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The Epic of Gilgamesh was the first great work of world literature, written around 1200 BCE as a 3,000 line poem.

It tells the story of a legendary king, Gilgamesh who ruled the Babylonian city of Uruk.

3 Tablets from the Epic of Gilgamesh
3 Tablets from the Epic of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
20 New Lines Discovered in Iraq, Adding New Details to the Story
Go here for a video introduction from Annenberg Learner

Things to Consider When Reading the Epic from Washington State University

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Multimedia Resources

The Epic of Gilgamesh: An Animation from YouTube
Complete Audiobook
Hear the Epic of Gilgamesh Read in Its Original Ancient Language, Akkadian

For an excellent graphic novel version of this story, check out this book!


Historical Connections

See Grade 7.10 for more on writing in ancient Mesopotamia as well as more about Gilgamesh