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Coombs, N. (2011). The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Profile Books, 2004.. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 1(1):155.

(2011). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 1(1):155

Brief Reviews

The Epic of Gilgamesh, translated by Stephen Mitchell, Profile Books, 2004.

Review by:
Nicola Coombs

This is the oldest story in the world, nearly 1500 years older than Sophocles' Oedipus, written in cuneiform on clay tablets found in Iraq, formerly Mesopotamia. The hero, Gilgamesh, who reigned as King in about 2750 BC, is using his strength to abuse his subjects. A wild, equally strong man, named Enkidu, roams naked in the forest with the animals, but is tamed by being seduced by a temple priestess.

This epic is the story of their dramatic meeting and then friendship. They embark on a journey where they both become changed. We read about love, both platonic and erotic, bereavement, and mortality. It is a journey that is physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally challenging for them.

I also suggest a visit the British Museum to enjoy a visual feast from that era, the breathtaking Lion Hunt downstairs in Room 10a and the clay tablets upstairs in Room 55.

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