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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 92-139, read by Martin West

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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
92 ša ūmi attaṭal būnāšu
93 ūmu ana itaplusi puluhta īši
92 I watched the look of the weather:
93 The weather was frightening to behold.
94 ērub ana libbi eleppima aptehe bābī
95 ana pēhî ša eleppi ana 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, to 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 mātum
102 tarkullī errakal inassah
103 illak ninurta mihrī ušerde
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 šamā’ē
107 [mi]mma namru ana da[’u]m[mat] utterru
108 [irh]iṣ māta kīma alp[i karpati]š ihp[iša]
109 ištēn ūma meh[û izīqa]
110 hanṭiš izīqamma [ittaṣâ? abūbu?]
106 "The still calm of the storm-god passed against the sky,
107 all that was bright was turned into gloom.
108 Like an ox [he] trampled the land, he smashed [it like a pot].
109 For one day the gale [blew]
110 Quickly it blew and the [Deluge came forth].
111 kīma qabli eli nišī uba’’u [kašūšu]
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 ilū 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 gods 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 itūr-ma
120 aššu anāku ina puhur i[lī] aqbû lemutta
121 kī aqbi ina puhur i[lī] lemutta
122 ana hulluq nišīya qabla aqbima
123 anākumma ulladā nišūyama
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
125a ilū ašrū ašbū ina bikīti
126 ina nurub nissati bak[û ittīša]
127 šabbā šaptāšunu leqâ buhrēti
125 "The gods, the Anunnaki, were weeping with her,
125a the gods were downcast, they sat in tears,
126 wet-faced with sorrow, they were weeping [with her],
127 their lips were parched, being stricken with fever.
128 šeššet urrī u šediš mušâti
129 illak šāru rādu mehû ab[ūbu]
129a illak šāru abūbu mehû isappan māta
130 sebû ūmu ina kašādi
131 ittaraq mehû [abūbu qablu]
132 ša imdahṣu kīma hayyālti inūh tâmtu
133 ušharrir imhullu abūbu ikla
128 "For six days and six nights,
129 there blew the wind, the downpour, the gale, the De[luge],
129a there blew the wind, the deluge, the gale, flattening the land.
130 When the seventh day arrived,
131 the gale, [the bellicose Deluge] relented.
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 u 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 dīmāya
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.