Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jean Bottero

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613878.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

The First Account of the Flood

The First Account of the Flood

(p.213) Chapter 13 The First Account of the Flood
Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Jean Bottéro


On December 1872, George Smith, one of the first to undertake the deciphering and listing of the thousands of cuneiform tablets from Assurbanipal's library discovered at Nineveh, announced that he had found a narrative which was too exactly parallel to the one in the Bible for the coincidence to be attributable to mere chance. This account, in 200 lines, formed the ‘XIth Canto’ of the famous Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, in search of immortality, having come to the very end of the world to question the hero of the Flood, learns from his lips how the cataclysm had come about in earlier times. Although the Epic of Gilgamesh has a very long literary history, the account of the Flood did not immediately form part of it, but was inserted later, having been plucked from another literary piece where it originally belonged: the Poem of the Supersage.

Keywords:   George Smith, cuneiform tablets, Assurbanipal, Nineveh, Bible, Gilgamesh, immortality, Flood, Poem, Supersage

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.