Achilles beside Gilgamesh -

Achilles beside Gilgamesh

Mortality and Wisdom in Early Epic Poetry



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It is widely recognised that the epics of Homer are closely related to the earlier mythology and literature of the Ancient Near East, above all the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. But how should this influence our response to the meaning and message of either poem? This book responds to this question through an experiment in intertextual reading. It begins by exploring Gilgamesh as a work of literature in its own right, and uses this interpretation as the springboard for a new reading of the Homeric epic, emphasising the movement within the poem - beginning from a world of heroic action and external violence, but shifting inwards to the thoughts and feelings of Achilles as he responds to the certainty that his own death will follow that of his best friend. The book will be of interest both to specialists and to those coming to ancient literature for the first time.

Product code: 9781108481786

ISBN 9781108481786
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H252xW181xS25
No. Of Pages 920
Publisher Cambridge University Press
A radically new reading of ancient epic poetry which first explores the Epic of Gilgamesh, the great poem of love and despair from ancient Mesopotamia, and shows how this work underlies the Iliad of Homer - especially through the hero's response to the death of his best friend.