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Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

The Epic of Gilgameš, Old Babylonian Version, Tablet II, lines 1-36, read by Stephanie Dalley

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With the kind permission of Professor A. R. George, the translation below is taken from his work The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic (Oxford, 2003), with minor modifications. The transcription is based on the transliteration in the same work.

Original TranscriptEnglish Translation
1 itbema gilgameš šunatam ipaššar
2 issaqqaram ana ummišu
1 Gilgameš arose to reveal dream,
2 saying to his mother:
3 ummī ina šât mušītiya
4-5 šamhāku attanallak ina birīt eṭlūtim
3 "O mother, during the course of this night
4-5 I was walking about lustily in the company of young men.
6 ipzirūnimma kakkabū šamā’ī
7 [kiṣ]rum ša anim imqutam ana ṣēriya
8 aššišuma iktabit eliya
9 unīssuma nuššašu ul elte’i
6 “The stars of the sky hid from me,
7 a meteor fell down before me.
8 I picked it up but it was too heavy for me,
9 I pushed at it but I could not move it.
10 uruk mātum pahir elišu
11 eṭlūtum unaššaqū šēpēšu
12-13 ummidma pūtī īmidū yâti
14 ašši’aššuma atbalaššu ana ṣēriki
10 The land of Uruk was gathered about it,
11 the young men were kissing its feet.
12-13 I braced my forehead and they supported me,
14 I picked it up and carried it off to you".
15 ummi gilgameš mūde’at kalāma
16 issaqqaram ana gilgameš
15 The mother of Gilgameš, well versed in everything,
16 said to Gilgameš:
17 minde gilgameš ša kīma kâti
18-19 ina ṣēri iwwalidma urabbišu šadû
20 tammaršuma tahaddu atta
21 eṭlūtum unaššaqū šēpēšu
22-23 teddiraššuma tatarrâššu ana ṣēriya
17 "For sure, Gilgameš, one like yourself
18-19 was born in the wild and the upland reared him.
20 You will see him and you will rejoice,
21 the young men will kiss his feet.
22-23 You will hug him and bring him to me".
24 [i]ttīlamma ītamar šanītam
25 [i]tbe itawwâm ana ummišu
24 He lay down and saw another dream.
25 He arose to talk to his mother:
26 [um]mī ātamar šanītam
27-28 […] … ina sūqim [ša uru]k rebītim
29-30 haṣṣinnu nadima elišu pahrū
31 haṣṣinnumma šani būnūšu
32 āmuršu ahtadu anāku
33-34 arāmšuma kīma aššatim ahabbub ēlšu
35-36 elqešuma aštakanšu ana ahiya
26 "O mother, I have seen another.
27-28 […] … in the street of Uruk-Main-Street,
29-30 an axe was lying and (people) were gathered around it.
31 The axe itself, its appearance was strange;
32 I saw it and became glad.
33-34 I loved it like a wife, caressing and embracing it,
35-36 I took it up and put it at my side".