of his head grows thickly as barley,

he knows not a people, nor even a country.

Coated in hair like the god of the animals,

with the gazelles he grazes on grasses.

Joining the throng with the game at the water-hole,

his heart delighting with the beasts in the water.

tablet

Enkidu scares a hunter, who goes to Gilgamesh.  Gilgamesh says “ok, go get Shamhat the temple prostitute and go tempt Enkidu”:

Then Shamhat saw him, the child of nature,

the savage man from the midst of the wild.

‘This is he, Shamhat! Uncradle your bosom,

bare your sex, let him take in your charms!

Do not recoil, but take in his scent:

he will see you, and will approach you.

Spread your clothing so he may lie on you,

do for the man the work of a woman!

Let his passion caress and embrace you,

his herd will spurn him, though he grew up amongst it.’

Shamhat unfastened the cloth of her loins,

she bared her sex and he took in her charms.

She did not recoil, she took in his scent:

she spread her clothing and he lay upon her.

She did for the man the work of a woman,

his passion caressed and embraced her.

For six days and seven nights

Enkidu was erect, as he coupled with Shamhat.

When with her delights he was fully sated,

he turned his gaze to the his herd.

The gazelles saw Enkidu, they started to run,

the beasts of the field shied away from his presence.

Enkidu had defiled his body so pure,

his legs stood still, though his herd was in motion.

Enkidu was weakened, could not run as before,

but now he had reason, and wide understanding.

Wild man fucks prostitute, loses his gazelle friends — oldest story in the world.

That’s all on Tablet One, by the way.  Remember the old rule: by Tablet Two, you should have established your characters and relationships.

What happens next is Gilgamesh and Enkidu become best friends and decide to go to the Cedar Forest to kill the monster Humbaba.



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