Gilgamesh the King

Gilgamesh the King is a 1984 historical novel by American writer Robert Silverberg, presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh as a novel. In the afterword the author wrote "at all times I have attempted to interpret the fanciful and fantastic events of these poems in a realistic way, that is, to tell the story of Gilgamesh as though he were writing his own memoirs, and to that end I have introduced many interpretations of my own devising which for better or for worse are in no way to be ascribed to the scholars".

Gilgamesh the King
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
AuthorRobert Silverberg
CountryUnited States
PublisherArbor House
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages320 pp
813/.54 19
LC ClassPS3569.I472 G5 1984

Plot introduction

The novel is told from the point of view of Gilgamesh, and is primarily ambivalent about the supernatural elements of the epic. But the events are portrayed in a fairly realistic manner. Gilgamesh is a giant among men and an amazing warrior, even since he was very young. When the king of Uruk (his father) dies, Gilgamesh is exiled by the recently crowned Dumuzi, jealous of his skills and power. When in time Dumuzi dies, Gilgamesh comes back to the kingdom to be proclaimed.

Silverberg afterwards wrote a number of stories for the fantasy anthology series Heroes in Hell describing Gilgamesh's posthumous adventures in the underworld, including the award-winning novella "Gilgamesh in the Outback".

External links


Apkallu (Akkadian), or Abgal (Sumerian), are terms found in cuneiform inscriptions that in general mean either "wise" or "sage."

In several contexts the Apkallu are seven demi-gods, sometimes described as part man and part fish, associated with human wisdom; these creatures are often referred to in scholarly literature as the Seven Sages. Each sage has an association with a specific mythic King. After the seventh sage and king, a deluge (see Epic of Gilgamesh) is said to have occurred. Records list further sages and further historic king pairings. Post-deluge, the sages are considered human, and in some texts are distinguished by being referred to as Ummanu, not Apkallu.

The terms Apkallu (as well as Abgal) is also used as an epithet for kings and gods as a mark of wisdom or knowledge.

A further use of the term Apkallu is when referring to figurines used in apotropaic rituals; these figurines include fish-man hybrids representing the seven sages, but also include bird-headed and other figures.

In a later work by Berossus describing Babylonia, the Apkallu appear again, also described as fish-men who are sent by the gods to impart knowledge to people. In Berossus, the first one Oannes (a variant of Uanna) is said to have taught people the creation myth the Enuma Elis (qv)

Epic poetry

An epic poem, epic, epos, or epopee is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with the gods or other superhuman forces, gave shape to the moral universe that their descendants, the poet and his audience, must understand to understand themselves as a people or nation.Another type of epic poetry is epyllion (plural: epyllia), which is a brief narrative poem with a romantic or mythological theme. The term, which means "little epic", came into use in the nineteenth century. It refers primarily to the erudite, shorter hexameter poems of the Hellenistic period and the similar works composed at Rome from the age of the neoterics; to a lesser degree, the term includes some poems of the English Renaissance, particularly those influenced by Ovid. The most famous example of classical epyllion is perhaps Catullus 64.

Fate/strange fake

Fate/Strange Fake (Japanese: フェイト/ストレンジフェイク, Hepburn: Feito: Sutorenji Feiku) is a Japanese light novel by Ryōgo Narita and illustrated by Morii Shizuki.

It was originally placed on Narita's homepage under the title of "Fake/states night" on April 1, 2008, presented as a prologue and introduction for a role playing style game as an April Fool's joke. The text was taken down after April Fool's, but was later rereleased in the form of a novel included as an extra with the magazine TYPE-MOON Ace 2 in 2009, with illustrations by Morii Shizuki and an afterword by the author.

In 2014, it was announced that both a novel and manga series will be published, and a brief trailer was made.


Gilgamesh was a historical king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, a major hero in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, and the protagonist of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem written in Akkadian during the late second millennium BC. He probably ruled sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC and was posthumously deified. He became a major figure in Sumerian legends during the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112 – c. 2004 BC). Tales of Gilgamesh's legendary exploits are narrated in five surviving Sumerian poems. The earliest of these is probably Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld, in which Gilgamesh comes to the aid of the goddess Inanna and drives away the creatures infesting her huluppu tree. She gives him two unknown objects called a mikku and a pikku, which he loses. After Enkidu's death, his shade tells Gilgamesh about the bleak conditions in the Underworld. The poem Gilgamesh and Agga describes Gilgamesh's revolt against his overlord King Agga. Other Sumerian poems relate Gilgamesh's defeat of the ogre Huwawa and the Bull of Heaven and a fifth, poorly preserved one apparently describes his death and funeral.

In later Babylonian times, these stories began to be woven into a connected narrative. The standard Akkadian Epic of Gilgamesh was composed by a scribe named Sîn-lēqi-unninni, probably during the Middle Babylonian Period (c. 1600 – c. 1155 BC), based on much older source material. In the epic, Gilgamesh is a demigod of superhuman strength who befriends the wildman Enkidu. Together, they go on adventures, defeating Humbaba (the East Semitic name for Huwawa) and the Bull of Heaven, who, in the epic, is sent to attack them by Ishtar (the East Semitic equivalent of Inanna) after Gilgamesh rejects her offer for him to become her consort. After Enkidu dies of a disease sent as punishment from the gods, Gilgamesh becomes afraid of his own death, and visits the sage Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Great Flood, hoping to find immortality. Gilgamesh repeatedly fails the trials set before him and returns home to Uruk, realizing that immortality is beyond his reach.

Most classical historians agree that the Epic of Gilgamesh exerted substantial influence on both the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems written in ancient Greek during the eighth century BC. The story of Gilgamesh's birth is described in a second-century AD anecdote from On the Nature of Animals by the Greek writer Aelian. Aelian relates that Gilgamesh's grandfather kept his mother under guard to prevent her from becoming pregnant, because he had been told by an oracle that his grandson would overthrow him. She became pregnant and the guards threw the child off a tower, but an eagle rescued him mid-fall and delivered him safely to an orchard, where he was raised by the gardener. The Epic of Gilgamesh was rediscovered in the Library of Ashurbanipal in 1849. After being translated in the early 1870s, it caused widespread controversy due to similarities between portions of it and the Hebrew Bible. Gilgamesh remained mostly obscure until the mid-twentieth century, but, since the late twentieth-century, he has become an increasingly prominent figure in modern culture.

Gilgamesh (Kodallı opera)

Gılgamış is a 1964 Turkish-language opera by Nevit Kodallı.Simultaneously with Kodallı, Ahmed Adnan Saygun was also working around 1964 on a Gilgamesh project, which he completed as his Op.65 Gılgameş.

Gilgamesh (disambiguation)

Gilgamesh was a legendary king of Uruk.

Gilgamesh may also refer to:

Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem about a legendary king of Uruk

Gilgamesh in popular culture

The Epic of Gilgamesh has directly inspired many manifestations of literature, art, music, and popular culture, as identified by Theodore Ziolkowski in the book Gilgamesh Among Us: Modern Encounters With the Ancient Epic (2011). It was only during and after the First World War that the first reliable translations of the epic appeared that reached a wide audience, and it was only after the Second World War that the epic of Gilgamesh began to make itself felt more broadly in a variety of genres.

Gilgamesh in the Outback

Gilgamesh in the Outback is a science fiction novella by American writer Robert Silverberg, a sequel to his novel Gilgamesh the King as well as a story in the shared universe series Heroes in Hell. It won the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1987 and was also nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 1986. Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, it was then printed in Rebels in Hell before being incorporated into Silverberg's novel To the Land of the Living. Real-life writers Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft feature as characters in the novella.

Robert Silverberg wrote that he was "drawn into" writing a story for the "Heroes in Hell" project. While he remembered that the central concept of the series was "never clearly explained" to him, he noted the similarity of "Heroes in Hell" to Philip José Farmer's Riverworld works, and decided "to run my own variant on what Farmer had done a couple of decades earlier." After writing "Gilgamesh in the Outback", he decided that, since the story "was all so much fun," to write two sequels, "The Fascination of the Abomination" and "Gilgamesh in Uruk". In writing those stories, as Silverberg recalled, he "never read many of the other 'Heroes in Hell' stories", and had "no idea" of how consistent his work was with that of his "putative collaborators"; instead, he had "gone his own way . . . with only the most tangential links to what others had invented."Silverberg compiled the three stories as To the Land of the Living, revising the stories to remove any references to other writers' contributions to "Heroes in Hell" to avoid copyright issues. To the Land of the Living was published in the British market in 1989 and reprinted in an American edition in 1990.

Ludmila Zeman

Ludmila Zeman (born 23 April 1947) is a Czech–Canadian artist, animator, and creator of children's books. She is the daughter of filmmaker Karel Zeman.Zeman was born in the Moravian Czech city of Zlín (renamed Gottwaldov in 1949, through 1989). She graduated from the college of art (Střední uměleckoprůmyslová škola) in Uherské Hradiště. She worked as her father's assistant for his final films, and married Eugen Spálený, the chief animator at his studio. They had two children, Linda and Malvinia. She launched a career in story books and animation for children.In 1983, Zeman and her husband were invited to teach film technique at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. When the couple attempted to emigrate, the Czechoslovakian communist government refused them permission, accusing them of pro-Western leanings. Zeman was told to leave the animation studio, and Spálený was drafted into menial construction work. In the summer of 1984, the family escaped through Yugoslavia to a refugee camp in Austria, finally arriving in Canada to accept the teaching posts.The Cedar Tree of Life, a thirty-second animated segment the couple produced for the Canadian edition of Sesame Street, attracted the attention of the National Film Board of Canada, which invited the couple to make a short film on a topic of their choice. Zeman's production was Lord of the Sky, based on myths of the Canadian north Pacific First Nations and produced using paper cutouts. The film was a success, winning eleven international awards, including a blue ribbon at the American Film Festival in 1993; it was shown at the Sundance Film Festival the following year and was shortlisted for an Academy Award nomination.Following Lord of the Sky, Zeman and Spálený planned a feature-length animated film based on the Epic of Gilgamesh. Karel Zeman had introduced the epic, which was among his favorite books, to Ludmila when she was eleven. The concept was eventually developed into a trilogy of children's books written and illustrated by Zeman: Gilgamesh the King (1991), The Revenge of Ishtar (1993), and The Last Quest of Gilgamesh (1995). The final book in the trilogy won the 1995 Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration. The Embassy of Canada in Japan presented an exhibition of Ludmila Zeman's work in Tokyo in 2011.

Robert Silverberg bibliography

List of the published work of Robert Silverberg, American science fiction author.

Tähtifantasia Award

Tähtifantasia Award is an annual prize by Helsingin science fiction seura ry for the best foreign fantasy book released in Finland.

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