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

The Epic of Gilgameš, Standard Version, Tablet XI, lines 1-163, read by Karl Hecker

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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 gilgameš ana šâšumma izakkara ana ūta-napištim rūqi1 Gilgamesh spoke to him, to Ūta-napišti the Far-Away:
2 anaṭṭalakkumma ūta-napišti|
3 minâtūka ul šanâ kī yâtimma atta
4 u atta ul šanâta kī yâtimma atta
2 "As I look at you, Ūta-napišti,
3 Your form is no different, you are just like me,
4 You are not different at all, you are just like me.
5 gummurka libbī ana epēš tuqunti
6 [x]x ahī nadât elu ṣērīka
7 [att]a kīkī tazziz ina puhur ilāni balāṭa teš'u
5 I was fully intent on doing battle with you,
6 [but] in your presence my hand is stayed.
7 How was it that you attended the gods' assembly, and found eternal life?"
8 ūta-napišti ana šâšumma izakkara ana gilgameš8 Ūta-napišti spoke to him, to Gilgamesh:
9 lupteka gilgameš amāt niṣirti
10 u pirišti ša ilāni kâša luqbika
9 "I will disclose to you, Gilgamesh, a secret matter,
10 and I will tell you a mystery of the gods.
11 šurippak ālu ša tīdûšu atta
12 ā[lu ša ina kišā]d puratti šaknu
13 [āl]u šū labirma ilāni qerbuššu
14 [an]a šakān abūbi ubla libbašunu ilāni rabûti
11 "The city of Shuruppak — a city you yourself know,
12 the [city that] is situated on the [banks] of the Euphrates —
13 that city was old and the gods were inside it,
14 (when) the great gods decided to cause the Deluge.
15 [it]māma abūšunu anum
16 mālikšunu qurādu enlil
17 [g]uzallâšunu ninurta
18 gugallâšunu ennugi
15 "Their father Anu took the oath,
16 (as did) their counsellor, the hero Enlil,
17 their chamberlain, Ninurta,
18 their inspector of waterways, Ennugi
19 ninšiku ea ittišunu tamīma
20 amāssunu ušannâ ana kikkišu
19 "Prince Ea was likewise under oath with them,
20 (but) repeated their words to a reed fence:
21 kikkiš igār kikkiš igār
22 kikkišu šemēma igāru hissas
23 šuruppakû mār ubara-tutu
24 uqur bīta bini eleppa
21 "'Reed fence, brick wall! Reed fence, brick wall!
22 Listen, O reed fence! Pay heed, O brick wall!
23 O man of Shuruppak, son of Ubara-tutu,
24 demolish the house, build a boat!
25 muššir mešrâmma še'i napšāti
26 [m]akkūru zērma napišta bulliṭ
27 šūlima zēr napšāti kalāma ana libbi eleppi
25 "'Abandon riches and seek survival!
26 Spurn property and save life!
27 Put on board the boat the seed of all living creatures!
28 eleppu ša tabannûši atta
29 lū mindudā minâtūša
30 [l]ū mithur rupussa u mūrakša
31 [k]īma apsî šâši ṣullilši
28 "'The boat that you are going to build,
29 her dimensions should all be matching:
30 her breadth and length should be the same,
31 cover her with a roof, like the Apsû'.
32 [a]nāku īdēma azakkara ana ea bēlīya
33 [amg]ur bēlī ša taqbâ atta kī'am
34 [at]ta'id anāku eppuš
35 [kīm]i lūpul āla ummānu u šībūtu
32 "I understood and spoke to Ea my master:
33 'I hereby concur, my lord, with what you told me thus.
34 [I] have paid attention; I shall do it.
35 (But) how should I answer the city, the crowd and elders?'
36 ea pâšu īpušamma iqabbi
37 izakkara ana ardīšu yâtu
36 "Ea opened his mouth to speak,
37 saying to me, his servant:
38 u atta kī'am taqabbâššunūti
39 [mi]ndēma yâši Enlil izērannima
40 [u]l uššab ina ālī[ku]numa
41 [ina] qaqqar enlil ul ašakkan[a šēp]īyāma
42 [urr]adma ana apsî itti ea [b]ēliya ašbāku
38 'Then also you will say to them as follows:
39 'For sure the god Enlil has conceived a hatred of me!
40 I cannot dwell in your city!
41 I cannot tread on Enlil's ground!
42 [I shall] go down to the Apsû, to live with Ea, my master;
43 [ana k]âšunu ušazna[n]akkunūši nuhšamma
44 [hiṣib] iṣṣūrāti puzur nūnimma
45 […] xxx mešrâ ebūramma
46 ina šēri kukkī
47 ina lilâti ušaznanakkunūši šamût kibāti
43 'On you he will rain down plenty!
44 [An abundance] of birds, a riddle of fishes!
45 ... riches at harvest time
46 In the morning he will rain down on you bread cakes,
47 in the evening, a torrent of wheat'.'
48 mimmû šēri ina namāri
49 ana bāb atar-hasīs ipahhur mā[tum]
50 naggāru naši pās[su]
51 atkuppu naši ab[anšu]
48 At the first glimmer of dawn,
49 the population began assembling at Atar-hasis's gate.
50 The carpenter was carrying [his] axe,
51 the reed-worker was carrying [his] stone.
(52-56 are fragmentary)(52-56 are fragmentary)
57 ina hanši ūmi attadi būnāša
58 iki kippassa ešer nindanā šaqqâ igārātūša
59 ešer nindanā imtahir kibir muhhīša
57 "On the fifth day I set in place her (outer) surface:
58 one "acre" was her area, ten rods each her sides stood high,
59 at ten rods each, the edges of her top were equal.
60 addi lān[ša] šâši ēṣirši
61 urtaggib ana šeššīšu
62 [a]ptara[ss]u ana sebîšu
63 qerbīssu aptaras ana tišîšu
60 "I set in place her body, I drew up her design:
61 I gave her six decks,
62 I divided her into seven parts,
63 I divided her interior into nine.
64 sikkāt mê ina qablīša lū amhaṣ
65 āmur pārisu u hišihtum addi
64 "I struck the water pegs into her belly,
65 I found a punting pole and put the tackle in place.
66 šalaš šar kupri attabak ana kīri
67 (fragmentary)
68 šalaš šar ṣābū nāš sussul ša izabbilū šamnu
69 ezub šar šamni ša īkulū niqqū
70 šina šar šamni [ša] upazziru malāhu
66 "Three times a myriad of bitumen I poured into the furnace,
67 (fragmentary)
68 three times a myriad was the oil that the workforce of porters was fetching,
69 apart from the myriad of oil [that] libation consumed
70 there were two myriads of oil [that] the shipwright stowed away.
71 ana ummānāti uṭṭabbih alpī
72 ašgiš immērī ūmišamma
73 sīrīš [kuru]nnu šamna u karāna
74 ummān[ī ašqi] kīma mê nārimma
75 isinna ippušū kī ūmi akītimma
71 "For the workmen I butchered oxen,
72 every day I slaughtered sheep.
73 Beer, ale, oil and wine
74 [I gave my] workforce [to drink], like the waters of a very river!
75 They were celebrating as on the feast-days of the New Year itself!
76 šam[aš ina aṣê ana] piššati qātī addi
77 [lā]m šamaš rabê eleppu gamrat
76 "At sun-[rise] I set my hand [to] oiling;
77 [before] sundown the boat was finished.
(78-80 are fragmentary)(78-80 are fragmentary)
.. mimmû šēri ina namāri
82 mimma īšû eṣēnši kaspa
83 mimma īš[û] eṣēnši hurāṣa
84 mimma īš[û eṣē]nši zēr napšāti kalāma
.. At the first glimmer of dawn,
82 I loaded aboard it whatever silver I had,
83 I loaded aboard it whatever gold I had,
84 I loaded aboard it whatever seed I had of living things, each and every one.
85 uštēli a[na] libbi eleppi kala kimtīya u
sallatīya
86 būl ṣēri umām ṣēri mārī ummānī kalīšunu ušēli
85 "All my kith and kin I sent aboard the boat,
86 I sent aboard animals of the wild, creatures of the wild, persons of every skill and craft.
87 adanna šamaš iškunamma
88 ina šēr ku[kk]ī ina lilâti ušaznanannu šamût kibāti
89 erubma ana [li]bbi eleppimma pihe bābka
87 "Šamaš had set me a deadline -
88 'In the morning he will rain down bread-cakes on us, in the evening a torrent of wheat.
89 Go into the boat and seal your hatch!'.
90 adannu šū iktalda
91 ina šēr ku[kk]ī ina lilâti ušaznana(na) šamût kibāti
92 ša ūmi attaṭal būnāšu
90 "That time had arrived:
91 'In the morning he will rain down bread cakes, in the evening, a torrent of wheat'.
92 I watched the look of the weather:
94 ērubma ana libbi eleppimma aptehe bābī
95 ana pēhî ša eleppi puzur-ellil malāhi
96 ēkalla attadin adi būšêšu
94 "I went into the boat and sealed my hatch.
95 To the man who sealed the boat, the ship-wright Puzur-Enlil,
96 I gave the palace with all its goods.
97 mimmû šēri ina namāri
98 īlâmma ištu išid šamê urpatum ṣalimtum
99 adad ina libbīša irtammamma
97 "At the very first light of dawn
98 there came up from the horizon a black cloud,
99 within it did Adad bellow continually.
100 šullat u haniš illakū ina mahri
101 illakū guzalû šadû u mātu
102 tarkullī errakal inassah
103 illak ninurta mehrī ušardi
104 anunnakī iššû dipārāti
105 ina namrirrīšunu uhammaṭū mātum
100 "Šullat and Haniš were going at the fore,
101 "throne-bearers" travelling over mountain and land.
102 Errakal was ripping out the mooring poles;
103 Ninurta, as he went, made the weirs overflow.
104 The Anunnaki bore torches aloft,
105 setting the land aglow with their brilliance.
106 ša adad šuharrassu (iba’’u šamê)
107 ([mi]mma namru) ana da[’u]m[mat] utterru
106 The still clam of the storm god (passed across the sky),
107 (all that was bright) was turned into gloom.
(108-111 fragmentary)(108-111 fragmentary)
..
112 ul immar ahu ahāšu
113 ul ūtaddâ nišū ina kar[āši]
111 "Like a battle [the cataclysm] passed over(!) the people.
112 One person could not see another,
113 Nor people recognise each other in the destruction.
114 ilū iptalhū abūbamma
115 ittehsû ītelû ana šamê ša anim
116 ša kīma kalbī kunnunū ina kamâti rabṣū
114 "Even the gods took fright at the Deluge!
115 They withdrew, they went up to the heaven of Anu.
116 The ones who were curled up like dogs, lying out in the open.
117 išassi ištar kīma ālitti
118 unambi bēlet-ilī ṭābat rigma
117 "The goddess, screaming like a woman in childbirth,
118 Bēlet-ilī, the sweet-voiced, wailed aloud:
119 ūmu ullû ana ṭiṭṭi lū itūrma
120 aššu anāku ina puhur i[lāni] aqbû lemutta
121 kī aqbi ina puhur i[lāni] lemutta
122 ana hulluq nišīya qabla aqbīma
123 anākumma ulladā nišū’ama
124 kī mārī nūnī umallâ tâmtamma
119 "'Indeed the past has truly turned to clay,
120 because I spoke evil in the assembly of the gods.
121 How was it I spoke evil in the assembly of the gods,
122 (and) declared a war to destroy my people?
123 It is I that gave birth (to them)! They are my people!
124 (Now) like so many fish they fill the sea.'
125 ilū šūt anunnakī bakû ittīša
126 ilū ašrū ašbi ina bikīti
127 šabbā šaptāšunu leqâ buhrēti
125 "The gods, the Anunnaki, were weeping with her,
126 the gods were humble, sitting in tears,
127 their lips were parched, being stricken with fever.
128 šešše urrī u sebe mušâti
129 illak šāru abūbu mehû [isappan māta]
130 sebû ūmu ina kašādi
131 ittaraq mehû [abūbu qabla]
132 ša imtahṣu kīma hayyālti inūh tâmtu
133 ušharrir imhullu abūba ikla
128 "For six days and seven nights,
129 there blew the wind and the Deluge, the gale [and flattened the land].
130 When the seventh day arrived,
131 the gale relented, [the Deluge and the battle].
132 The sea grew calm that had fought like a woman in labour,
133 the tempest grew still, the Deluge ended.
134 appalsamma ūma šakin qūlu
135 kullat tenēšēti itūrā ana ṭiṭṭi
136 kīma ūri mithurat ušallu
134 "I looked at the weather, and there was quiet,
135 but all the people had turned to clay.
136 The roof plain was level like a roof.
137 apte nappāšamma ṣētu imtaqut eli dūr appīya
138 uktammisma attašab abakki
139 eli dūr appīya illakā dimāya
137 "I opened a vent, and sunlight fell on the side of my face.
138 I fell to my knees and sat there weeping,
139 tears streaming down the side of my face.
140 appalis kibrāti pāta tâmti
141 ana 14-ā ītelâ nagû
140 "I scanned the shores, the edge of the sea:
141 In fourteen places there emerged a landmass.
142 ana šadî nimuš ītemid eleppu
143 šadû nimuš eleppa iṣbatma ana nâši ul iddin
144 ištēn ūma šanâ ūma šadû nimuš eleppa iṣbatma ana nâši ul iddin
145 šalša ūma erbâ ūma šadû nimuš eleppa iṣbatma ana nâši ul iddin
146 hamša šešša ūma šadû nimuš eleppa iṣbatma ana nâši ul iddin
142 "On Mount Nimuš the boat ran aground,
143 Mount Nimuš held the boat fast and did not let it move.
144 One day, a second day, Mount Nimuš held the boat fast and did not let it move.
145 a third day, a fourth day, Mount Nimuš held the boat fast and did not let it move.
146 a fifth, a sixth, day, Mount Nimuš held the boat fast and did not let it move.
147 sebû ūmu ina kašādi
148 ušēṣīma summata umaššar
149 illik summatu īpiramm[a]
150 manzāzu ul īpâššimma issahr[a]
147 "When the seventh day arrived
148 I brought out a dove, setting it free.
149 Off went the dove, ...
150 No perch was available for it, so it came back to [me].
151 ušēṣīma sinūnta umaš[š]ar
152 illik sinūntu īpira[mma]
153 manzāzu ul īpâš[ši]mma issahra
151 "I brought out a swallow, setting it free.
152 Off went the swallow, ...
153 No perch was available for [it], so it came back to me.
154 ušēṣīma ariba umaššar
155 illik aribumma qarūra ša mê īmurma
156 ikkal išahhi itarri ul issahra
154 "I brought out a raven, setting it free.
155 Off went the raven and it saw the waters receding.
156 It was eating, bobbing up and down, it did not come back to me.
157 ušēṣīma ana erbe šārī attaqi niqâ
158 aškun šurqinnu ina muhhi ziqqurrat šadî
159 sebe u sebe adagurra uktīn
160 ina šaplīšunu attabak qanâ erēna u as[a]
157 "I brought out an offering and sacrificed to the four corners of the earth,
158 I strewed incense on the peak of the mountain.
159 Seven flasks and seven I set in position,
160 below them I heaped up (sweet) reed, cedar and myrtle.
161 ilū īṣīnū irīša
162 ilū īṣīnū irīša ṭāb[a]
163 ilū kīma zumbē eli bēl niqî iptahrū
161 "The gods smelled the savour,
162 the gods smelled the sweet savour,
163 the gods gathered like flies round the sacrificer".