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

The Epic of Gilgamesh, Old Babylonian Version, BM+VAT, lines ii.0'-iii.14, 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
ii.0’ [ibrī ša arammušu danniš]
ii.1’ ittīya ittallaku kalu marṣ[ātim]
ii.2’ enkidu ša arammušu danniš
ii.3’ ittīya ittallaku kalu marṣātim
ii.0’ [My friend, whom I love deeply],
ii.1’ who with me went through every danger,
ii.2’ Enkidu, whom I love deeply,
ii.3’ who with me went through every danger.
ii.4’ illikma ana šīmatu awīlūtim
ii.5’ urrī u mūšī elīšu abki
ii.4’ He went to the destiny of mankind,
ii.5’ I wept over him day and night.
ii.6’ ul addiššu ana qebērim
ii.7’ ibrīman itabbi’am ana rigmīya
ii.8’ sebet ūmim u sebe mūšiātim
ii.9’ adi tūltu imqutam ina appīšu
ii.6’ I did not give him up for burial -
ii.7’ “Maybe my friend will rise at my cry!” -
ii.8’ For seven days and seven nights,
ii.9’ until a maggot dropped from his nostril.
ii.10’ ištu warkišu ul ūta balāṭam
ii.11’ attanaggiš kīma hābilim qabaltu ṣēri
ii.12’ inanna sābītum ātamar pānīki
ii.13’ mūtam ša ātanaddaru ayya āmur
ii.10’ After he was gone I did not find life,
ii.11’ as I wandered like a trapper through the midst of the wild.
ii.12’ Now, Ale Wife, I have seen your face,
ii.13’ but I would not see death, that I ever fear”.
ii.14’ sābītum ana šâšum izzaqqaram ana gilgamešii.14’ The ale wife spoke to him, to Gilgamesh:
iii.1 gilgameš ê tadâl
iii.2 balāṭam ša tusahharu lā tutta
iii.3 inūma ilū ibnû awīlūtam
iii.4 mūtam iškunū ana awīlūtim
iii.5 balāṭam ina qātīšunu iṣṣabtū
iii.1 “O Gilgamesh, where are you wandering?
iii.2 You cannot find the life that you seek:
iii.3 when the gods created mankind,
iii.4 for mankind they established death,
iii.5 life they kept for themselves”.
iii.6 atta gilgameš lū mali karaška
iii.7 urrī u mūšī hitaddu atta
iii.8 ūmišam šukun hidûtam
iii.9 urrī u mūšī sūr u mēlil
iii.6 You, Gilgamesh, let your belly be full,
iii.7 keep enjoying yourself, day and night!
iii.8 Every day make merry,
iii.9 dance and play day and night!
iii.10 lū ubbubū ṣubātūka
iii.11 qaqqadka lū mesi mê lū ramkāta
iii.12 ṣubbi ṣehram ṣābitu qātīka
iii.13 marhītum lihtaddâm ina sūnīka
iii.10 Let your clothes be clean!
iii.11 Let your head be washed, may you be bathed in water!
iii.12 Gaze on the little one who holds your hand!
iii.13 Let a wife enjoy your repeated embrace!
iii.14 annama šī[mti awīlūtim]iii.14 Such is the des[tiny of mortal men]